Mainstem Malt

Early Stage

High integrity malt supply chains for brewers, distillers, and fans


Raised to Date: Raised: $120,408

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Walla Walla, Washington


Alcohol, Tobacco, & Recreational Drugs

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Mainstem Malt, with a pre-money valuation of $5 million, is raising crowdfunding on Wefunder. The company has created malt supply chains for breweries and distilleries. It is the premier supplier of the primary ingredient for the craft beer industry and is highly differentiated. Phil Neumann founded Mainstem Malt in 2018. The proceeds of the current crowdfunding round, with a minimum raise of $50,000 and a maximum raise of 1,000,000, will be used for production increase, sales and business development, and digital marketing. Mainstem Malt has reported over $1.08 million in lifetime malt sales with 63 accounts nationally. The company already has $500,000 contracted sales for 2021 and is growing.

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Financials as of: 05/19/2021
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Analyst Report


Malts are an essential component of the craft brew and spirits industry. They add vital sugar to the fermentation process and are generally responsible for much of beer’s flavor. Today, most malts are sold by a few large industry players, which doesn’t really align with the alcohol industry’s current small craft brew revolution. 

Mainstem Malt hopes to change that. Mainstem supplies malt for craft brew and spirits producers. It sprouts raw grains, dries them in a kiln, and roasts them to produce its malts. The company claims to be more focused on sustainable agriculture than larger competitors, who are known for wasting water and using significant plots of land to produce their yields. Mainstem pushes to achieve supply chain sustainability and transparency for its consumers. The company is also focused on establishing its brand by featuring specific varieties, fields, and even family farms on its roster. Its end goal is to create a distinct identity that consumers will latch on to.

Because it is a smaller player, Mainstem has really only found success so far with the super- and ultra-premium brands on the market. Its small size makes containing costs a challenge. This year, management is launching some high-quality single-malt whiskey brands, including offerings like Westland, Amalga, and Copperworks. In order to drive costs down, the company has partnered up with Montana Craft Malt, which will lower the company’s cost of goods sold by around 50%. Also instrumental will be the company’s decision to focus on its four core products. On the distribution side, the company is working to establish malt hubs in logistically significant areas. This will reduce Mainstem’s costs while enabling it to optimize marketing.

Mainstem intends to generate revenue by partnering with alcohol providers. The company is also launching its own market network called Headwaters, which will provide streamlined sales and supply chain management services for its customers. It will also offer unspecified gamified consumer engagement activities intended to connect consumers to growers and artisans. In time, Mainstem expects Headwaters to generate the bulk of its revenue.

Mainstem Malt’s current Wefunder raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team.


Mainstem Malt is raising on a pre-money basis at a valuation cap of $5 million. That said, this pre-money valuation will be reduced to $4.4 million for investors who contribute the first $250,000. Still, this valuation seems to be a bit too high. Because of the company’s current traction and growth rate, our system has rated the pricing of this deal below average on our one-to-five scale.


Mainstem Malt’s market is quite small. According to one source, the global malt industry was valued at $11.8 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at an annualized growth rate of 3.7% to reach $15.7 billion by 2025. That same source claimed the global malt extract market was worth $18.3 billion in 2017 and should climb to $31.1 billion by 2025. This would imply a more respectable growth rate of 6.9%. 

A second source indicates that the malt market was worth $13.1 billion in 2019, and a growth rate of 3.7% per annum will take it to $17.2 billion by 2027. One final source claimed the more niche specialty malt market was worth $3.3 billion in 2018 and that a growth rate of 4.7% per annum would take it to $4.8 billion by 2026. Overall, because of the small size and the low growth rate associated with the malt market, our system has rated Mainstem Malt’s market opportunity well below average.


Mainstem Malt CEO and co-founder Phil Neumann previously worked as a program director at Walla Walla Watershed, where he piloted local water management in the Walla Walla Basin. Before that, he served at the Oregon Sheep Growers Association as a sheep production apprentice. Prior to that, he performed graduate research at Oregon State University, where he focused on water scarcity. He also has experience as a hydrologic technician for the US Forest Service. His time there involved studying vegetation and performing well level and storage correlation. Overall, Neumann’s past experiences don’t seem very relevant to his work at Mainstem Malt, aside from their focus on environmental impact. 

Mainstem communications head and co-founder Alyssa Martinez Neumann is also working as a communications and marketing specialist at Blue Mountain Land Trust. Before that, she was a senior communications and marketing associate at Oregon Tilth. Her experience seems to be more in line with her existing position. On the other hand, her work at Blue Mountain Land Trust calls her dedication to Mainstem into question. Overall, our system has rated the team about average on our one-to-five scale.


Mainstem Malt’s business is not very different from the large players in that it partners with providers for malt production. Mainstem’s differentiation is its emphasis on sustainability and crafting a brand that is promoted by customer connections. Through its Headwaters network, the company is trying to turn its product into something consumers can appreciate on a deeper level. Because of this, our system has rated the company’s differentiation slightly above average.


Mainstem Malt is selling its product to at least 63 different brewers. Management has done well in landing partnerships, including one with Montana Craft Malt. The company also appears to be planning its expansion in an intelligent way. 

Mainstem’s 2019 revenue came out to $379,529 and grew to $435,792 in 2020. This year, management expects revenue to exceed $500,000 thanks to pre-existing contracts. In 2019, the business generated a net loss of $184,832, which narrowed to $146,017 in 2020. Operating cash flow followed a similar trajectory, moving from a net outflow of $177,461 in 2019 to $139,406 last year. Bottom line: The picture could be better, but it is improving. All these things combined have led our system to rate the company highly on the prospect of performance.


Our system has rated Mainstem Malt on the low end of the risk scale. In fact, only one risk subcategory is elevated: financial risk. Management has done well to get the company to where it is today. But it is disappointing to see the business generate continuous net losses and net cash outflows. This could normally be excused by rapid growth. But Mainstem hasn’t experienced rapid growth so far. This means that while the company does continue to expand, it could be challenging for it to overcome these losses.

Bearish Outlook

The small and slowly growing malt market presents a challenge for Mainstem Malt’s future. And the company has a hefty asking price. On the team side, the CEO does not appear to be experienced in this particular space. The company’s co-founder does somewhat balance that out, but she does not seem to be entirely dedicated to Mainstem because of her current position at Blue Mountain Land Trust. On the performance side, the business is growing at a fairly slow pace and is still generating significant net losses and cash outflows.

Bullish Outlook

Net losses notwithstanding, Mainstem Malt has had an impressive performance in many respects. The company is selling its products and growing steadily. It has established partnerships to keep costs down. The product is somewhat differentiated from its peers due to its emphasis on sustainability and consumer connections. And overall, Mainstem has a low risk profile.

Executive Summary

Mainstem Malt is a malt supplier with a focus on sustainability. The company seems to be operating in a small, highly competitive space, which could be a challenge for its future growth. The company’s CEO and co-founder does not seem to have much relevant experience. Its second co-founder is dividing her attention between two different jobs. In addition, the company’s valuation is on the high side, and it has a worrying amount of net losses and cash outflow.

However, Mainstem Malt also has several factors in its favor. First, it has established partnerships and seems to be expanding. The company’s revenue is increasing, and its future Headwaters network seems promising. Mainstem also seems somewhat differentiated from its peers. And the company seems to be low-risk.

On the whole, our team has rated Mainstem Malt a Neutral prospect.

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd staff pick or ratings for this company, please reach out to

Analysis written by Daniel Jones.

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