IB&M Sponsors KBS Desserts with Discussion Event

150 150 Independent Malt

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.

Dr. Russ Freed (Retired MSU Prof. CANR Dept. of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences) and Dr. Dean Baas (MSU Extension Sustainable Agriculture Educator) will share:

  • 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

IB&M Planting the Seed in Litchfield, MI

150 150 Independent Malt

A winter barley test plot, supplied by major seed company used for demonstration was planted September, 2018 in Litchfield, Michigan.

We partnered with KBS and other local farmers to help choose varieties, and our goal is to test a couple different varieties.

IB&M Sponsors ALL KBS 2018 Field Days

150 150 Independent Malt

The Michigan State University malting barley research program is excited to showcase the research underway for the 2018 crop season. The MSU Malting Barley Field Day in Hickory Corners starts at 8 a.m. with registration and refreshments, followed by an educational program featuring MSU researchers, representatives from the barley seed industry and a tour of the research plots. Station manager and barley researcher Book Wilke will share his experiences with growing malting barley and his project underway for double-cropping opportunities. The field day will conclude with a free networking lunch.

The following research projects will be on display and results from the 2017 trials will be shared.

  • Eastern Spring Barley Nursery: 28 spring malting barley varieties tested for agronomic and malt quality performance.
  • Winter Malting Barley Trial: 27 winter malting barley varieties tested for agronomic and malt quality performance.
  • Winter Malting Barley Management Trials: Various management treatments are explored in this research, including fertility and fungicide.

Two other field day opportunities are scheduled and can be registered for at the MSU

Malting Barley Field Day page.

  • Luckhardt Field Day, June 19, 6-8 p.m., Saline, Michigan
  • Thumb Field Day, June 25, 5-7 p.m., Kawkawlin, Michigan


IB&M Sponsors Great Lakes Hops & Barley Conference

150 150 Independent Malt

The conference will feature a track on hop as well as barley and malt for designed for both growers and brewers. Several prominent speakers from around the country will be on hand to discuss: horticultural practices, pest and disease control, harvest and post-harvest practices, nutrient management, and much more.

The conference will feature a pre-conference hop introductory track on Monday, March 12 and then focus on advanced hop production along with barley and malt topics on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13-14.

Beer Pairing Reception with Fred Bueltmann – There will also be a brewer/grower networking session that focuses on hop and malt barley quality. The networking session will provide growers with a better idea of quality requirements and help align the supply of Michigan grown hops and malt barley with brewer needs.

During the reception, enjoy the musical stylings of the Springtails. The Springtails are a charming Michigan-based husband-and-wife duo, Andy & Julianna Wilson. Mixing new with old vaudeville and swing-era standards, her lilting voice and snappy ukulele with his soulful harmonica and retro-sounding horn transport listeners back in time with songs that range from haunting ballads to playful swing. Mike Smalley on upright bass and Bob Bryan on drums and washboard complete the quartet version of the band.

Litchfield Office

IB&M Moves Offices to Litchfield, MI

845 500 Independent Malt

IB&M Sponsors KBS Field Day Event

1030 610 Independent Malt

Over 50 spring and winter varieties will be viewable at the event, and the agenda will include speakers from the seed industry and highlight MSU malting barley researcher, Dr. Brook Wilke. A tour of malting barley management trials will also be offered. 

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