Four on the Floor: What Makes Crisp Heritage Malts So Irresistible?
Crisp Malt’s roots reach back all the way to 1850, when brothers Fred and George Smith bought a farm and got to work milling flour in Norfolk, England. The arrival of the railway in 1870 motivated the brothers to establish the Great Ryburgh Maltings, which in time became the largest floor maltings in the world.
Over 150 years later, Crisp Malt supplies the finest British malt to brewers and distillers around the world. They operate seven malting sites in four countries, with headquarters located at their original No. 19 Floor Maltings – one of the last floor maltings still in use in England.
Being as we’re a bunch of barley geeks here at BSG, we thought we’d tell you about Crisp’s line of Heritage Malts, a collection of four lovely heritage brewing malts developed to keep traditional techniques and flavors alive. Keep scrolling if you’re thirsty.
Known for showing up with deep malt character, marmalade-like sweetness, and aromas of bakery-fresh bread in beer styles from IPA to Barleywine, Chevallier was the dominant barley variety in England from 1820 until nearly disappearing by 1930. Once grown all over the world as a staple for commercial brewing, it formed the backbone of many malty Victorian ales. Should you include Chevallier in the malt bill for your next West Coast IPA, perhaps we’ll show up with our very cleanest pint glasses for a fresh pour.
Featuring a bold bready backbone and all the smooth sweetness required for session ales, authentic British porters, and bigger more robust beers, Maris Otter is a true brewer’s malt. Developed in 1965-66 in North Norfolk – just a short tractor drive from the Crisp Great Ryburgh Maltings – it is a cross between two older barley varieties Proctor and Pioneer. Maris Otter offers natural round, biscuity flavors, earthy notes, and a trace of caramel sweetness that shines in this fruit-forward Session Ale from Crisp.
Perfect for Golden ales, blondes, lagers, and pale ales, Plumage Archer’s sweet versatility offers a big smooth body with a touch of caramel. The world’s first commercially produced cross-bred barley, Plumage Archer was developed at Warminster Maltings in the UK and became known for the subtle nuance and clean flavor it added to countless 20th-century British beers. Essentially the grandparent to Maris Otter, its neutral malt base is prized for Hazy IPAs and sounds downright stellar in this NEIPA recipe from Crisp.
Named for the Haná Valley in Czech Moravia, Haná barley was used to produce the very first Pilsner beers in 1840s Bohemia. To this day, its clean and smooth profile drives brewers and drinkers wild all over the world, with warm aromas of fresh baked bread wafting out of brewhouses big and small. For crisp continental flavor, honey sweetness, and excellent head retention in any lager, Haná sets the standard with a soft, smooth body. Crisp Malt proves it with this modern English Pilsner recipe.
Premium Grains, Expertly Malted
“Floor malting is our time-honored and deeply traditional way of handcrafting malts,” says the Crisp Malt website. The slow and labor-intensive process employs techniques developed and refined by Norfolk’s Master Maltsters over the course of 150 years and several generations. The flavors and aromas produced offer a worldwide community of beer enthusiasts a drinking experience they’re unlikely to find elsewhere – not without a time machine, anyway. For quality malting barley, traditional techniques, and stories and flavors that connect people to the past, BSG is proud to carry Crisp Heritage Malts.