The Naked Barley Thorebygg and Norwegian Farmer’s Ale
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionGlobal Food History. 2022, 8 (2), 85-105. 10.1080/20549547.2022.2045168
Although now extinct, the naked (i.e. hull-free) barley variety Thorebygg was once an additive grain used in the brewing of farmhouse ale in Norway between the seventeenth and mid-nineteenth centuries and possibly earlier. This paper uses the concept of fictive terroir, combining social and cultural factors with its natural properties, to show how it was used in brewing ale. These factors explain the historical cultivation of Thorebygg and its decline under industrialization from the mid-nineteenth century. Thorebygg was probably cultivated as early as the Middle Ages on swidden plots, and later also on fertile open farmland. Hulled barley was the principal form of grain used in brewing and small quantities of other grains, such as Thorebygg, were added to improve the quality of the ale in color, taste and strength.