Explore beer

Five steps to tasting beer like a master brewer

Malting barley: the jewel in the Crown

We are proud of using high-quality natural ingredients like barley and hops to brew some of the world’s finest beers

Nowhere more so than in Australia, where barley is the country’s second largest grain crop. 

Australia boasts some truly impressive barley farms, which account for around 18% of the world’s barley trade and supply up to 90,000 tonnes a year to our Australian business, Carlton & United Beverages (CUB).

We impose extremely stringent specifications for malting barley, so despite the abundance of barley, only a handful of Australia’s 1,267 registered growers are qualified to supply the grade needed for our premium beer, Crown Lager.

And in 2013, our brew masters decided to set the bar even higher, vowing to find the country’s top malting barley growers so they could be sure they were buying from Australia’s finest suppliers.

placeholder

At the end of a rigorous search process that included running special growing days where different farmers’ products could be showcased and compared, our brew masters awarded the Crown Lager barley supply contract to three farms, two from the state of New South Wales and one from Victoria.

The latter is run by Andrew Weidemann, whose family farm has been supplying CUB for more than 30 years.

Andrew welcomes the way our Crown Lager team is sourcing barley via a ‘direct to farm’ approach and he is also passionate about the role played by Australian grain-growers in producing great beer.

“It’s important to help consumers understand where beer originates from and how it is produced,” he says. Like us, Andrew is well aware of the inextricable link between the quality of the land, the quality of the farming techniques and the quality of the final product.

And he is justifiably proud of the role his farm is playing in producing a much-loved brand. “We’re taking the best barley grown in Australia to make the best and finest beer in Australia.”

To help further in the search for quality ingredients to put in our beers, CUB is undertaking a joint research initiative with the University of Adelaide. Scientists and master brewers will pool their knowledge and expertise, using cutting-edge biochemistry to unlock the secrets of the barley grain. 

Together with SABMiller, the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in Plant Cell Walls is turning its attention to understanding how climate and agricultural practices affect barley, and the impact on malting and brewing.

The research will ensure we select the best new varieties of barley and adapt our traditional practices to get the most out of the grain. It is all part of a commitment to delivering the finest future Australian beers.

 

Related stories