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Special Norfolk brew to mark Otter malting barley

PUBLISHED: 11:48 08 June 2013

Norfolk grain merchants H Banham are promoting the best East Anglia malting barley Maris Otter with a specially brewed beer.

The limited edition Norfolk Otter Ale has been produced by the Norfolk Brewhouse.

Recognised and respected in the brewing industry as the premium malt for brewing beer, 500 bottles of Norfolk Otter Ale will be distributed to barley growers to encourage more of them to think about growing one of the country’s finest malting barleys.

Established in 1956, the family-run firm, H Banham, which is based in Hempton, Fakenham, is a co-owner of the rights to the Maris Otter variety.

The company’s managing director Mark Banham, said: “Maris Otter was initially traded by my family in the 1960s, thanks to the barley’s superior quality and the commitment of growers’ its popularity has risen amongst craft and major brewers since the turn of the century.

“We are proud to be linked with Norfolk’s rich agricultural heritage as well as being able to send Maris Otter to maltsters across the UK.”

Based at nearby Hindringham, the Norfolk Brewhouse use Maris Otter, which is grown locally and malted by Crisp Malting Group in Great Ryburgh.

Brewer David Holliday, who established the business in February last year, said: “We are delighted to have been asked to produce the ale and being so local to Banham’s and Crisp Malting, it has also been an excellent way for local businesses to work together.

“Maris Otter is considered the finest malting barley and as so much is grown right on our doorstep, we would consider nothing else to brew with.

“We get consistently good extract, which ultimately means a good wort and great beer.”

Mr Holiday’s recipes include three traditional Moon Gazer ales, Golden, Amber and Ruby and two craft lagers.

The commitment to Maris Otter and the quality it produces in its brews can be seen by some of the multi-award winning brewers who consistently use it, including Woodforde’s of Woodbastwick, Grain Brewery and Oakham Ales.

The Crisp Malting Group, which dates from 1870, is the country’s leading independent maltster producing more than 250,000 tonnes of malt for brewers, distillers and the food industry.

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