Hempton agricultural merchants’ barley features at major ale festival

Pictured inside The Norfolk Brewhouse are Mark Banham, left, and David Hollliday.
Pictured inside The Norfolk Brewhouse are Mark Banham, left, and David Hollliday.

Malting barley grown by agricultural merchant business H Banham Ltd, of Hempton, will be highlighted at a major ales festival in Norwich this month attended by thousands of beer lovers.

The success story of Maris Otter barley, a malting barley grown in Norfolk and exported to more than 20 countries across the world will feature at the National Winter Ales Festival.

Hindringham based The Norfolk Brewhouse has teamed up with H Banham Ltd – the guardian of the Maris Otter grain – to create a festival bar allowing visitors to taste what makes Norfolk malt, its growers, maltsters and brewers so very special.

The Norfolk Brewhouse’s brewer David Holliday explained why the opportunity to showcase the ales was so important: “Maris Otter is extensively grown in the festival’s host county, and wider East Anglian region and from here it is exported to over 20 countries around the world.

“It has also been the core malt ingredient for 12 of CAMRA’s National Champion Beers of Britain since 1998. It is something which Norfolk, the growers, the maltsters and the brewers are immensely proud of and we wanted to make sure that our bar at the festival will allow them all – from grain to glass – to contribute.”

The bar will be a combination of Norfolk Brewhouse’s Moon Gazer ales as well as new collaboration brews brewed with the important people in the supply chain. All beers will be brewed using Maris Otter malt of course.

Of the ten beers on offer on the bar, six will be new for the festival and will include an imported winter ale from the Spanish brewery – Cervezas DouGall´s – to highlight the global appeal of the malt.

Mark Banham explained why the inclusion of the Spanish brewer was a key aspect of the bar: “Norfolk is world-renowned as being one of the very top barley growing areas in the world, with the soil and coastal climate creating superb growing conditions. To be able to celebrate that fact by involving growers and maltsters and telling their story to 17,000 visitors is a great opportunity.”

The festival will take place at St. Andrews and Blackfriars Hall in Norwich between 21-27 February.

For further information visit: nwaf.org.uk