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New Barley Variety to Help Baltika Keep Beer Quality High

Citra (CB14-3093), a new barley variety developed by the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, will be cultivated and used in the production of a wide range of Baltika products. Beer brewed with the Citra malt retains its fresh taste longer, while malt plants and breweries will be able to minimise their environmental footprint by reducing the energy consumed. Citra will be shared with agricultural enterprises of Russia, which are part of the Carlsberg Eastern Europe agricultural project for cultivation. Baltika’s need for malt is fully secured by high-quality Russian barley grown under the control of Russia’s major brewing malt producer.

Carlsberg Eastern Europe keeps developing its agricultural project aimed at providing production sites in Eastern Europe with malting barley. Farms involved in this project will cultivate the Citra innovative variety, thanks to which experts of the Carlsberg Research Laboratory in Copenhagen have managed to enhance product quality, improve its flavor, foam and taste stability. The new variety will be delivered for cultivation to the best agricultural enterprises of the Tula, Lipetsk, Ryazan, Tambov, Vladimir and Ivanovo regions.

Citra has been tested for two years to check its agronomical characteristics. In 2019, a meeting of the State Commission on Testing and Protection of Breeding Achievements decided to add this barley variety to the State Register of Breeding Achievements along with the already listed Carlsberg varieties such as Chill, Cheerio and Charles.

The use of the new barley variety will also allow the Carlsberg Group to contribute to the achievement of several goals in the 4ZERO Target: Together Towards Zero sustainability program: to cut CO2 emissions and reduce the amount of resources consumed - including electricity and water - in the malt and beer production.

The Research Laboratory in Copenhagen works to address specific issues of modern brewing: increasing the shelf life without loss of quality, improving the taste of beer, enhancing the stability of products. The NULL-LOX* group of varieties, to which Citra belongs, is one of the unique achievements of the Laboratory. Oxidation processes in beer produced with the NULL-LOX malt are significantly slower, which allows beer consumers to enjoy its fresh taste and flavor for much longer. Also, these varieties need less cooling under storage and transportation.

Konstantin Kobelev, Deputy Research Director at the Federal State Budget Research Institution "Russian National Research Institute of the Brewing, Non-alcoholic and Wine-Making Industry": "It is very important that barley varieties that have excellent agro-technical characteristics and fundamental scientific achievements are coming to Russia. The Citra barley variety has critically important consumer properties".

Carlsberg Eastern Europa is developing an agricultural project to provide production sites of Eastern Europe with malting barley, and to ensure the supply of malt and other grains to the company’s plants  in the Eastern European region. In 2018, it fully covered the needs of Baltika and the breweries of the Carlsberg Group in Azerbaijan, and partly in Kazakhstan, with the Russian malt. Also, Russian barley was shipped to the Belarusian brewing company of Alivaria (part of the Carlsberg Group). These results have been achieved thanks to cooperation with 84 modern agricultural enterprises in 12 regions of Russia. The project contributes to the development of agriculture throughout the country – from central regions to Far East. Currently, Carlsberg Eastern Europe is one of the largest brewing malt producers in the country.

Nikolay Minakin, head of the Kurdumovskoe farm (the Yaroslavl Region):  "Kurdumovskoe is one of the leading farms in the Yaroslavl region. We have launched a malting barley cultivation project for the first time. Knowing that Carlsberg Eastern Europe’s quality standards are very high, we consulted with the colleagues on a regular basis and they always helped us. We planted the Chill barley variety on the area of 100 hectares, got an excellent harvest and sold the grain at a profit. We are happy with the cooperation!"

In 2018, 350 thousand tons of barley were grown as part of the Carlsberg Eastern Europe agricultural project, while the total volume of raw materials purchased from domestic manufacturers exceeded 400 thousand tons. Also, Carlsberg Eastern Europe expanded the geography of the agricultural project in 2018. Farms in the Bryansk, Moscow and Yaroslavl regions joined the already collaborating farms in the Ivanovo, Penza and Ulyanovsk regions. The main goal of the project is to abandon imports, improve the quality of Russian raw materials and agriculture, and also boost yields.

