Farmers will get an advance look this week at new malting barley varieties from Washington State University.

“Know Barley, Know Beer,” begins at 1 p.m. July 15 at Palouse Pint at 3803 N. Sullivan Road, Suite P, Spokane Valley, Wash. At 3 p.m. the field day moves to the WSU malting barley variety field trials on Janett Road 9 miles west of Reardan, Wash. At 4:30 p.m. the event moves to the Orlison Brewing Co., 12921 W. 17th Ave., Airway Heights, Wash.

The event is designed to bring farmers, maltsters and brewers together, said Kevin Murphy, WSU barley breeder.

Murphy hopes to bring more malting barley varieties to the Palouse.

“There hasn’t been one released by WSU in more than 25 years,” he said. “We’re hoping to release varieties in the near future that target the rapidly growing microbrew industry, a variety that works for both micro-maltsters and micro-brewers.”

Farmers will see the most advanced varieties at the stop near Reardan. Depending on how well they perform, one or more will be released to farmers in roughly three years, Murphy said.

“If any of them look really good this year, we’re going to go ahead and start breeder seed early just so we can get it out to farmers and the brewers a year early,” he said.

A farmer grew Baronesse, a two-row feed barley variety, near Colfax, Wash. The variety was malted by Palouse Pint and brewed by Orlison Brewing. A brew from Baronesse will be on tap at the third stop at Orlison.

“We’ll see the full cycle there,” Murphy said. “I imagine the whole thing will be relatively informal, relaxed and hopefully very enjoyable for everyone.”

WSU first held the event last year.

“We’re hoping it will continue for many years,” Murphy said. “When we did it last year, there were some really nice connections made.”

For more information, email Murphy at

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