Examination of the Influence of Barley Variety and Growing Location on Beer Sensory Attributes

MBAA TQ https://doi.org/10.1094/TQ-59-2-0724-01​  | VIEW​ A​R​​TICL​E
Yueshu Li (1), Andrew Nguyen (1), Bryce Lodge (1), Aaron Onio (1), Sherwin Santiano (1), Peter Watts (1), Aaron Beattie (2), Ana Badea (3), and Flavio Capettini (4). 1. Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. 2. Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. 3. AAFC Brandon Research and Development Centre, Brandon, MB, Canada. 4. Field Crop Development Centre, Olds College, Olds, AB, Canada​


This study examined the effects of barley variety (G), growing location (E), and their interactions (G × E) on sensory attributes of ale beers brewed with malts produced from Canadian 2-row barley varieties AAC Connect, CDC Bow, CDC Copeland, and Harrington. The four barley varieties were grown at three different locations, with one site located in each of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, during the 2018 and 2019 crop years. Each of the malts were produced under the same malting conditions, and each of the beers were brewed using identical mashing, boiling and fermentation regimes. Beer sensory attributes were assessed by a trained taste panel, and the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were analyzed using headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Non-volatile compounds in the worts and beers were analyzed using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry The effects of variety and growing location showed limited impacts on beer sensory attributes evaluated in this study, although significant effects of G, E, and G × E interaction on malt quality were recorded. Out of the nine evaluated attributes, only the sensory attribute acetaldehyde showed a significant difference by variety (P < 0.01). This may suggest that the four barley varieties included in this study were relatively similar as far as the sensory properties examined are concerned. In contrast, some significant (P < 0.05, 0.01, and 0.001) varietal effects were recorded for several VOCs identified in the beer samples. Additionally, significant differences due to G, E, and G ​× E interaction were observed for some non-volatile compounds detected in the wort and beer samples. Although these differences had a minimal effect on the overall results for the sensory attributes evaluated in this study, it is possible they could have impacted other sensory attributes that were not assessed. These findings provide a basis for the identification and quantification of key compounds in wort and beer that may contribute to beer flavor (positively or negatively) and have the potential to assist barley breeders in developing new barley varieties with targeted flavor attributes in the future.

Keywords: barley variety, beer sensory evaluation, non-volatile compounds, volatile compounds​