Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a straw cereal, it is characterised by its long bearded ears. Amongst the cultivated varieties there are:
- The winter barleys, frost-resistant to around -15 degrees; they can have flat ears with two rows of grains or cylindrical ears with six rows of grains. The varieties of 6-row winter barley are called escourgeon in French. They are sown at the end of September or beginning of October, needing to be well established before winter.
- The spring barleys, sensitive to frost, and with a shorter growing cycle, are planted in February-March. The Owl Distillery uses this 2-row spring barley, called Sebastian, for distilling The Belgian Owl