Launched almost a year ago, Brewers Compass is DSM’s most recent enzyme-based blend for barley brewing, when that ingredient is used in a range from 30 to 100 per cent (in terms of grist levels).
Since barley is typically half the price of malt, Van Roon (pictured) said it enabled significant cost savings, typically generated 60kg CO2 less per tonne of barley used and could also be used as a cost-effective platform for portfolio diversification.
On its launch, DSM cited increased off-trade beer consumption that – due to economic and regulatory events – was stimulating demand for quality beers (and products such as Brewers Compass) in the value and private label segments.
So did Van Roon think demand for such products was being fuelled by brewers cutting-down on malt-based beers or diversifying within a product portfolio?
He said: “I don’t think it’s per se cutting down. I truly believe that malt will remain a mainstream brewing raw material. However, Brewer’s Compass provides our customers with choice and flexibility, for segmenting their portfolio, going into the area of local premium blends, or making exciting new propositions when blending.
“For instance, with nutraceuticals or fruit juices…or to reduce costs for existing products by partially replacing barley with malt,” Van Roon added.
Whether malt would continue to gain grown at the expense of malt remained to be seen, said Van Roon. “For sure there are interesting opportunities ahead. The final choice will rest with our customers, and their decision to segment their portfolio.
"However, coming back to the sustainability advantages of using barley (also the value it brings in terms of cost savings)… there are very interesting opportunities ahead for brewing with barley.”
Van Roon also spoke about the key current trends DSM had identified within global brewing.