b'CRAFT BEER IS BOOMINGThe market for local suds has taken off, and that only means more success for barley and hops breeders.Marc ZienkiewiczTHE CRAFT BEERmarket exploded during the pandemic, and that only means more success for a Canadian beer industry that was already seeing a renaissance even before COVID-19 became a part of our lives.There was an 8% increase in the number of brewing facilities in Canada compared to 2019, notes Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) barley breeder Dr. Ana Badea, based in Manitoba.Opportunities in the realm of barley and hops are growing. Craft breweries use only barley and no adjuncts, and because they use so much of it, they can use barley that has a lower enzyme package, he notes. Industrial brewers prefer beerJason McCallum (left) and Aaron Mills with some wild hops. Photo: AAFCwith higher enzymes which is more efficient when brewing with adjuncts.So, AAFC works with brewers to read spec sheets and provides test- Beer hasing for malt houses as well. AAFC85% 3x 1/120Charlottetown researcher Aaron Millsof beer consumed inthe economic1 in every 120 jobs says barley choice can help sell craftCanada is made inimpact of winein Canada are beer by enhancing the story of theCanada and spiritssupported by the beverage. Heritage malt is a primecombined beer industryexample, he notes. The story behind different malts from different places and times in history can be a good marketing angle or may make it give the beer a unique flavour.Badea is one of the people responsible for ensuring brewers are provided with good varieties that will create superior craft beer. With clas-sic varieties CDC Copeland and AAC Metcalfe being very popular varieties used in brewing, she notes that new varieties are in development that will one day replace the older ones still in use.AAC Synergy and AAC Connect are two newer AAFC varieties with improvements over AC Metcalfe (AACDr. Ana Badea assessing barley plants in the greenhouse of the Brandon Research and Synergy has 13% higher yield thanDevelopment Centre. Photo: AAFC42GERMINATION.CAJULY 2022'