Winter malting barley is becoming a crop confined to areas close to where it is malted & brewed. Premiums are often not sufficient to justify production at anything more than a 30 mile radius of a maltings. Breeding of feed type winter barleys has overtaken that of malting barley and one needs to seriously look at the economics before you choose to grow a winter malting barley over a feed barley variety.
SY Venture is one of the more popular varieties with Cassata now a distant memory. Flagon has a specialist following in some areas of East Anglia and good buy-back contracts are available.
The new varieties Craft & Talisman are worth watching to see whether they perform agronomically and whether they perform well enough in both the Malthouse & Brewhouse.
With the markets reducing year on year plant breeders will not sink too much time & money into breeding winter malting varieties and the industry is more focused on using spring barley varieties anyhow.
We are very active in contracting winter malting varieties and happy to discuss marketing options with you.