Historical photograph of a group of men and IREKS company founder Johann Peter Ruckdeschel


Historical photograph of the IREKS company building

More than 160 years of company history

From a small malting and brewing business in the heart of Kulmbach to a globally operating Company Group with a variety of base and speciality malts – discover more than 160 years of IREKS malt history.

1856: How it all started

The Kulmbach master baker and brewer Johann Peter Ruckdeschel laid the foundation stone for the IREKS company in 1856 by establishing a brewing and malting business. A lot has changed since, the pioneering spirit of the company founder, however, has been preserved and continued. Even today, the name of the company, which is still 100% family-owned, is inextricably linked with its founder:

IREKS = Johann Ruckdeschel et Söhne, Kulmbach

1930: Investment in state-of-the-art plant technology

IREKS builds the first pneumatic Saladin floor malthouse in Kulmbach, which serves to further improve the high-quality standard of IREKS malts.

1960 – 1970: Further expansion of infrastructure

A new large silo is built at the IREKS headquarters and, due to increasing demands, another Saladin floor malthouse. Both are being regularly modernised to this day.

1970 – 1990: Sustainable production

For the gentle and energy-saving production of the finest malts, the first germination-kiln-drying floor plantwith a two-floor kiln system and the first gas-powered combined heat and power plant are implemented.

1990: New malt site in Kulmbach

IREKS expands and takes over the former Kulmbach UNIMA malthouse creating another location for malt production.

Since 1995: Increasing internationality 

In addition to the growing domestic market, foreign markets are becoming increasingly important for IREKS. Today, IREKS is operating with its malting expertise in over 40 countries, without losing the charm of a family-run traditional company.

2001: New malt factory in Sulzbach-Rosenberg                                                         

IREKS takes over the Sulzbach malt factory (Sulzbach-Rosenberg) in the heart of the Upper Palatinate malting barley belt. The new plant is retrofit according to the most modern aspects.

2005: Expansion at the Kulmbach site

A few years later, IREKS integrates the Meussdoerffer-Malz-Gruppe, further expanding the Kulmbach site. This becomes a showcaseoperation in terms of the production of aromatic caramel, roasted and speciality malts for bulk loading or fully automatic batch bagging and palletising suitable for high-bay warehouses.

2011: New malt factory with access to port in Schweinfurt

IREKS takes over the modern Schweinfurt malt factory with its production facility at the port and gains direct access to the European waterways network from Rotterdam on the North Sea to Constanta on the Black Sea via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal.

Since 2015: Expansion of analysis options and in-company agricultural trade

IREKS has constantly been investing in the modernisation of qualitative testing options of barley and malt by means of its own variety control, residue and NDMA analysis. In parallel, the supply of the best raw materials is being further expanded through our own agricultural trade.


2019: Expansion of sustainable production

Rebuilding our combinedheat and power plant to modern standards with the aim of maintaining and expanding sustainable production.

2022: Expansion Schubert malthouse in Schweinfurt

IREKS takes over the Schubert malthouse in Schweinfurt, further expanding its expertise and capacity to produce the best IREKS malts.


Even more than 160 years after the company was founded, IREKS sees itself as a global customer- and service-oriented company family with malthouses in Germany and Austria whose unique corporate culture guarantees what we promise our customers: Naturally the best.