This season’s offering is dear to us because it features the first ‘heirloom’ barley variety that we ever had the opportunity to work with. Chevallier is an old English brewing variety that was revived from the John Innes Center national seedbank in Norwich by a small group of dedicated farmers and academics who believed that there was something to learn from this older variety.

Although it took them years to build up enough seed-stock to supply even a small handful of commercial scale brews, we were fortunate enough to connect with them early along the way in 2014. From the first pallet of this historic grain that ever came to the U.S., we managed to source 100 lbs of these precious corns to brew with on our pilot system that same year. That experience of brewing with Chevallier made it immediately clear to us that there was a huge world of possibility in brewing with heirloom grains, as the flavors and texture were incredible, and the idea of creating a new style of beer that we now call grain-forward lager became a twinkle in our eye.

Now, in 2022, it is a great pleasure to present a Hanabi Lager beer that features this Chevallier grain. Requiring longer maturation times in our cellar tanks than beer brewed with modern barleys, the final resulting character is worth the wait. Chevallier brings flavors that are highly complex, with a distinct profile of hazelnuts, cedar, redwood, fresh honeycomb, and dry peppermint. We brewed a Helles style lager with it to demonstrate our purest, best expression of this delicious grain.