Grow your own Beer? It's time!

Just saw this chart from Bloomberg Supply Lines - barley production in the US is way, way, way down. The population in the US in 1934 was only 126 million, today we are at 329.5 million (says Google).

Barley is the most common and largest ingredient in beer.

Perhaps on a better note, Russia is the worlds largest producer of barley... so maybe we can buy some from them? Or if you love beer, move to Russia? Seriously, I think several of my brothers in law would move just for beer.

Oh no, I forgot there are more and more export restrictions on food globally - and that is if you could ship it here...

So I'm thinking if you like beer, it's time to grow your own.


Check this


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,507 admin

    I don't have barley but I have lots of hops. :)

    There are a few grain producers in my general area but not sure if they are growing barley. Most of what I see in the fields is what appears to be oats and wheat. I will have to check into it and see what we have locally for barley.

    I had a quick check to see what the situation is in Canada for barley. This article was written in January but it is showing an increase in barley production in Canada. South America's barley crops are affecting supply and prices, too. Corn seems to have a part to play in it all, too.

    For reference, the US crop is measured in bushels while the Canadian crop is measured in metric tonnes (mt). A metric tonne = 35 bushels (approx).

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,584 admin

    Had a good laugh @torey as I thought you wrote "lots of HOPE" instead of hops... 😀

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,507 admin

    Well, I try to have lots of hope as well. :)

    Hubby switched from beer to wine a few years ago or he might be more upset at the prospect of a lack of barley. If the price of barley continues to rise with a short supply, maybe there will be more of those confirmed beer drinkers switching to something a little easier to produce than beer. After all, throwing some yeast in with mashed fruit, is a lot easier than growing acres of barley, malting the barley and then creating beer from it.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Found this on line.

    Paragraph copied for text.

    "There would be no beer without malted grains. In most cases, breweries use barley, but you can make beer of wheat, oats, rye, rice, and corn, as well. Since barley provides more sugar, you will use it as a base and optionally add other grains to get a particular beer flavor and character."

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 994 ✭✭✭✭

    Occasionally I play around making non-traditional beers and other ferments using herbs and medicinal plants. Good excuse to have a glass when there are health benefits :)

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,361 admin
    edited November 2021

    I can't stand the taste of beer and don't drink anyway.

    Around here, the crops are canola (always), wheat, and increasingly, short season varieties of soy & corn. There is also an increasing amount molting barley grown under contract as it is used for fuel production. The leftover mash is sold as animal feed, which is supposed to be really healthy for chickens, etc. and I believe, a fairly cheap ingredient to add to feed.

    On the topic of barley, we have been getting a mix of wheat with a little barley for poultry feed & we were grinding it for flour as well as the price is 1/4 of straight wheat. The bread is a bit heavier, so I was wondering if we should continue, but an email that I got recently that mentioned health benefits is making me rethink that.

    I know three brothers who have set up a successful brewing company. They were childhood farm neighbors. Their dad regularly stopped by the restaurant I worked at for a good chat.

    They grow their own barley & hops, about 1 hour from here. Their company is aptly named. I am so proud of all they have accomplished (they've had a few very successful ventures). They are really nice guys. Very grounded. I've tried their lesser alcohol products (rootbeer & lemonade, etc.). The guys are creative & their products are really good...but I am just still not a fan of beer. I almost wish that I was as their flavors sound intriguing.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,507 admin


    The craft brewing industry has been on the upswing here in BC for quite awhile. 218 at last count. There seems to be a shortage of hops due to the number of new breweries. Most aren't growing their own barley and hops like your guys. Good for them.

    I don't drink beer but if we are out in a situation where they are available, I occasionally will have sips just to taste the different varieties. There are some pretty unique blends that don't taste much like traditional beer. I have a couple of recipes for sauces and such that call for beer so its interesting to have different flavours to try out.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,354 admin

    The nice thing about studying zymurgy and viniculture is that you learn how to make alcoholic beverages out of hundreds... if not, thousands of grains, fruits, vegetables, etc. I have 10 gallons of rice wine working off right now, and a stash of sorghum seeds for a SHTF situation. Most people think about storing food, water, ammo and silver for hard times. That is all good, but the knowledge of fermentation means I have not only alcoholic beverages, but an item to barter with or sell and make bad water drinkable.... and IF I had a still... which, if I did, I would never tell anyone, I could transform that into a disinfectant, to use in making tinctures, a preservative and even a fuel for cooking or to run a vehicle with a little more specialized equipment.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,019 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Brings back a childhood memory about stills.

    Many, many years ago when my parents first bought property in rural Florida. Us kids would go exploring not only our own property but nearby locations as well. Near the back of our property we found this huge chunk of rusted metal. Big hole in it and dangerous sharp edges.

    Told our folks about it and they came to check it out. Seems someone had been running a moonshine still and the revenuers found them and blew up their still. Must have been a pretty big operation as the remains were huge.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like beer, but not enough to make it. I finally have hop seeds, though. Although I'm a little nervous because everyone says they're hard to grow from seed.

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 332 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have started reading "The English Housewife" by Gervase Markham and I am surprised to see how ailments they treated with different mixtures of beer.