People understand how terroir affects wine, hops, and even coffee, but how terroir affects barley hasn’t really been explored in great detail. That’s changing, and one Alberta brewery hopes to elevate beer’s unexplored ingredient.
In a proper pale ale, the focus is, correctly, on the hops. However, no matter whether that pale ale is British in origin, or American, or Belgian, or is from the new hazy school, the malt that goes into the recipe matters.
While an essential ingredient in beer, malt is overlooked in favor of hops or yeast. However, the ingredient that gives color, ABV, and a strong dose of character is important. We asked a few of our favorite brewers to share their malt-forward beer picks.
With a wide array of flavors that are imparted by simply using different malts and grain, the flavors in beer have never been more specific or diverse. From light and sweet flavors, to roast and smoke, the flavors in between continuously delight the palate
Color is vitally important to the visual experience of enjoying a beer. The malt and grain bill in recipes also imparts flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel. Let's dive a little deeper into the subject, and realize there’s great complexity in the ordinary.
Interest from craft brewers, says one malt researcher, has "opened up a new era of research in grain and malting. There hadn't been innovation in malt for years." A look to the future of malt, its local impacts, and the embrace from brewers.
Mark Hastings of Überbrew argues that the selection and combination of hops varieties isn't the end-all, be-all of brewing hoppy styles. The real magic is finding the right malt and yeast combination that pulls the best character out of those hops.