American Malting Barley Association releases recommended variety list with two additions

The American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) Board of Directors annually develops a list of recommended malting barley varieties for U.S. growers for the upcoming crop year.  AMBA is a nonprofit trade organization, which represents the interests of end users of malting barley, including maltsters, brewers, distillers, and food processors. Their work seeks to maintain a stable and high quality supply of malting barley for their 60+ members throughout the U.S.

The AMBA Recommended List is intended to provide U.S. growers with guidance as to what varieties the industry may be contracting or purchasing in the coming year. It is not intended as a list of approved or certified malting varieties for the use by brewers, distillers, food companies, or maltsters. There may be many suitable malting barley varieties grown domestically or internationally that are not on the list yet have quality characteristics desired by the industry. Some varieties will be used in large quantities and many others are only utilized in niche markets, so producers are encouraged to contact their local elevator, grain handler or processor to gauge market demand for any variety grown in their region prior to seeding.

Additions to the 2023 list include CDC Fraser and KWS Donau. 

  • CDC Fraser is a spring variety registered in Canada in 2016 and developed by Dr. Aaron Beattie at the Crop Development Centre, University of Saskatchewan. It offers high extract, enzyme, and grain yield with a good disease resistance package. CDC Fraser has quickly gained momentum in western Canada, often replacing AC Metcalfe acreage. 
  • KWS Donau is a winter variety widely used in Austria and released by KWS Seeds. It is an early maturing variety with good yield, providing light-colored malts with favorable beta-glucan. KWS Donau possesses many of the same favorable attributes of its predecessor, KWS Wintmalt.

Varieties excluded from the 2023 list include Pinnacle and Charles – two varieties that have experienced significant decline in acreage over the past several years and are no longer considered recommended varieties to growers. 

With these changes from last year, the list of recommended malting barley varieties for 2023 is as follows:

Two-Row Varieties
AAC Connect Bill Coors 100 Flavia* Merit 57 ND Genesis
AAC Synergy CDC Copeland Hockett Moravian 37 Newdale
ABI Cardinal CDC Fraser KWS Donau* Moravian 69 Puffin*
ABI Eagle Conrad LCS Genie Moravian 164 Regina*
ABI Growler Endeavor* LCS Odyssey Moravian 165 Thunder*
ABI Voyager Expedition LCS Violetta* Moravian 170 Wintmalt*
AC Metcalfe Explorer Mayflower Moravian 179
Six-Row Varieties
Celebration Lacey Quest Tradition 
Innovation Legacy Thoroughbred*

* Winter varieties

Photo (courtesy of SeCan) of CDC Fraser