Maris Otter is widely acknowledged as the finest-quality brewing malt available.
Stroud Brewery launches its organic Maris Otter Vintage Ale 2011. At 7.5% ABV, this bottle conditioned, single malt, single hopped beer has been brewed using 100% Organic Maris Otter barley malt and English Organic First Gold hops giving this beer a balanced bitterness and spicy, orangey, fruity character.
“We are thrilled to have exclusive use of this 2011 crop of Organic Maris Otter, and wanted to celebrate the variety, and capture its unique qualities in this very special ale.
Greg Pilley - MD and owner
For an introduction to this special vintage bottled beer watch this short video
- or if you'd like a little more background there's a longer version below.
Maris Otter has a reputation as a flexible and responsive variety for maltsters and brewers. Brewers like Maris Otter malt because it is easy to handle and very "forgiving" in the brew house and, more importantly, it adds a unique biscuity flavour that is much favoured over malt from modern varieties.
The first crops of organic Maris Otter have been grown on Macaroni Farm, Eastleach, Nr. Cirencester, and malted by Warminster Maltings in Wiltshire, Britain’s oldest working floor maltings. The malt is skilfully hand crafted using the same methods and tools employed for the last 150 years to produce a fine skinned crispy sweet malt.
The Maris Otter variety was bred by Dr GDH Bell at Cambridge in the 1960’s, to produce a barley that would give consistently high quality malt for the cask conditioned ale market. However with increasing industrialisation of farming, farmers were encouraged to advance to higher yielding varieties, and the production of Maris Otter declined. But in the early 1990’s the variety was brought back from the brink of extinction by Hampshire based barley merchant Robin Appel, now the owner of Warminster Maltings. Much work was done to clean up the stock and make it commercially viable once again. A unique three-way contract between farmer, merchant and maltster enables the farmer to be paid the premium it deserves over modern varieties such as Optic or Pearl.
“Brewing a local beer is one thing, but brewing it using locally grown barley really sets it apart. Cotswolds farmers produce amongst the highest quality malting barleys in the UK and our brewery together with Warminster are the links in the chain that connect local drinkers with their local farms and the characteristic landscape they create.
View the full version of the Maris Otter Vintage Ale story