Desserts with Discussion: The Comeback of Spartan Barley
for the Michigan Brewing Industry
Barley, combined with hops, yeast and water, it is one of the four essential components of almost any beer. Currently, most barley grown in Michigan originates in North Dakota and central Canada, regions with different climatic and environmental conditions. That is until now.
In a world that is focused on local and sustainable crops, Spartan Barley is a winning heirloom variety for Michigan. From a 5 gram sample that was saved in a seed bank Dr. Russ Freed and colleagues have been able to grow enough Spartan Barley to put it into production on a small scale. With Dr. Dean Baas’ help the first crop was planted and harvested on the Kellogg Farm here at Kellogg Biological Station in 2016.
- How the 1916 Spartan Barley was brought back to life in 2016
- Why barley is a good fit for Michigan, and some of the challenges for the barley comeback
- Current research projects on both winter and spring barley including variety and management trial