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    NEW DEAL: Asahi Beverages chief brewer Jaideep Chandrasekharan, left, and Wimmera farmer John Bennett in Mr Bennett’s barley paddock at Lawloit, south-west of Nhill. Mr Bennett will start supplying Asahi Beverages with his barley early next month.

AgLife: Cheers to new beer collaboration


Wimmera-Mallee farmers are preparing their first shipment of barley for some of Australia’s most-loved beers after entering into a trade deal with a Japanese beverage company. 

Asahi Beverages will brew its beers using barley purchased from Australian farmers for the first time in decades, with the first batch of beers set to roll off the lines next month.

More than 30 farmers across the region have entered into the deal to supply barley to the company, which owns Carlton and United Breweries. 

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The deal will mean Asahi will have clear oversight of the barley growing process to ensure the best barley is used to brew beers such as Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught, Great Northern and Pure Blonde.

Lawloit broadacre farmer John Bennett, who will start supplying Asahi Beverages with his barley early next month, said the deal showcased Australian farmers’ commitment to producing high quality and sustainably grown barley.

“This deal really gives you confidence in the crop – what we grow here in the Wimmera and Mallee is very good quality,” he said. 

He said the brewery company buying barley direct would generate major socio-economic benefits for farmers and surrounding communities in the region. 

“It sends a clear signal to Australian barley growers that Asahi is happy to support them directly by buying from them – that has a flow-on benefit for country communities,” he said. 

“Asahi really likes being able to demonstrate where their product comes from and for me as a farmer I really like to see where my product is going – it’s really exciting to see barley that I’ve grown turned into Asahi beer.”

Wimmera-Mallee farmers will supply 30,000 tonnes of barley to the company’s Abbotsford Brewery once it has been malted. 

Northern NSW growers are expected to join the scheme before this year’s grain harvest. The first beers using the barley will be brewed at Abbotsford and Yatala in April.

The new supply chain means more than 90 percent of Asahi Beverages’ barley is purchased from Australia. 

Grain Producers Australia chairman and Rupanyup farmer Andrew Weidemann said the deal was ‘timely’ for Australian barley growers. 

“Barley farmers have faced many challenges in recent years so it is fantastic to see a program like this launch,” he said. 

“The program will help ensure crops are grown sustainably and farmers can grow new varieties that can open up more international markets for them.”

Asahi Beverages chief brewer Jaideep Chandrasekharan said Australian malting barley was of the highest quality and sourcing it direct from farmers was an important change for the company’s national operations.

The entire March 31, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire March 31, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!