As you know, we're one of only a handful of brewers in the UK (and possibly worldwide) who create our brews using home grown barley and as we’re farm based we have full control over the crops that we grow. This year, we’re very excited to be trialling a new variety of winter barley that has been bred by a leading agriculture company, Syngenta, specifically for brewing (Wold Top) and whisky-making (Spirit of Yorkshire).
Although not yet available commercially, the winter barley variety 'SY Vessel' is being trialled by founder Tom at Hunmanby Grange (our farm) and the journey of its growth and viability is being followed with interest by the team at Syngenta. It's the first winter barley variety to be bred for some time with a specific trait, maximising great sugar extract for both distilling and brewing, making it perfect for beer, and whisky production.
Winter barley, as the name suggests, is sown in winter, with the crop benefitting from the extra time in the ground which gives it a head start. Excitingly, this will be the only winter variety that will be recommended for brewing and distilling, so we are ahead of the game. Also, winter varieties tend to yield higher than spring varieties so hopefully, it will be well over 3.5 tonnes per acre.
Thanks to the good weather we actually managed to get this harvested a couple of weeks ago and all is looking good so far. We just need to wait for the Syngenta team to give their verdict now!
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