The barley breeding program represents the characterization of agronomic, grain and malt quality attributes of potential new cultivars and breeders need to develop new malting cultivars with better malting and feed quality. Breeding barley for malting is required to be of low protein content and high starch content. Traditional breeding method has been very successful in improving yield and quality. Recently plant breeders use mainly adapted commercial cultivars for crossing. This review showed that the malting ecosystem is indeed a dynamic process and exhibits continuous change. The dynamics of the microbial communities in the malting ecosystem were influenced by the initial microbial load, interactions between microbial populations during processing, the process conditions and selective operations such as addition of starter cultures or antimicrobials. Furthermore, it was recognized that each process step could be a source for additional microbes. Improved understanding of the complex microbial communities and their role in malting enables a more controlled process management and the production of high quality malt with tailored properties.