Bill Legg, the plant breeder who developed Canada’s most popular two-row malting barley AC Metcalfe, is retiring. Legg had been working at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Brandon Research Centre for the last 30 years. In this time Legg focused on disease-resistant varieties with excellent quality for international malting and brewing needs. His first variety was a cross between AC Oxbow and Manley, which was originally made by his predecessor Dr. Dick Metcalfe. The breed received full registration in 1997 and was named after his mentor AC Metcalfe.
AC Metcalfe replaced Harrington as the dominant Canadian malting barley and was the most popular two-row malting barley for around 15 years. It is still grown today and enjoys great popularity amongst brewers and maltsters.
Besides AC Mecalfe, Legg also released another 10 barley varieties, including the two-row malting varieties Newdale, Taylor (hulless), Major, Cerveza, AAC Synergy, and AAC Connect.