Asahi shouts the bar for Victorian barley farmers

At the function, farmers from across Victoria were invited to enjoy dinner and beers brewed with their own barley. Image: Carlton United Breweries

Around 30 of Victoria’s top barley farmers gathered at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium to celebrate their landmark partnership with Asahi Beverages, owner of Carlton & United Breweries.

CUB, which traces its Victorian brewing history to 1854, uses 40,000 tonnes of barley grown by Victorian farmers each year to brew well over 300 million litres of beer at its Abbotsford Brewery.

This includes beloved drops such as VB, Carlton Draught and Great Northern. Barley is regarded as beer’s heart and soul because it defines its taste, colour and aroma.

At the function, farmers from across Victoria were invited to enjoy dinner and beers brewed with their own barley.

Attendees heard from Asahi Beverages Group CEO Amanda Sellers, Geelong CEO Steven Hocking, plus experts in agronomy, mental health and more.

“It is a privilege to have access to Victorian barley, which is among the world’s best,” said Sellers.

“Our relationship with our farming partners and rural communities is extremely important and we wanted to thank them by sharing a meal, a beer and a few stories.

“We elevated our partnership with farmers three years ago when we launched the Victorian Barley Program. Our direct relationship with growers helps ensure we only use the best barley.

“The Program provides us with clear oversight of the growing process and we can trace barley right back to the paddock. In addition, it gives growers the confidence and financial security to invest in new technology and make improvements in farming sustainability and efficiency.

“This procurement model is a win for Asahi Beverages, a win for beer lovers and a win for farmers and their communities.”

“The event was a tremendous success and allowed farmers to catch up with each other, learn a little but most importantly have some fun,” said Riordan Grain owner Jim Riordan, who also spoke at the event.

“We love being a part of the Victorian Barley program because it supports Victorian farming communities.

“One of the special things about beer is that people come together to enjoy it socially. The local pub and the beer that it serves have long been an incredibly important part of rural Victoria. We raise our glass to Victorian farmers for making it possible.”

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