Since 2004, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) has released its annual list of varieties they believe are top notch for producers. Three qualities these recommendations must excel in are: performance, quality, and marketability.
These varieties have been tested on a pilot scale and exhibit good malting and brewing characteristics, says the CMBTC. Not only are they tested by the CMBTC, the centre also takes into account input from grain companies, domestic and international maltsters and brewers, grower associations, and seed companies.
“The overall purpose of the list is to help producers choose malting barley varieties with the greatest potential to be selected for malt,” says Peter Watts, managing director of the CMBTC.
For the 2019-20 crop year, AC Metcalfe and CDC Copeland remain what the centre calls “established” in regards to demand. New varieties such as AAC Synergy, CDC Bow, AAC Connect, are “growing” in demand. Although six-row malting barley is limited, the centre leans towards the variety, Legacy.
Right now, two varieties — CDC Fraser and Lowe — are undergoing seed propagation and commercial market development. All varieties on the list are registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). See the entire list, here.