Barley contributions to beer flavor 

Background

This project is rigorously testing the hypothesis that barley has positive beer flavor attributes. IF there are novel flavors in barley that carry through malting and brewing and into beer, these flavors could provide new opportunities for brewers and expanded horizons for consumers. The first set of germplasm that we tested traced to the World Core. Subsequently, we fast-forwarded to more current germplasm - the "Oregon Promise" population - a set of doubled haploids derived from the cross of Golden Promise x Full Pint.   We're now on to the "Romp of Otters", "Next Pints", and a set of elite winter 2-rows grown in a non-traditional malt barley prodcution area (the Western Rivers Conservancy Project). To test this hypothesis we are using a range of germplasm, malts, brews, sensory assessments, and analytical tools. Follow this link to a current summary of our projects.

Participants and funders:

  • The Brewers Association is a key partner - their grants program funds integrated flavor-related endeavors.
  • The Flavor Pack was a fluid group of Craft Brewers united by their common interest in flavor. Founding members were Bells, Firestone-Walker, New Glarus, Russian River, Summit, and Sierra Nevada. Subsequently, Deschutes joined in with financial and in-kind brewing support.  Over the years, Deschutes, Firestone-Walker, New Glarus, and Russian River carried on with direct financial support. Bells, Firestone-Walker, New Glarus, Sierra Nevada continue providing in-kind sensory panel support.  Based on the Brewers Association lead in funding this research, The Flavor Pack – as a funding entity - was informally dissolved in 2020.
  • Rahr Malting was a key partner from the beginning - providing in-kind contributions of micro-malting, nano-brewing, sensory assessment, and beer analytics.
  • The Western Rivers Conservancy and Mecca Grade Estate Malt were key partners in financially supporting flavor assessments of current winter malting barley varieties and the Next Pint Project, respectively.

The first reports (Herb et al.) are open access at the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists

The second report (Bettenhausen et al.) is open access at the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists

The Romp of Otters