Igor Matveyev, head of Production and Quality at Carlsberg Eastern Europe: "Grown barley is tested for quality and safety in special grain laboratories at Carlsberg Eastern Europe. It is only then that the grain is sorted and processed at our malting plants in Tula and Yaroslavl. In 2018, we continued to improve production: now the two malt plants are equipped with an aspiration system, which makes the malt even better. In fact, quality is the cornerstone of the business in the consumer segment. Our business reputation and customer satisfaction depend on it, which is why we primarily focus on quality."

Birgitte Skadhauge, Vice President and Head of Carlsberg Research Laboratory, Copenhagen: ”Carlsberg Research Laboratory has spend more than 10 years to develop and breed malting barley varieties with superior quality, taste and foam for sustainable malting and brewing. These varieties are adapted to Eastern European climate- and growth conditions. I am very pleased, that we now can make this unique innovation available to consumers in Russia and Eastern Europe as one of the first regions in the world. Carlsberg has always used science to brew better beers, and Baltika Research have a long and very fruitful collaboration on science, product development and malting barley variety development. It is very rewarding to see how many years of join efforts finally can be utilized by Russian and Eastern European farmers, malsters, and brewers and to be enjoyed by consumers.”

This project engages major agricultural experts and employs unique modern equipment for soil sampling and monitoring of crops. It helps Russian farms grow the best varieties of barley, the quality of which fully complies with the European Barley Convention (EBC) and the Russian standards GOST-5060-86.

Carlsberg Eastern Europe produces malt exclusively from European barley varieties approved by C.B.M.O. (Comité Bière Malt Orge, France), the Berlin program of the VLB Brewing Institute (Der Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei, Germany), the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD, the United Kingdom) as well as the official Danish Variety approval system.  Seed stocks are imported from France, Germany, Denmark.

*NULL-LOX are new varieties of barley with zero percentage of lipoxygenase enzyme, which has a positive effect on the preservation of beer freshness and foam stability.  

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Carlsberg Eastern Europe LLC  is part of the Carlsberg Group, which has been operating in the Russian market since 2015 to manage the supply of malt and other crops to the Carlsberg Group plants in the Eastern Europe region. Currently, it is one of the largest producers of brewing malt in Russia. One of its activities is the development of an agricultural project designed to produce malting barley that meets European and Russian brewing standards. As part of this agricultural project, the company provides farms and agricultural enterprises with high-quality technologies and seeds, and also guarantees reliable and constant sales for agricultural producers. In turn, Carlsberg Eastern Europe receives the necessary volumes of high-quality barley from the farms at fair market prices. The company’s experts control the agricultural technology and the quality of barley at all stages of its cultivation, from the creation of seed stocks to the storage of barley. The Carlsberg Eastern Europe agro-project involves the best experts in malting barley cultivation, the soil and grain laboratories, as well as unique modern equipment for soils sampling and monitoring of crops.

This way, the Carlsberg Group ensures the high quality of raw materials used and products made by the company. The agricultural project’s sown areas geography covers the Central, Central Black Earth and Siberian regions. The total area of ​​agricultural enterprises involved is more than 80,000 hectares.

The company owns two modern malt plants in Tula and Yaroslavl. The best European barley varieties grown by domestic producers and high expertise of employees allow it to obtain high-quality malt varieties. These varieties comply with the GOST standards and the Carlsberg Group specifications, which are among the world’s toughest standards.  The malt plants are equipped with control systems monitoring the process at all stages, while high skills of the personnel make it possible to meet the needs of the most demanding brewers.

Carlsberg Eastern Europe takes a special pride in its state-of-the-art malt analysis laboratories that can analyze products across 34 parameters in line with the requirements of European institutions such as VLB, the European Barley Convention (EBC), MEBAK. The Carlsberg Eastern Europe labs participate in ring tests with the major European laboratories on a regular basis, while the accuracy of their analysis is affirmed by the LGC Standards certificate (UK).

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