Different varieties of hops can be used to create an array of flavors and styles of beer. Does the variety of barley used in beer-making affect the flavor of the brew?
This is a question UC Cooperative Extension advisor Konrad Mathesius hopes beer drinkers will answer on Friday, July 12, at YOLO Brewing Company in West Sacramento.
To find out if barley makes a difference, the public is invited to taste a flight of five beers – four beers made from the specially grown barley varieties and YOLO Brewing's own Chinook SMASH DIPA – then fill out a short survey about what they taste.
Several varieties of malting barley were grown by a Woodland farmer in the same field, under the same conditions, then brewed with the same recipe by YOLO brewing company.
The taste test is part of the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Malt Project evaluating malting barley's potential as new crop in California. Mathesius is also studying whether barley can be grown well in California and which varieties perform best for growers, maltsters and brewers.
“We'll conduct a consumer preference survey to answer the questions: Can the average consumer pick up on differences that come about solely from the barley variety used in the brew recipe? Are there any particular favorites that stand out?” Mathesius said.
If there is a clear favorite among the specialty barley beers, Mathesius will compare it with notes from Sierra Nevada's tasting panel to identify the flavor characteristics people tend to favor.
The beer tasting will be Friday, July 12, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at YOLO Brewing Company, 1520 Terminal St, West Sacramento, California 95691.
A pre-selected flight of the four specialty beers plus YOLO Brewing's Chinook SMASH DIPA costs $10.
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