KWS Irina has received Full Approval for brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD). It becomes the highest yielding spring malting barley fully accepted by the industry.
According to KWS value chain manager, Dr Kirsty Richards, the new UK approval follows successful largescale macro-malting and brewing tests carried out for the IBD by Molson Coors, Bairds Malt, Crisp Malting and Boortmalt.
“It comes hot on the heels of KWS Irina’s green light acceptance from leading brewers on the continent last year, including Heineken, Carlsberg and Radeberger, who have already seen a significant commercial tonnage from farmers in France, Germany and Denmark.
“As a result, UK growers can be confident that it will readily find a premium market on the continent as well as on home soil,” she says.
Dr Richards points out that industry assessments confirmed KWS Irina has a high water extract ahead of Propino and NFC-Tipple and just behind Concerto.
It also has a good free amino nitrogen (FAN) level, similar to Propino and better than NFC-Tipple as well as low ß-glucan levels. KWS Irina has no issues with movements through 2.5 or 2.25mm sieves.
“It is shaping up to be a real pan European favourite and will allow brewers to draw upon a variety that suits their Europe-wide processing needs ensuring continuity of supply of consistent malt from a wide range of sources,” she says.
KWS expects industry approval combined with farmer interest to take the variety to an 11% sell out market share next spring and further growth to a market position of around 15% in 2017.
“There are plenty of options for growers particularly across the east and south of England, where it could find a place in export cargoes or local maltings.
“At 108% of controls, KWS Irina is 6% higher yielding in Recommended List trials that the next best IDB Approved varieties Odyssey and Propino and on a par with the best feed only varieties.
“With relatively short straw, the best lodging resistance of the malting types on the 2015/16 Recommended List and good wet weather disease resistance, it will also prove reliable on farm,” says Dr Richards.
KWS Irina was the only new variety to secure full IDB Approval and is the first spring barley from the KWS pan-European breeding programme to achieve this grade in the UK.