A Skagit Valley company is changing the grain business in Western Washington, and the world's beer and whiskey makers are taking notice.

Skagit Valley Malting is introducing a new process of malting grains like wheat and barley to be used in the distilling and brewing process.

Farmers have to grow wheat or barley every few years to recondition the soil, so Silicon Valley transplant Wayne Carpenter wanted to find a way to use the grains for more than just replenishing the fields.

"This climate is the only one like it in North America," he said. "Guess where the other one is. Great Britain."

It's no surprise that some of the best whiskey in the world comes from that region.

Carpenter's state of the art process of malting is also driving up grain prices. That makes farmers happy, too.