Variety Development

Malting barley varieties are the raw material that powers the malting and brewing industry, and the quality of these varieties has a significant impact on the quality of malt and beer.

BMBRI uses its extensive knowledge of malting and brewing quality preferences in a collective effort with others in the supply chain to help BMBRI members produce first-rate malt barley products for a variety of customers. The core of this effort is variety evaluation.

Selecting top performers for malting quality

Canada’s current system for the registration of new barley varieties is based on merit, and BMBRI plays a significant role in assessing whether candidate barley lines meet critical requirements for malting and brewing.

BMBRI and its member companies are represented on the Prairie Recommending Committee for Oat and Barley (PRCOB) Evaluation Team for Barley Quality. The PRCOB makes recommendations to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on which new barley lines developed for the Canadian prairie should be approved for registration.

Key role in pre-registration testing

PRCOB decisions on malting barley are based on data from Cooperative and BMBRI-coordinated Collaborative tests. BMBRI members participate in the evaluation of malting quality results from Cooperative trials, and BMBRI coordinates all aspects of the Collaborative trials.

BMBRI’s variety evaluation effort is led by its Technical Committee. The Committee includes a representative of each BMBRI member, along with one representative from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and one from the Canadian Grain Commission’s Grain Research Laboratory.

Post registration trials

BMBRI member companies also perform pre-competitive, post registration plant scale trials on selected lines from the pool of newly registered varieties, to determine which have acceptable malting and brewing performance.