The Oxford Companion to Beer definition of
Alexis (Barley) is a German two-row spring brewing barley bred by Saatzucht Josef Breun GmbH & Co KG of Herzogenaurach near Nuremberg, Bavaria. It was first registered with the Bundessortenamt (the German government crop-licensing agency) in 1986 and subsequently planted in virtually every major brewing barley-growing area of the world. It remained in commercial use for almost twice as long as an average barley variety and was withdrawn from the German recommended list only at the end of 2008. Although perhaps a mixed bag agronomically, Alexis’ longevity was well deserved because its brewing qualities were outstanding. On the field, Alexis’ maturation, homogeneity, and mildew resistance were average or better than average and its yield, stalk sturdiness, and resistance to rust were moderately to severely below average. In the brewhouse, however, its very low protein and viscosity values, its excellent diastatic power and friability, and its high extract values more than made up for its agronomic shortcomings. See diastatic power, extracts, friability, and proteins. Alexis has an impressive genealogy, which goes back all the way to the Czech variety Old Haná agroecotype of the mid-1800s, perhaps the most important historical brewing barley variety ever. See haná (barley). Alexis is a cross between the once popular variety BR1622 and the iconic variety Trumpf, which was bred in 1973 in what was then East Germany. Trumpf, in turn, carried the genes of the venerable Czech variety Diamant, which was a descendant from the Haná lineage. True to tradition, Alexis, although no longer planted ubiquitously, has passed on its favorable genes to several successor varieties, including the highly regarded brewing barley variety Barke, which was bred in 1996 from Libelle and Alexis.