Four new varieties have been added to the American Malting Barley Association’s list of recommendations for 2019.
New to the list this year are:
• ABI Growler, a two-rowed, mid-season spring barley developed by Busch Agricultural Resources in Fort Collins, Colo.
• Bill Coors 100 and Moravian 165, two-rowed spring varieties bred by Molson Coors in Burley, Idaho. Bill Coors 100 was released in 2016 in celebration of the 100th birthday of Bill Coors, former chairman of the Adolph Coors Co.
Coors, the grandson of company founder Adolph Coors, died in October 2018 at 102. Bill Coors revolutionized the beverage industry with the creation and development of the aluminum can.
“He was a leader and a huge supporter of growers, as all the Coors family has been,” said Scott Heisel, vice president and technical director of the malting barley association. “They really bent over backwards to help them out when they could.”
• Thunder, a two-rowed winter variety from Oregon State University. Final approval for release is in process at OSU, said Pat Hayes, professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.
The association adds an average of two varieties each year, Heisel said.
“It’s just what the marketplace was utilizing,” he said.
The list is intended for malting barley growers when setting up contracts so that they know which varieties are being used, Heisel said. The majority of malting barley acres are contracted.
End-users determine which varieties they want, Heisel said. Most companies contracting acres are members of the association, he noted.
“We want to make sure they yield well and have good disease resistance and things that growers like, but we also need certain quality attributes,” he said.
The malting barley market is fairly diverse, Heisel said, including traditional brewers, those using other sources for adjunct beers, all-malt beers and distillers.
The USDA Risk Management Agency and Federal Grain Inspection Service also use the list for crop insurance and to differentiate between malting and feed varieties.
Leaving the list this year are two-row varieties Harrington and Propino, a Syngenta variety which was added to the list last year and has been recommended for brewing in the United Kingdom since 2010.
“I think one of our members wanted to give it a shot and it wasn’t going to pan out,” Heisel said. “I think it’s primarily an issue with seed availability.”
The recommended two-row varieties:
• AAC Synergy
• AC Metcalfe
• Bill Coors 100
• CDC Copeland
• Charles (winter)
• Endeavor (winter)
• LCS Genie
• Merit 57
• Moravian 37
• Moravian 69
• Moravian 165
• ND Genesis
• Puffin (winter)
• Thunder (winter)
• Wintmalt (winter)
Recommended six-row barleys:
• Thoroughbred (winter)
The industry is always looking for new winter varieties, which allow farmers to harvest earlier, Heisel said.