The Harlan Society

The Harlan Society is our open-source project searching for new malt flavors by reviving heritage grain varieties.

In our first year, we grew out 2 dozen barley varieties. In our second year, 16 brewers across the US and Canada will collectively grow out 85 new varieties of barley, wheat, oats, rye, millet, sorghum, and buckwheat. Combined with 19 promising varieties from year one, we will have 104 total varieties in the soil.

You can read more about the project here, and more about Harry Harlan, the project’s namesake, here.

The project’s growing guide is here, and a general guide to growing grains is here.


All of the information we have is listed in the following 2 spreadsheets.
The first has information, the second has images.

  • Both spreadsheets list varieties in the same order, but using the find function (control/command f) works to jump to a specific place.
  • Both spreadsheets have separate tabs for each type of grain.
  • Anything listed as from the USDA is data from the US National Plant Germplasm System.
  • The collection year and location do not necessarily represent the year the variety originated, nor it’s place of origin. They are the year and location where the variety was acquired by the USDA seed bank.
  • Improvement level means the degree of breeding.
  • Landrace means a domesticated, traditional variety that has developed over time through adaptation to its local conditions.
  • Cultivar means a variety bred using traditional cross-pollination techniques.
  • Spike row number denotes if the variety is two-row or six-row.