The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) has published its 2024–2025 list of recommended malting barley varieties, a Nov. 23 news release said. The guide offers producers and industry insights into preferred varieties based on agronomics, quality and market demand.
The 2024-25 list contains five main varieties including AAC Synergy, CDC Copeland, AAC Connect, CDC Fraser and for the first time CDC Churchill, the release said.
Newer varieties such as AAC Connect and CDC Fraser are steadily gaining acceptance in the malting and brewing industries, although the process takes time, Peter Watts, managing director at the CMBTC, said in the release. “End users want assurance that any new variety introduced into their operations will align with their process and end-product. Brewers are very conscious of quality due to its direct impact on efficiencies and end-use characteristics including sensory attributes”.
“With improved agronomics and disease resistance, new varieties have proven themselves to be high performers in Canadian fields, driving increased area. But there must be matching supply and demand,” Jon White, CMBTC board chair, said in the release. “It’s the classic chicken or egg scenario—insufficient supply makes it challenging to source and sell enough quantities to international customers at a cost-effective rate. Yet, for producers to expand adoption, they want to ensure there is a market.”
As a result, the CMBTC works closely with end-users to test new varieties at a micro, pilot and production scale. “We provide comprehensive quality and performance data, supply samples and even facilitate commercial trials with new varieties in our export markets to expedite acceptance” says Watts.
The release noted this year’s list also contains changes that provide additional information detailing the demand differences between domestic and international categories. Newer varieties tend to be adopted more quickly in the domestic malting industry, whereas older varieties may be phased out sooner compared with international markets.
“Given the growing market acceptance of our new varieties and their improved agronomics, I would encourage producers who plan to grow barley in 2024 to consider a new malt variety if they have not already,” Watts said.Canada Malting Co. Expands Calgary Production Facility