Bere barley is an ancient variety reportedly brought to the British Isles in the 9th century by Viking farmers. In more recent history (pre 20th century) it was widely grown on Bere Island, north of Britian. Today, only a few farmers still raise Bere. It has been superseded by modern varieties. Traditionally Bere has been used for making bread, biscuits and bannock. It was also used for animal feed and thatch. Aside from those uses, Bere has a long history as a malting grain for the production of beer and whiskey.
I received my seed stock from a friend in Kentucky. This summer (2015) was the fist trial. Given the heavy rains we experienced, Bere had minor lodging issues. There was a degree of susceptibility to fusarium, but in defense, all cereal grains in my region experienced some fusarium infection due to the extremely wet season. The plants reached a height of 36 inches and matured in 92 days. This is a spring planted, hulled, 6 row barley. It is difficult to remove hulls without specialized equipment.