Modern North American 2-row barley was designed to suit the needs of industrial brewers who use adjuncts (ie rice & corn) in their process. They need barley that is high in DP, FAN, etc. to support the adjunct. Attempting to brew (all-malt) “craft” beers with modern North American 2-row, results in inferior flavor and stability outcomes vs. calmer European barley varieties that were bred for an all-malt brewing process. At Mount Ida, Keith Shifflett grows a 2-row winter barley variety (trialed & recommended by Virginia Tech barley breeders) that is ideal for a (“craft”) all-malt process, then Jeff Bloem custom malts that barley to perfection at nearby Murphy & Rude Malting Co. Our brewmaster, John Bryce, takes it from there and converts that beautifully malted barley into the tastiest beers you’ve ever had. Fun Fact: The spent grains get fed to Mount Ida’s Angus herd and become the amazing cheeseburger served in the Tasting Room & Taphouse at Mount Ida Reserve. That’s just about as #local as it gets. However, just because it’s local doesn’t mean it’s good! Quality comes from attention to detail in those thousands of steps that take place within barley breeding, barley growing, malting, brewing, and ultimately the presentation of that glass of beer. That’s why it’s so good.
Video: Diecast Media Group