Over the past two decades, the global brewing industry witnessed significant diversification in beer styles. Driven by rapid growth in the craft brewing sector, sophistication of consumer tastes and product awareness, this evolution has spurred interest among maltsters and brewers in the sensory attributes of malt and the varietals that make up malt blends.
Like the ale versus lager taste debate, the decision to grow malt or feed barley has strong proponents on both sides. As barley farmers ponder their crop options for the coming year, the choice has been complicated by an unusual development: “intent to grow” contracts for malting barley priced below that of feed barley. This erosion of the price premium for malting barley may have implications for maltsters and farmers.
If you’re driving north from Calgary on Highway 2, as you approach the Highway 42 intersection just north of Innisfail, you’ll spot a big, red shed out to the west. This blushing building is well-known among Alberta craft brewers as the namesake of the highly regarded Red Shed Malting.
As the recent debut of a new American pale ale called South Side smash revealed, getting to the launch stage with new malt varieties involves critical choices. This beer by Edmonton’s Town Square Brewing Co. is brewed using malt produced by Red Shed Malting and is
the first commercially available beer to feature SeCan’s CDC Bow malting barley.