Locale: Walla Walla Valley, Wash. Vintage: 2017
FARMING PARTNER(S): H.T. Rea Farming
MALTING PARTNER(S): Palouse Pint; Skagit Valley Malting
BARLEY: LCS Genie (64 ac); OSU Full Pint (11 ac)
CERTS & ATTRIBUTES: Salmon-Safe Certified; Dry Farmed
STATUS: barley Seeded 4/15, actively growing
Availability: reserve your finished malt today!
[2016 Vintage malt now available]
For our 2016 vintage, we worked with H.T. Rea Farming to select their highest quality, Salmon-Safe Certified, dry-farmed winter wheats going into harvest. Finished wheat malt from these lots is now available to PNW brewers, distillers, and bakers. This year, the Rea family is now committed to growing our premium Salmon-Safe malting barley. And we're all really excited about that.
The barley is seeded to two fields, both with substantial frontage on both the North and South Forks of Russell Creek. Genie was selected due to its agronomic, malting, and brewing performance from our 2016 vintage. It's been doing an excellent job. Also, using Genie in each of our 2017 locales will enable brewers and distillers to explore cross-locale and cross-vintage impacts on malt flavor. Full Pint was selected due to its newfound cult following in the craft beer scene. Cross-locale comparisons will also be possible with 2017 Full Pint from our Willamette Valley locale.
With such a late barley seeding, this is going to be an interesting year to watch unfold. Certainly much different than 2016. The beauty of these dry-farmed crops, as opposed to those nursed by irrigation, is that the difference should translate into nuance in malt quality. On the flip side, they're also a bit more likely to fail.
April 22, 2017
A narrow seeding window allowed us to seed all of both spring barley fields on April 15th. The rains promptly returned. We went out with the landowners today to tour a recent stream restoration project. Our barley has germinated and should fully emerge in the next few days. Happy #EarthDay!
May 6, 2017
We had the pleasure to tour the fields with Co-Founder/CEO of Berlin's BRLO brewery. A soaking rain settled in the night prior, topping off soil moisture for the next bout of sunshine and warmth. Both fields are coming on strong.
June 4, 2017
The Genie and Full Pint are both looking fabulous. Hot and dry weather set up for a couple weeks in this locale, with little reprieve. We started to get a bit nervous about the trajectory of these fields. Then we received two days of clouds and intermittent rain to restore some soil moisture, followed by warm sunny days. There's another dose of rain in the forecast. Things are looking good again.
June 27, 2017
The stressors of summer, heat and drought, are at work in the Walla Walla Valley. Fall seeded grains are turning golden in a hurry. Our spring seeded malting barley goes through pollination and early stage kernel development. Multiple wicked storms rolled through yesterday, leaving behind an extra inch or more of moisture in places. Hail and 60+ mph winds dealt a bit of damage to more mature crops.