I have been brewing with these two types of malts and was just wondering what types of beer are typically made with them and what taste characteristics they have.

2 Answers 2


Maris Otter is typically used with English beers, especially "ESBs" (Extra Special Bitter). You wouldn't use it in a hoppy beer like an American IPA - the hops would crowd out the malt flavour.

It is often described as being more malty and "biscuity".

As a relative beginner, I've been using an ESB recipe taken from a kit and substituting ingredients. This latest brew (currently in the bottle - almost ready to taste) uses Maris Otter for the base malt.

November BYO had an article celebrating Maris Otter's 50th Anniversary and this includes some recipes including both a Mild and an ESB.

  • 2
    For what it's worth I like a strong malt profile in my IPAs to balance the bitterness so use Maris Otter for almost all of them. Nov 29, 2015 at 21:35
  • Europe's upcoming craft brewery, brewdog, reportedly uses Maris on their leading brand, Punk IPA Dec 8, 2015 at 20:27

I have not used those two malts so far (I should very soon though), but I still managed to get some information.

Maris Otter:

This malt has a lot of the bready, biscuit character that Maris Otter is famous for, though the Thomas Fawcett seems be a bit more toasty than the others. This malt is traditionally floor malted. I like using this one in my bitters and those beers that I want a lot of clean biscuit aroma and flavor. I typically won't use a lot of dark crystal and roasted malts with this one.


Adds a degree of biscuit flavor to the beer. Brighter and lighter in flavor than Pearl, Halcyon is a great malt for the production of Real Ales. It tends to produce a less sweet wort than Maris Otter. All the base malts from Thomas Fawcett & Sons are grown by local, family farmers near the maltings area.




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