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Maris Otter is a true gem.

With a wonderful back story and provenance, an undeniable flavour, excellent brewing qualities, and a worldwide fan base, we decided that we must capture the essence of Maris Otter all in one series.

Here at Crisp Malt, we have been working with Trett Films, following every step of the Maris Otter life cycle to document how special the variety really is. B&C Farming welcomed us to their farms, introduced us to their team, and allowed us to dive deep into the process, following them every step of the way.

Maris Otter is an old variety with lots of history and a solid fanbase. Starting in the late 50’s, this crop was a staple for brewers up and down the country. Despite almost disappearing in the 80’s, Maris Otter has managed to stand proudly in the UK as a malt destined for brewing. This malt has been the basis for many award-winning beers since.

In this first episode, we see what happens at the start of the Maris Otter lifecycle; the previous crop is ploughed over, providing fresh, clean soil for Maris Otter to be sown into. The seeds are planted about 1.5 inches deep, with around 300 seeds per square metre going into the ground. Although this crop is difficult to grow, B&C Farming are passionate about producing it to the perfect specification for brewers and distillers around the world. Nitrogen levels are carefully managed throughout the process and even the choice of field is considered before planting the seeds. It’s a well-oiled machine!

We are hoping this series will shine a light on how meticulous, careful, and knowledgeable our farmers are when it comes to growing Maris Otter. It’s not as easy as we may think to produce excellent quality barley – especially when fighting against the temperamental climate we have here in the UK. We are proud of our supply chain and the incredible farmers who make all this happen, and we are really excited to share our passion and love for Maris Otter with you.

We hope you enjoy the first episode of our new series, and we can’t wait to share the next installments with you this year. Keep an eye out for Episode 2 in April!

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