What A Bumper Crop Of Maris Otter Might Mean

Fabulous news out of England for those few remaining beer drinkers who enjoy the taste of beer:

With much of the harvest already in store, Robin Appel Ltd suggests the low nitrogen levels required by ale brewers have been achieved, with an average of 1.37 – 1.40 per cent against a five-year average of 1.65 per cent. Yields of Maris Otter barley, which normally average two tonnes per acre, look like running at nearer two and a quarter, with good harvests reported from Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Yorkshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Cornwall. Maris Otter is winter-sown, and the damp winter and wet May have ensured good yields. A disease-free growing season has meant the highest ever planted area looked the best in years.

Granted, this might not be of much interest to those watching the North American adjunct market, those day trading in the cherry syrup markets and watching the after hours stemware trading but this should be good news, shouldn’t it? I remember my first bag of Maris Otter like it was yesterday. While other pale malts smelled of grain, this was all summer fields and scything maidens. We cross the big water soon heading to hang out with family for a bit on the sunny south shore of the Firth of Forth. While there, I hope to avoid all contact with DIPAs, miss every bourbon barreled apricot saison and dodge all the pop star brewers. But, with any luck, there shall be the fermented steepings of Maris Otter with nary a cicerone in sight. Can it be done?

And, just to be clear, I have no plans whatsoever to visit the beer can tree of Aberdeen.

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