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50th Birthday Party for a Grain

Ossett Brewery Celebrates 50 Years of Maris Otter

It may seem strange to note the anniversary of a cereal variety, but there’s good reason to celebrate the half century of one particular barley type.
While Maris Otter might not be a household name, it is legendary among craft brewers and beer-lovers. Once malted, it becomes the ingredient by which Ossett Brewery and a few other select breweries swear.  
“Less than 6% of British beer is produced with Maris Otter barley malt says Paul Spencer, Head Brewer at Ossett, but its track record is best bar none.  Nine of the most recent fourteen Champion Beers of Britain are made with it.”
The reason our beers are so much in demand is partly down to ingredients.  Maris Otter malt is consistently good in our mash tuns – delivering a great depth of flavour across all our brews.

Most cereal varieties last five or six years. So Maris Otter’s 50 years’ continual production is exceptional and, as Paul says, “well worth celebrating. That’s why we agreed to represent our county by creating a special 50th birthday beer for the celebrations in September.” 
Our beer will be premiered at the national Maris Otter 50th Anniversary Festival in Norwich from 17th to 19th September. It is one of 50 cask ales that are being created especially for the event. Brewers from 44 different counties of Britain and 6 countries from across the world are each providing a birthday beer. Ossett Brewery is the only brewery representing West Yorkshire.
The festival is being run by grain merchants H Banham and Norfolk Brewhouse’s David Holliday. 
“This is the first beer festival to have all 50 of its beers brewed with a single malt variety – and especially for the occasion.” says Mark Banham from H Banham, “As far as we know, it’s also the first birthday party ever to be held for a grain variety! We’re delighted that Ossett Brewery is supporting the birthday bash and are looking forward to trying ‘Best of British’.”
‘Best of British’ is a 4.5% golden harvest ale using only British ingredients. Maris Otter and wheat malts give a full body with a slight honey sweetness on the palate. Large quantities of British grown Admiral and First Gold hop varieties provide a floral and fruity aroma with hints of mandarin.

MO50th Beer Festival tickets are available via

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