HomePlantsOld varieties of NordGen barley flavour new kind of Carlsberg beer

Old varieties of NordGen barley flavour new kind of Carlsberg beer

Date: 11.07.2018 Author: Sara Landqvist Category: Plants

Foto: Carlsberg

It all started with a dark cellar being cleaned out in Carlsberg´s premises. There, in a dusty container, a treasure was found – a nearly 150-year-old beer with yeast cells still alive. NordGen delivered barley from the same year and the beer “Carlsberg 1883” was born.

Small seeds, easily broken ears and lack of frost hardiness. Compared to our modern barley, the old variety Gammel Dansk wasn’t anything to cheer about. However, in the end of the 19th century, it was popular and actually grown all over Denmark before it was ousted by other more efficient varieties. Almost 150 years later, NordGen went through its cereal collections and gave a sample of Gammel Dansk to the large beer producer Carlsberg.

Foto: Carlsberg

“We wanted to create a historical beer which was as authentic as could be. When we found the old yeast cells in our cellar, we turned to NordGen and asked for barley from this time. We got a sample and propagated it in Denmark and New Zeeland to get enough barley to brew the beer,” says Erik Lund, Head Brewer at Carlsberg Research Laboratory.

To develop the beer Carlsberg 1883, Carlsberg Research Laboratory used the same ingredients, recipe and brewing techniques as in the end of the 19th century. When it was launched commercially in 2017, it was the first new, alcoholic beer Carlsberg released in more than 20 years.

“But without the collections of NordGen we hadn’t been able to brew the beer as authentically as we wanted and also wouldn’t been able to tell the same history of its origin,” Erik Lund says.

The story of Carlsberg 1883 is merely one of many examples of how NordGen’s work contribute to benefits in the society. Discover a few more in our brochure available for download here.