Back from the Dead - See what beer lovers have been missing out on for 80 years
- Credit: Archant
A malt popular in the Victorian era has been brought back as two Norfolk breweries have come together to bring beer lovers a taste they have missed out on for more than 80 years.
Poppyland Brewery in Cromer and Norfolk Brewhouse, in Hindringham, near Fakenham, have crafted a beer which showcased two ingredients once thought lost to the brewing fraternity.
The new brew is being brought out to celebrate the Norwich City of Ale Festival, starting on May 25.
During a chance beer and chat at the National Winter Ales Festival, in Norwich with maltsters Crisp Maltings, based in the Great Ryburgh, near Fakenham, the subject of Chevallier malt was discussed.
David Holliday from the Norfolk Brewhouse said: 'This is a fascinating story of heritage malt, first grown in the 1824 – in Suffolk – from grain selected by Dr John Chevallier.
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'The malt became established the world over as one of the leading brewing malts.
'However, it was to last be grown commercially in the UK in the 1930s.
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'That is until a couple of years ago when, thanks to collaboration with The John Innis Centre, in Norwich and Crisp Maltings, the malt was resurrected.
'There is limited Norfolk-grown Chevallier malt available and we wanted to see just what beer lovers had been missing out on for a little over 80 years.'
A hop called Ernest, first selected in 1921, from Charles Faram hop merchants has been used.
The brewers created two versions. The Norfolk Brewhouse brewed a cask version which is a pure blend of the resurrected ingredients, using just Chevallier Malt and the Ernest hops.
Golden in colour, the heritage malt imparts a robust, dominant flavour and so the beer is to be quite heavily hoped to balance that.
The bottled version, brewed at Popplyland Brewery, will be slightly stronger at 6pc and also include some coloured malts to create a robust and fruity American Red Ale.
Martin Warren at Poppyland added a third resurrected ingredient – namely kveik – an ancient strain of Norwegian yeast.
This version of the beer is appropriately named Back from the Dead.
The history of Chevallier
The origins of Chevallier date back to 1825, with the variety attributed to the efforts of Rev John Chevallier, the son of British astronomer and mathematician Rev Temple Chevallier. I
t eventually gave way mid-20th century, with the plant being tall and prone to 'lodging', a bending of the stalk, as well as providing lower yields than the varieties that surpassed and replaced it.
The variety returned to the attention of the modern world thanks to research into Fusarium resistance. And, according to Dr David Griggs of Crisp Malting, this quality, combined with modern agricultural techniques to manage plant heights and stiffen stems, make the return of Chevallier possible.