Invincible Maris Otter barley is, yet again, the malt of choice for the Champion Beer of Britain 2017. Goats Milk Bitter (3.8%ABV) brewed by Church End brewery in Warwickshire, scooped the most prestigious UK beer trophy judged at the annual Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) at London Olympia this week.

This is the 12th Championship win in 18 years (since 2000) brewed from Maris Otter pale malt, and is again testimony to the outstanding brewing traits of this venerable variety, not least its renowned flavour profile.

As well as the championship brewery, Maris Otter pale malt is also the malt of choice for the two runners up. Bishop Nick brewery from Braintree, Essex scooped the Silver Medal with their Ridley’s Rite Pale Ale (3.6%ABV), and Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. from Newport, South Wales scooped Bronze with Cwtch Red Ale (4.6%ABV), the latter formerly winning the outright championship in 2015.

Now entering its 53rd year of commercial production, Maris Otter barley remains unchallenged by any new variety added to the farming industry’s annually published Recommended List. Until maltsters, brewers and distillers become the drivers of barley breeding in the UK, it is unlikely this position will change, except by chance. So there is every reason to expect Maris Otter barley to remain the largely unsung, but no lesser hero of the GBBF for many more years to come!