Budweiser’s UK barley harvest begins at 147 farms across country

A Budweiser combine in action bringing in the UK barley crop

A Budweiser combine in action bringing in the UK barley crop - Credit: AB InBev

A total of 147 farmers across the UK, including 14 in Essex, started bringing in their barley harvest this month for brewing giant AB InBev to use to make its Budweiser beer.

A Budweiser combine in action bringing in the UK barley crop

A Budweiser combine in action bringing in the UK barley crop - Credit: AB InBev

The company, the world’s largest brewer, says 50% of the barley it uses to make its UK-brewed Budweiser comes from British farms.

It produces more than 15m bottles and cans of Budweiser each week in the UK at its two breweries in Magor in South Wales and Samlesbury in Lancashire, which require tens of thousands of tonnes of high-quality malting barley.

Malting barley is traditionally difficult to grow in the UK but the development of new varieties of grain has enabled British farmers to grow the crop in parts of the country that were previously unsuitable.

AB InBev’s SmartBarley has enabled it to scale up the amount of barley grown in the UK from zero to 50% in just three years. Ultimately, it hopes to source all its barley from UK farmers, it says.

Rowan Chidgey, marketing manager at Budweiser UK, AB InBev, said: “Budweiser, the King of Beers, may have its roots in America but it is a truly global brand and we are particularly proud of the positive impact the beer is having on British agriculture through our SmartBarley programme. Without barley there is no beer so supporting our growers is a big part of both our business and our Better World commitments.”