Effects of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) variety and growing environment on beer flavor

Dustin Herb, Tanya Filichkin, Scott Fisk, Laura Helgerson, Patrick Hayes, Brigid Meints, Rebecca Jennings, Robert Monsour, Sean Tynan, Kristi Vinkemeier, Ignacio Romagosa, Matthew Moscou, Daniel Carey, Randy Thiel, Luis Cistue, William Thomas

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​This research tested the hypothesis that barley genotype can affect beer flavor and assessed the relative contributions of genotype and location to beer sensory descriptors. Golden Promise, Full Pint, 34 of their doubled haploid progeny, and CDC Copeland were grown at three locations in Oregon, U.S.A. Grain from these trials was micromalted and the resulting malts used for nano-brewing. Sensory evaluations were conducted on the nano-brews. Barley genotype had significant effects on many sensory descriptors. The most significant sensory descriptors—when comparing barley genotypes—were cereal, color, floral, fruity, grassy, honey, malty, toasted, toffee, and sweet. Golden Promise was significantly higher in fruity, floral, and grassy flavors, whereas Full Pint was significantly higher in malty, toffee, and toasted flavors. CDC Copeland was closest to neutral for most flavor traits. There were notable differences for some descriptors between locations. New combinations of parental flavor attributes were observed in the progeny. Multitrait analysis revealed regions of the barley genome with significant effects on malting quality and flavor traits. These findings are, of course, applicable only to the barley germplasm tested, the environment sampled, and the protocols used for micromalting and brewing. The necessary larger-scale experiments involving optimized malts and larger volumes of beer are in process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018


  • Barley
  • beer
  • flavor
  • genetics
  • malt
  • terroir
  • variety

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