Back in the mid nineties, says brewer Dr Tim Cooper, Canada gained an edge over Australian barley growers following the development of Harrington.
With its high extract yields (meaning more litres of beer or whisky per tonne of malted barley) Harrington appealed strongly to brewers and distillers in traditional export markets, notably Japan.
In response, the University of Adelaide and ABB Waite Institute developed Flagship, a high-yielding, disease resistant malting barley recently used in a short-run brew by Coopers as a prelude to its commercial roll out.
Ten years in the breeding and development from four other varieties, Flagship promises to give farmers better returns, says Tim, because of the higher likelihood of meeting malting specifications and reduced risk of relegation to lower-priced feed grade.
Tim believes that Japanese brewers and whisky distillers will be attracted by Flagship’s higher extract yields, thus boosting export opportunities for Australian barley producers and maltsters.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007