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1st January 2015


A CUMBRIAN brewery will be the only one of the county’s more than 30 beer producers to take part in an international celebration of the grain that made history.


The Maris Otter 50th Beer Festival in September 2015 will mark the extraordinary success of Maris Otter malting barley – revered among ale brewers as the Rolls Royce of brewing malts.


The festival, the first ever to focus on a particular malt, will feature 50 new cask ales from across the world.


Cereal grain varieties are short-lived and rarely survive beyond six or seven years.


However, from 1965 when Maris Otter was first grown, it captured the support of ale brewers and in September it will have been in continual production for half a century.


Brewers from around the world will brew special edition beers as part of a celebration of the malt chalking up its half century. Cumbria’s Eden Brewery, which is based in Brougham Hall, near Penrith, has been chosen to represent the county in the anniversary celebrations.


“There is only one brewer representing Cumbria with a cask ale for the festival and we’re honoured to have been invited to provide the region’s contribution to the event,” said Jason Hill, head brewer.


The only stipulations are that it’s a cask ale and – obviously – that ituses Maris Otter malted barley.  Given that this is the only variety to have been in continual production for so long, it’s definitely worth celebrating.   We’re going to create a truly special aleas a tribute to this phenomenal barley variety.”


The Maris Otter 50th Beer Festival takes place 17 – 19 September 2015 in Norfolk, the main growing region for the variety.


It is being staged by H Banham Limited with the help of David Holliday from the Norfolk Brewhouse.


H Banham director Mark Banham said: “It’s terrific news that Eden Brewery has agreed to produce one of the 50 unique cask beers for the festival. It’s going to be a fantastic event, the first festival with all the beers produced from the same variety of malt. Some of the country’s foremost beer tasters and writers will be there – and even 10 months before it’s due to happen there’s already a buzz about it in the beer world. We are looking forward to welcoming people from all over the world at the festival – who will be able to enjoy a new pint from Eden Brewery.”


To find out more about Eden Brewery and its beers go to


For more information about the Maris Otter 50th celebrations go to