2016 Briess Barley Crop Update

"Unloading On The Go" Photo by Sue Broyles of Broyles Farms, Inc.

“Unloading On The Go”
Photo by Sue Broyles of
Broyles Farms, Inc.
Rapelje, MT

Briess currently works with a group of 350 growers in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and Canada. This year’s harvest is wrapping up in the U.S. and just getting started in Canada. Below are some highlights from the various regions.

Wyoming and Montana:

Harvest is 99% complete. Yields and quality on irrigated acres are slightly above average. Proteins levels are lower than anticipated so extracts should be higher. Acceptance levels are great at 85%.

Dryland acres in this region are showing below average quality and yields. The opposite is true with barley grown on these acres exhibiting higher proteins and lower extracts. Acceptance rates are at 60%

North Dakota:

Barley harvest is complete in this area, and quality has exceeded our expectations. Barley is very plump with an average of 93%. Don levels are low averaging only .03 ppm, and visually barley is looking good with little staining.

Farmers were very happy with yields as well. Average bushels per acre were greater than 110, exceeding expectations.

Pinnacle continues to be the #1 performing variety in this region and will continue to be main variety we are pulling from region.


Harvest has only just begun, so a little early to tell how region will fare from a quality and yield stand point. Early indication is there are issues with higher levels of DON and some areas of sprout damage. The synergy variety, yields well in the field, but we are seeing little dormancy, with some pre-sprouting occurring while still in the field.

Stay calm and brew on, we are confident that with our diverse supply chain, we will be able to source enough good quality barley to meet our customers malt needs in 2017.

Michael Scanzello, Director of Brewing and Distilling.

About Michael Scanzello

Michael ScanzelloAfter graduating from Kutztown University in 1995, Mike began his career at Stroh’s Brewing Co. in Allentown, PA. Over the next 6 years Mike would hold several positions in both the QA and Brewing Departments. In 2001, after the brewery in Pennsylvania closed, Mike moved to Wisconsin, accepting a position with Cargill at its Jefferson Junction Malthouse. In 2007, Mike transitioned from operations management to the commercial side of Cargill’s malt business, becoming an Account Executive with its Specialty Malt Products Group. In July of 2015, Mike brought his talents to Briess and joined as the National Distillery Manager. In February of 2016, Mike was promoted to Director of Brewing and Distilling.

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