Thanks for clicking! We are very pleased to introduce you to Ohra Pils. It’s the most unique addition to our Farm to Glass Series of beers and we’re pretty sure it’s a world first. Ohra is a light, German style Pils beer made with Cumbrian Crimped Barley sourced from a farm just down the road from our bar in Penrith.
So, what’s Crimped Barley? We had no idea until 3 months ago. Turns out Crimping is a Finnish method for preserving grains so that they can be stored effectively between harvests, normally for use as animal feed. (Our Crimped Barley feeds a herd of Boer goats.) The grains are harvested early, with a high moisture content and then partially fermented with a lactic acid bacteria culture. This partial fermentation is the key to what makes crimped barley so valuable. High moisture leaves grains vulnerable to spoiling but the lactic acid produced during fermentation acts as a natural preservative; kind of like making kimchi or sauerkraut.
Being able to harvest earlier enables farmers to harvest when the grain is at peak nutritional value and removes the need for energy intensive drying. Crimping gives farmers a product that has taken less time, less energy and is better for their animals than traditionally harvested grain.
When we found about this fermented barley grown just up the road from us, we figured we had to try and make a beer with it. At Fell, we regularly add small amounts of lactic acid to our beers, for various reasons. Crimped Barley represents an opportunity to achieve the same thing with a local, sustainable product.
Ohra (the Finnish word for barley) was brewed with a grist containing 30% Crimped Barley. The grains impart a gentle cereal quality to the beer and give a thick, foamy head. We’re pretty certain nobody has ever made a beer with Crimped Barley. As part of our efforts to become more local and sustainable, we’re very pleased to present it to you.