Canada, Home to the World’s Finest Two-Row Barley
We talk a lot about the quality of the grain used in the Prairie Malt products we deliver to your brewhouse or distillery.
But what’s so special about Canadian two-row barley? And how is it different from barley grown in other parts of the world?
Optimal Growing Conditions
For starters, Canadian two-row barley typically exhibits higher protein content. This superior level of grain quality owes a fair amount of gratitude to optimal summertime growing conditions—in particular, longer days with consistently warm daytime and cooler overnight temperatures—present throughout much of the prairie provinces.
And if you’ve learned a thing or two about the chemistry within the brewing and distilling processes, you’ll remember that strong protein levels translate to increased enzymatic activity. The end result is that you are able to achieve desired levels of quality and balance in your finished products.
The climate conditions in the region also allow producers to grow two-row malting barley in a more sustainable way, using fewer pesticides and harvest aid chemicals.
Rich, Quality Soil
Another factor contributing to the appeal of Canada’s malting barley has to do with the rich, fertile soil found in vast parts of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.
Without getting too deep into the agronomics of barley production, the quality soil—preserved in no insignificant way by smart, innovative conservation practices used by Canadian growers—simply produces better grain.
Strong Barley Varieties
Finally, Canadians care deeply about their craft beer and spirits as well as the role malting barley plays within their economy. In turn, the Canadian government has invested extensive R&D efforts—and resources—into barley production.
The genetic varieties barley producers plant are developed specifically for brewing and distilling and are uniquely suited for Canada’s growing climate and conditions.
Only the Best Malts for Our Brewers and Distillers
There’s no doubt the craft industry still has a significant appetite for the many excellent varieties of barley grown in Europe. And we’re proud to work with growers in the EU and the United Kingdom to source some of the finest barley around to send to one of our many distinguished malt houses of Europe.
But at Prairie Malt, we know we’ve got something special right outside our window—and it’s our privilege to put the finest two-row barley in the world into the hands of artisans like you.