Around the World with Weyermann®: A Tour of Terroir and Heirloom Malts
Way back in 1879, the same year Edison invented the light bulb in New Jersey, Johann Baptist Weyermann pitched a tent and fired up a malt-roasting drum in Bamberg, Germany. The world’s been a brighter place ever since.
What was true 143 years ago remains true today: Great beer comes from great ingredients. With their line of Terroir and Heirloom Malts, Weyermann® highlights how soil, water, air, and other unique climate characteristics can play a role in styles ranging from Pilsner to Pale Ale. And because faithfully reproducing traditional and authentic flavors from the past is part of their pedigree, Weyermann® still sends select varieties through their historic floor-malting facilities like they did generations ago — a labor-intensive process that leads to rich, earthy aromas and outstanding performance in the brewhouse.
For more about where Weyermann® Heirloom and Terroir Malts come from and all the delicious places they’ll take you, slip into your red overalls and hop aboard the grain train.
Greetings from Bavaria
Originating basically in Bamberg’s backyard, Weyermann® Isaria 1924® has Bavarian roots reaching back to 1912. First approved for commercial use in 1924, Isaria is the oldest certified German brewing barley. Used in German Lagers from Märzens to Dunkels to Bocks, it’s prized for a soft mouthfeel and a palate of biscuits and malty sweetness. Now grown in the Thuringian Basin near Weyermann®’s Clingen plant, Isaria won over German brewers in the first half of the 20th century. It seems to be doing the same all over again.
The Weyermann® Barke® line celebrates all things Bavaria as well.
- The Weyermann® Barke® Pilsner malt, for starters, is a plump two-row variety developed just 30 miles outside Bamberg. Valued for its intense flavor, lingering malty sweetness, and enhanced body and mouthfeel, it was carefully shepherded back from the seedbank and remains a trusted building block for Bavarian Helles and Kellerbiers.
- Meanwhile, Weyermann® Barke® Vienna scores high marks for its golden color, smooth taste, and gentle notes of honey, light toffee, almond, and hazelnut. An ideal base for bright lager beers with intense malt flavors and aromas, Vienna also shines in Ales and Wheat beers.
- Weyermann® Barke® Munich clocks in closer to the middle of the Lovibond meter, digging down deep for dark beer aromas, a bigger body, and notes of honey and pastries. Often found luxuriating in Doppelbocks, Altbiers, Porters, and Stouts, Barke® Munich behaves admirably in the brewhouse and during filtration.
Kissed by the Adriatic Sea
Weyermann® Eraclea Pilsner Malt is produced from premium Eraclea barley grown northeast of Venice, Italy. Technically a spring barley variety, the Adriatic region’s unique climate produces a foggy and moist winter that rewards autumn planting. When the spring rains hit area fields, it’s game on for Eraclea, grapes for Prosecco, and durum wheat for pasta. Sunny days and dry conditions help produce an excellent malt destined for crisp Mediterranean-style Pale Lagers and Ales with perfect, stable foam. Sensory characteristics include notes of grass and a delicate farm-fresh aroma.
If video’s more your thing, here’s Axel Jany from Weyermann® with the rundown on the malts mentioned above.
Back to Bohemia
Home to the world’s first Pilsner, today’s Czech Republic is rich in brewing history and tradition. Weyermann®’s Bohemian Line honors that heritage with a range of 100 percent Bohemian barley varieties and time-tested floor-malting techniques that go back centuries.
Starting with the finest quality barley varieties Bojoz and Malz, maltsters at the Weyermann® facility in Benesov, Czech Republic, patiently coax deep, rich flavors and aromas from the malt through a slow and labor-intensive floor-malting process. Resulting in undeniable character and flavor intensity, Weyermann®’s Floor-Malted line promises handcrafted, artisanal ingredients, historical authenticity, and superb quality for a range of specialty beers.
- Floor-Malted Bohemian Pils – Perfect for historically accurate Bohemian Pilsners, malty-sweet notes of honey and biscuit flirt with slight nuttiness before ushering in the rich, earthy aromas derived from floor-malting.
- Floor-Malted Bohemian Dark Malt – Toasty and biscuity, its intense malt-sweetness and moderate breadiness make the Floor-Malted Dark Malt suitable wherever Munich Malt is called for, particularly Munich Dunkel Lagers.
- Floor-Malted Bohemian Wheat Malt – Destined for Czech Wheat Ales, Wheat Wine, and Mild Ales, the Bohemian Wheat Malt offers mild malt sweetness and a velvet-creamy mouthfeel. Looking to develop a Pale Ale, IPA, Saison, or Gose with a story? Lean into that intense earthy aroma and find something special.
For more about Weyermann®’s Bohemian line and their dedication to traditional floor-malting, tune in below.
- Read about Bad Weather Brewing Company’s Dortmunder Pale Lager, a double-decocted love letter written with Barke® Pils, Barke® Munich, Carafoam®, and Acidulated malts.
- Swing by this blog about DC Brau outside Washington, DC, for details on a biscuity and bready Oktoberfest made with Weyermann® Barke® Munichand Weyermann® Barke® Vienna
Now that we’ve toured some of the best barley fields and malthouses around, it’s clear Weyermann®’s Heirloom, Terroir, and traditional Floor-Malting products offer a compelling story and distinct flavor profiles for beers that are rich in character. To learn more, or to browse recipes using these ingredients, visit the BSG Blog.