Effects of Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Variety and Growing Environment on Beer Flavor



Dustin Herb (1), Tanya Filichkin, Scott Fisk, Laura Helgerson, and Patrick Hayes, Crop & Soil Science Dept., Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR U.S.A.; Brigid Meints, Dept. of Crop & Soil Science, Washington State University, Mt. Vernon, WA U.S.A.; Rebecca Jennings, Robert Monsour, Sean Tynan, and Kristi Vinkemeier, Rahr Malting Co., Shakopee, MN U.S.A.; Ignacio Romagosa, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain; Matthew Moscou, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7UH U.K.; Daniel Carey and Randy Thiel, New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, WI U.S.A.; Luis Cistue, Estación Experimental Aula Dei, CSIC, Zaragoza, Spain; Christopher Martens, Cereal Crop Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Madison, WI U.S.A.; and William Thomas, The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, Scotland, U.K. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY 4.0 International license. J. Am. Soc. Brew. Chem. 75(4):345-353, 2017.


(1) Corresponding author. Phone: +1.541.990.2141. E-mail: Dustin.Herb@cpsagu.com

​This research tested the hypothesis that barley genotype can affect beer flavor and assessed the relative contributions of genotype and location to beer sensory descriptors. Golden Promise, Full Pint, 34 of their doubled haploid progeny, and CDC Copeland were grown at three locations in Oregon, U.S.A. Grain from these trials was micromalted and the resulting malts used for nano-brewing. Sensory evaluations were conducted on the nano-brews. Barley genotype had significant effects on many sensory descriptors. The most significant sensory descriptors—when comparing barley genotypes—were cereal, color, floral, fruity, grassy, honey, malty, toasted, toffee, and sweet. Golden Promise was significantly higher in fruity, floral, and grassy flavors, whereas Full Pint was significantly higher in malty, toffee, and toasted flavors. CDC Copeland was closest to neutral for most flavor traits. There were notable differences for some descriptors between locations. New combinations of parental flavor attributes were observed in the progeny. Multitrait analysis revealed regions of the barley genome with significant effects on malting quality and flavor traits. These findings are, of course, applicable only to the barley germplasm tested, the environment sampled, and the protocols used for micromalting and brewing. The necessary larger-scale experiments involving optimized malts and larger volumes of beer are in process. Keywords: Barley, Beer, Flavor, Genetics, Malt, Terroir, Variety


Supplementary file contains 11 tables and one figure.