Master Beer Sommelier, Marc Stroobandt can chat about barley and beer. Marc can talk about the history of this ancient grain and barley’s role in beer. He can discuss how barley’s role in beer is similar to yeast in bread, essential for fermentation, and responsible for beer’s color, flavor, mouthfeel and aroma. Marc can also chat about how different beer styles complements foods made with barley, from soups to breads to salads, and share some of his favorite recipes and pairings.
BARLEY – THE “SOUL OF BEER”
- Beer’s four core ingredients are barley, water, hops and yeast.
- Barley is one of the world's oldest cultivated cereal grains
- Barley is the “soul” of beer. There’s a saying, “No barley = no beer.”
- Malted barley gives beer its color, malty sweet flavor, body, head and the natural sugars for fermentation. It comes in a variety of colors, flavors, and degrees of roastiness that affect the color and taste of the beer.
HISTORY OF BARLEY
- Ancient Egyptians used barley to brew beer and as currency. Essentially they used barley money to buy barley beer.
- Everyone gives hops the credit for beer, but barley gives beer its beautiful range of colors, sweetness, and that unmistakable aroma we all know and love.
- Barley is one of the most versatile grains and is found all over the world in cereals, soups, baked goods and of course, beer.
- Back in the roman gladiator days, fighters would eat barley for breakfast before they fought in the Coliseum, earning them the nickname “barley men.”
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