Huyghe is taking part in a pilot project supported by the Belgian Institute for Agriculture, the ILVO. ILVO has planted eight hectares of summer barley, but in the long-term local farmers too should cultivate the crop.
Alain De Laet of the Huyghe Brewery: "The barley used in brewing needs to meet certain conditions in order to produce tasty beer. It has to possess a certain protein content. Today we have to use Danish summer barley. Before the war local farmers too cultivated it, but stopped as other crops were more profitable."
The ILVO pilot is designed to produce a summer barley that is fit-for-purpose and that can be cultivated by local farmers soon. Huyghe is joining the pilot because it has the ambition of becoming Belgium's most sustainable brewer. The brewery has already reduced water consumption and uses green energy.
Local raw materials mean more sustainability. Barley doesn't need to be imported and CO2 emissions are lower. A local maltster is now being used to turn the barley into malt that is the raw material used in brewing.