Harvesting under way at the Dale brothers’ Restronguet farm. Picture: Pip Carlton-Barnes

Barley is being harvested in Cornwall to give Skinner’s beers their unique local flavour.

At a time when the heart of the rural community, the local pub, is under threat, the barley harvest comes as a strong reminder of the importance the brewing process and beer plays in the rural economy.

For the last ten years, Skinner’s has been committed to Cornish barley for its award-winning beers, despite paying a small producer’s premium.

Production manager, Terry Wallwork, said: “We take our supply from three farms at Restronguet, Perranwell and Newquay. Yes, we do pay a premium, but we see it as investing in farmers to keep farming high quality malting barley.”

An estimated 400 tons of barley a year is harvested and sent to Warminster Maltings. “It’s the only traditional maltster able to handle this volume,” said Terry. “Once malted, it is returned to the brewery ready to be stockpiled in a turn-around of about eight weeks.”

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