Barley Flavor in Beer Pt 1

Barley Flavor in Beer Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. When I attended Oregon State University, my mother must've wondered if I was majoring in beer drinking. The answer, of course, was no ... but, as it turns out, I could have! Well, at least, the science of beer making.

Turns out, OSU's College of Ag Sciences has a barley breeding program where 'enthusiasts' are dedicated to learning more about the flavors barley brings to beer.

How is it I didn't know about this?

OSU Barley breeder Pat Hayes says it started with a single question ...

PAT HAYES ... "I guess the question we asked at the outset of this research project was, does the variety of barley make a difference in the final taste of the beer. And, if it does, are there some positive flavors out there that we might be able to breed for that would give us some unique and special beers."

But is barley alone a difference maker? ...

PAT HAYES ... "As a barley breeder, we want to say hey the skies the limit here. But, let's sort of bring this back down to the pub, down to the bottle, the pint if you will, and no we're not likely to ever have the impacts on flavor that hops have or that yeasts have. But, in a spectrum of beer styles say ranging from a lager to pilsner to pale, there may be some really interesting flavor effects that shine through the malt and those are due to the barley variety itself."

Hayes says the research could bring good news for brewers and those with a discerning pallet.

Listen tomorrow for more on this worthy research and what it could mean for beer lovers everywhere.

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