Brewery’s search for the perfect grain leads to Holkham partnership

Holkham Estate farm manager James Beamish. Picture: Ian Burt

Holkham Estate farm manager James Beamish. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

With its perfect coastal micro-climate the Holkham estate has a long tradition of growing some of the finest crops.

Marston's products at their brewery. Photo: David Jones/PA Wire

Marston's products at their brewery. Photo: David Jones/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Now grains grown by its farms have been selected by one of the country's leading breweries to be used as the backbone supply for its beers.

The north Norfolk estate has entered into a partnership with Marston's Brewery to provide the grain for a large proportion of the company's Burton malt.

The brewery has been looking into the main components of what makes its beers extra special and have taken steps to working with suppliers whose ideals and practices echo Marston's continual strive for quality.

The deal was struck after a brewing team from Marston's visited the Holkham Estate after learning of its long tradition of growing both winter and spring barley for the brewing industry.

Marstons logo

Marstons logo - Credit: Archant


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The grain gives the beer much of its flavour and appearance when it ferments into alcohol and their search for the perfect supply led them to the north Norfolk coast.

Head brewer Patrick McGinty said: 'It was fantastic to meet such a great team and people who are so passionate about their product as much as we are. Our whole focus is built around 'From Burton with Love' and what better way to celebrate this than taking the grain from the heart of crop agriculture to the heart of Burton brewing.'

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James Beamish, Holkham's farm manager, added: 'The Holkham Estate is considered to be the birthplace of modern agriculture, with Thomas William Coke, the 1st Earl of Leicester, better known as Coke of Norfolk, renowned for championing innovation in agriculture in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

'Today farming at Holkham adopts many of Coke's principles and we are encouraged that through the partnership to supply Marston's with malting barley, we will be able to work with Holkham's tenant farmers to secure their long-term sustainability for the estate in the barley industry.

'The soil and climate here are ideal for growing superlative malting barley and we are confident that our product fits well with Marston's values for provenance and quality.'

The agreement is set to extend past the 2019 harvest, and will use classics such as Pedigree and 61 Deep, as well as newer innovative beers.

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