Industry experts and growers themselves express caution. But demand from local craft breweries is growing and replacing malt barley coming in from Western Canada may offer opportunities
Brian Besley cheerfully admits enjoying the occasional beer.
“I haven’t yet found a really bad one,” jokes the Shelburne-area dairy farmer and cash cropper, who has grown malt barley on and off for the past 10 years.
He favours a local brew. For him, local means a 20-minute drive south to Orangeville or a slightly longer trip to Creemore, both of which are home to craft breweries.