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Winter Barley, Fall Spirits

When I started brewing I never saw myself getting sentimental over barley. Things have changed since we started growing our own at the Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley.


This first picture shows one of the fields where we planted 100 acres of Risk™ winter malting barley last fall. It’s incredibly green and lush.

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Here’s a closer view. The shoots are about six inches high.

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The same field in front of Tygh Ridge. Tygh Ridge is part of a pair of ridges that protect the farm and the barley from the harsh winter storms that race through the Columbia River Gorge.

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The height of the plants and the green color are signs that we have a healthy crop on our hands. What we want now is cool and moist weather for the next few months while the barley grows and fills with kernels. This helps the barley to grow slowly, and for the kernels to become more plump.

I keep thinking this might be our best crop of Risk™ malting barley ever. And so far, nothing has changed my optimism. I can’t wait to see how it looks at harvest, to taste it after it comes off the malting floor, and to brew with it to create the mash for our next generation of Rogue Spirits.