Bintani has launched the second iteration of its Signature Malt initiative, announcing Tasmania as the source for ‘Australia’s best’ barley for 2019.
The Signature Malt program has been developed in conjunction with Joe White Maltings and Mont Stuart, Operations Manager for Joe White Maltings, said the program aims to find the best malting barley in the country.
“The whole idea was to have barley from a small defined area that represents what we believe is the best barley in Australia. And then we malt that at the local maltings,” Stuart said.
This year’s malt comes from around Ross in Tasmania’s midlands, which Stuart said had experienced “absolutely perfect conditions” this year and made the malting process much easier with a higher quality result.
“If you get barley from a really perfect crop the water uptake [during malting] is uniform, the enzyme development can be controlled better,” he said.
Last year’s Signature Malt came from New South Wales, but Bintani’s Dale Meddings said Tasmania was the pick of the crop in 2019.
“This year, despite the fact that it was a horrible barley season just about all over the country, we were able to isolate some really magnificent parcels of barley down in Tassie and so we’re going to see a really high quality product,” he said.
Meddings said consistency of grain size is a big issue for craft brewers and the efficiency they can achieve in the brewhouse, which Signature Malt addesses.
“The grain size consistency of Signature Malt is much better for craft brewers through much greater efficiency,” he said.
“Craft brewers generally use a two roller mill. Malt outside of the norm falls through and you lose the extract efficiency.
“For our brewers it’s a level of attention that they haven’t received from the big maltsters before but it’s something that we feel is important.”
Moo Brew head brewer Dave Magill said that consistency is something that brewers are increasingly looking to in their beers and, as a result, also in their ingredients.
“Being able to build a beer around the consistency of a product is extremely important at the present time,” he said.
“We only use four ingredients. The differentiation between beers has to come from consistency within the brewhouse and also from the raw materials that you actually get your hands on.”
Brand Tasmania’s Pip Dawson said the single source of origin was an important element of a product such as malt.
“I do think consumers care. There’ll be some who just go and drink beer and aren’t interested it, but I think more and more people are interested in that,” she said.
“They want to hear the story, and I think particularly in Tassie, but probably elsewhere as well, it also comes into that experience piece.
“Whether it goes with the brewpub, people want to come experience the beer, are willing to pay more but want to hear more about it and perhaps actually go and see how it’s brewed and see how it’s made and have that experience as well,” she said.
You can hear more from Brand Tasmania’s Pip Dawson, together with Moo Brew Head Brewer Dave Magill, barley grower Dave Skipper, Maltser Dave Bauld and Bintani’s Justin Fox in this special podcast looking at the background of Signature Malt.
This content has been produced in partnership with Bintani but, as with anything that we produce under our name, we think its great content and were pleased to help tell the story.