North Norfolk’s magnificent malt to be showcased at beer festival
Two north Norfolk firms have joined forces to spread the word about the region's world-beating barley growers at an upcoming beer festival.
Hindringham-based Norfolk Brewhouse are teaming up with H Banham Ltd of Hempton - known as the guardian of the Maris Otter grain - to host a bar at a Great British Beer Festival planned for St Andrew's Hall in Norwich for February 20-24.
The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) is hosting the festival, which is expected to draw visitors from across the region.
David Holliday, Norfolk Brewhouse's brewer, said the bar would be an opportunity to showcase Norfolk's malt, its growers, maltsters and brewers.
Mr Holliday said: 'Maris Otter is extensively grown in the festival's host county, and wider East Anglian region and from here it is exported to over 20 countries around the world.
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'It is such a success story for the region – with estimates showing that over 300 million pints are brewed with East Anglian Maris Otter every year.
'It is something which locally, the growers, the maltsters and the brewers are immensely proud of and we wanted to make sure that our bar at the festival will allow them all – from grain to glass – to contribute.'
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The bar will be a combination of Norfolk Brewhouse's Moon Gazer ales as well as new collaboration brews brewed with the others in the supply chain.
All beers will be brewed using Maris Otter malt.
Of the 10 beers on offer on the bar, six will be new for the festival.
The brewery is also looking to resurrect an ale from the 1960s or 70s to highlight the longevity of this variety of malt.
Mark Banham, of H Banham Ltd, added: 'Norfolk is world-renowned as being one of the very top barley growing areas in the world, with the soil and coastal climate creating superb growing conditions.
'Most barley varieties last about six or seven years and the fact that Maris Otter has survived for over 50 years in such a challenging market place is testament of the demand from craft brewers in using a premium product.
'To be able to celebrate that fact by involving growers and maltsters and telling their story to 17,000 visitors is a great opportunity.'
For more information, visit winter.gbbf.org.uk