20 may 2018
As part of the Charles Faram Hop Development Programme we conduct a series of pilot brews in house to assess the potential brewing value of new and experimental varieties. Sometimes we may only have a few hundred grams of hops from a handful of plants to play with which is not enough to enable a commercial brewery to conduct a trial brew. This is where our pilot kit comes into its own.
Successful brewing results at this early stage may well inform a decision as to whether we continue or indeed halt development of a particular variety.
The focus of our most recent brew was to explore the brewing value of a new variety that we hope has the potential to be grown organically. The demand for organic hops is ever-increasing and supply of these varieties is a constant challenge for any hop merchant, so to have a potential new organic variety on the horizon is extremely promising.
Our Andrew Whalley came out of brewing retirement for this one with Mark Lovegrove acting as assistant brewer/general dogsbody. We weren’t looking to produce a hop bomb, but more to see whether this hop variety is capable of producing a solid, drinkable beer. As is the case with all our experimental brews, the focus is solely on the hops.
We designed a beer with a simple pale malt profile and used a clean, flavour-neutral yeast strain to allow the hops to take centre stage.
As for the hop itself…
It is a daughter of Boadicea, providing natural resistance to aphids. Its father is a descendant of Challenger, Target and Admiral.
The original cross was made in 2006, planted in 2007 with initial pest and disease screening in 2008.
Aroma assessments in 2013 and 2016 were positive. Wilt tests in 2013 confirmed good wilt resistance. John Walker has planted a small amount for commercial assessment.