Putting a name on something unique and wonderful is a very difficult task – just ask any parent. As Maltsters/Brewers here at Briess, we give birth to new malts and sometimes struggle with what to call them. I mean, for us, all our malts are Extra Special.

Our new Heritage Gold™ is a base malt whose lineage and malting techniques have a rich “heritage” (see what I did there?). We have taken an heirloom European barley variety, imported it to the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming and Montana, and have carefully cultivated it under irrigated conditions. Specialized malting processes derived from historical practices are then utilized to produce a flavor complexity that is difficult to describe. “Gold” is meant to describe the color that this malt provides, but it could also be used to describe the depth of flavors provided by this malt.

There is no doubt that malt has dramatically changed over the last hundred years in ways that are hard to describe. Varieties bred for lowest-cost agronomics and pneumatic malting processes optimized for high volume, high enzyme, consistent, and low-cost lager malt have changed what malt is. This lack of variability has reduced….well….variability in malt. Lost are the subtle flavor nuances of individual varieties and the umami, fermentation-derived depth of flavor that comes from longer, patient non-optimized malting processes, such as floor malting. Think white bread vs. crusty sourdough. They are both breads but one is so much more bread. That’s the real “Gold” in Heritage Gold™ malt.

Longer germination, combined with non-pneumatic* malting of a variety, not bred for optimal agronomics and adjunct brewing, allow us to bring back some of the flavors of malt’s Heritage. Characteristics of biscuit, bread crust, and cracker, as you would expect in an English-style ale malt with 3.8 SRM, but also with pretzel, nutty, sourdough, and slightly floral and fermentation depth.

It showcases well when you are looking for complexity and malt flavor to shine in beers like English Mild or Bitter, along with balance in Pale Ales or in the background in Stouts, Porters, and Darker Ales. This is a proper English-style ale malt produced by an American Craft Maltster.

This malt can deliver flavors that no other malt we make can and we’ve enjoyed brewing with it in the Briess Pilot Brewery in preparation for its launch at CBC this year in Las Vegas. If you’re coming out to CBC, you’ll have a chance to sample some beers made with Heritage Gold™ by some of our friends, such as:

More Brewing Company (Huntley, IL)

  • Heritage Mild – Dark Mild Ale. In addition to Heritage Gold™, this beer incorporates several other Briess malts, with even a touch of Caramel Rye.  Hopped with Fuggles, this dark mild sits at 4.2% ABV.

Cosmic Eye Brewing (Lincoln, NE)

  • Face Down in Riffs – 100% Heritage Gold™ Pale Ale. This beer is hopped with Cascade, Contessa, Delta and clocks in at 5.8% ABV.

Las Vegas Brewing Company (Las Vegas, NV)

  • Easy Briessy – Brown Porter. In addition to Heritage Gold™, this beer includes some Caramel and Drum-Roasted Malts. Rich and roasty, this beer is hopped with Fuggles and is 6% ABV.

That’s not all – our Pilot Brewery created a few brews featuring our two new malts, Heritage Gold™ and Crystal Red™, that will also be on tap in our booth #903. If you are unable to make it to CBC, we welcome you to try brewing these beers utilizing the recipes we provided below.

Pale Ale – Bumbershoot
Malt: Heritage Gold™ 96%, Crystal Red™ 4%
Hops: Cascade (60min, 15min, WP), Centennial (60min, 15min, WP)
Yeast: American Ale Yeast
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.014
SRM: 19
IBU: 30
ABV: 5.5%

Enjoy an insider perspective, as Briess Pilot Plant Operator, Scott Heimerl, shares some of the brewing experience of the Bumbershoot Pale Ale:

“This Pale Ale was step mashed. Mash in at 125°F, 45 min hold at 144°F, 30 min hold at 157°F, and mashed off at 170°F. The process went as expected, but it also did have one unique feature. During the hopping process, the wort had a nice pineapple aroma which also carried over into the beer. I thought this was unique because I’ve never had this aroma so intense while using Cascade and Centennial hops.”

Bitter Ale – Curmudgeon
Malt: Heritage Gold™ 100%
Hops: Magnum (60min)
Yeast: English Ale Yeast
OG: 1.053
FG: 1.015
SRM: 7
IBU: 30
ABV: 5.0%

Dry Irish Stout – Pooka
Malt: Heritage Gold™ 45%, Synergy Select Pilsner 44%, Crystal Red™ 7%, Black Malt 4%
Hops: Magnum (60min)
Yeast: Irish Ale Yeast
OG: 1.042
FG: 1.009
SRM: 45
IBU: 25
ABV: 4.5%

We invite you to reach out to your Briess Division Manager for a sample of Heritage Gold™. Give it a try in a hot steep! We’ve enjoyed making it and hope you enjoy brewing with it!