13Jun 2017

Cf editable dev logo

It’s a pretty straightforward question and one which most brewers know the answer to. However not all agree. There are quite strong opinions about the different types available and whilst in the past hops were simply classified as Aroma and Alpha the market has changed quite significantly over the last few years and new lines have been drawn. The dividing line nowadays seems to be “traditional” versus “new world” flavours. Do you want the classic, delicate, easy drinking character of a Golding, Saaz or Mittlefruh or are you looking for the big, hoppy, fruity character of a Nelson Sauvin, Amarillo or Centennial? It is always fun to discover a beer drinkers opinions.

“I can’t drink more than a pint of the over hopped citrus bombs, they are just too much!”

 “I don’t get any flavour from the traditional varieties, the flavours are just not enough!”

You have all no doubt heard the arguments and have your own opinions but in truth everyone is right. The challenge for the hop industry today is to produce this wide range of flavours and even to try and create different, exciting new ones.


Charles Faram Hop Development Logo 500pxThe team at Charles Faram are one of the latest to take up the challenge. Ever since 2007 when Peter Glendinning started experimenting with a few new plants he had in his greenhouse the aim has been to try and find agronomically sound, exciting new varieties that will one day be produced commercially.

The results have been much better than were ever expected with a hit rate not experienced in many programmes like this before and credit must go to Peter for his perseverance and knowledge of what to look for when he is making selections from the huge range of different seedlings. Initially the programme was looking to try and create hedgerow hops with characteristics similar to Fuggle and Golding. At the time and still today growers struggle to grow these varieties economically as they are susceptible to disease, are not easy to pick and yield poorly compared to the newer varieties. The first varieties from the programme to come through to farm trials were Archer and Minstrel, both hedgerow varieties and both with a classic, traditional aroma with a slight twist due to their hedgerow parent. These are proving popular with growers and brewers alike but are not quite getting as much “airtime” due to their traditional flavours. They are expected to have a big future in craft markets worldwide who are looking for more of the traditional flavours as beer styles develop away from the high hits of the West Coast IPA style hops.

Photo of Peter Glendinning, showing Charles Faram staff and growers around the nurseries.

Peter Glendinning, showing Charles Faram staff and growers around the nurseries.

More recently the aim of the programme has changed; as the “new world” hops have become more popular in Europe the team have concentrated on bringing in some of these varieties to make crosses with the strong British rootstocks and create hybrids, something with the best of both worlds. The best way to assess these varieties has been initially through the Charles Faram sensory panel but then later with the help of UK brewers who have given excellent feedback from brewing trials.

This has led to expanded farm trials of the varieties Jester and Olicana, strong plants with “new world” aroma, excellent disease resistance and good yield. Although still in trials these hops have performed well beyond expectation and they are ready to take the next step to European plant variety rights this year which will make them fully commercial varieties. What is extremely exciting is that there are more varieties coming through the programme which have new intense aromas and delightful flavours.

Photo of Hop samples being assessed by the sensory panel

Hop samples being assessed by the sensory panel

Not content with just developing their own varieties, Farams have got involved with and sponsored the British Hop Association programme of new seedlings in their search for great new flavours. This programme is being led by Hop Guru Peter Darby and already there have been some superb discoveries amongst the existing plant material. The hops have been assessed for aroma in the field back in September last year and again in the showroom dried. The most promising have had cuttings taken and will have farm plots planted this year. These will be assessed again after harvest and hopefully there will be enough material for a few brewing trials.

The message is to definitely watch this space for other new British varieties over the next couple of years.

Photo of New cold storage facility in the Yakima Valley, USA

New cold storage facility in the Yakima Valley, USA

Contrary to popular belief Charles Faram & Co is still one of the smallest Hop Merchants in the UK. Whilst other dealers are owned by multi-national conglomerates Faram prides itself in being 100% British owned and is very closely associated with its growers. Indeed, the main shareholding is grower owned. That said another exciting development at Farams is the opening of its new cold storage facility and sales desk in the Yakima Valley, USA. The store is in the centre of one of the main hop growing regions of the world and is ideally placed for collections of US hops off farms and storage of British, New Zealand and European varieties for onward sales to US brewers. Two new appointments have been made to increase the grower and brewer liaison opportunities with Sean McGree (Ex BSG) and Jennifer Stevens (ex YCH hops) joining Farams in the last few months.


In the UK Farams have developed their portfolio to include other brewing raw materials and products to make all your brewing requirements as accessible as possible. The most recent addition is the Dolium one trip keg. It had been difficult for Dolium to get their products to the market and fulfil regular, reliable supplies from a UK store. The link up with Faram has provided this and is already producing repeat business for these easy to use kegs.

Check out the Faram website or get in touch with the sales team for an up to date picture of all the products available. Whether its hops, malt, dried yeast, finings, kegs, sensory training kits, bottle tops or closures they are very keen to hear from you.

15May 2017

Everyone at Charles Faram send excited cheers as the leader board is filled with Faram friends and customers.

A special congratulations goes to Ray at Grey Trees, Rob & Peter at Mumbles and Norman from Corvedale for their Overall Champion awards.

We were also happy to present the sponsored awards in Best Bitters and Pale Ales to Glamorgan, Castle and Ludlow.

Glamorgan accepts the award for Jemimas Pitchfork

Emily from Charles Faram presents the Bronze award in Best Bitters and Pale Ales to Glamorgan Brewing for Jemimas Pitchfork

Ludlow Brewing accepts the Gold award in Best Bitters & Pale Ales for Blonde

Emily from Charles Faram presents the Gold award for Best Bitters & Pale Ales to Ludlow Brewing for Blonde

Castles Brewery accepts the Silver award in Best Bitters & Pale Ales

Emily from Charles Faram presents the Silver award for Best Bitters & Pale Ales to Castles Brewery for White Knight


Taken from SIBA website:

Grey Trees Brewery and Purple Moose Brewery took the top awards in SIBA’s Wales & West Independent Beer Awards, which took place at Ludlow Festival.

The American hopped ‘Afghan Pale Ale’ by Grey Tress Brewery took home the overall Gold in the cask beer competition, whereas the rich and chocolatey ‘Chocolate Moose’ by Purple Moose took home the overall Gold in the small pack (bottle and can competition).

“Two very different but equally excellent beers won the overall Champion Golds in the SIBA Wales & West Independent Beer Awards. Judges had a tough job separating the pack as the standard was extremely high once again and lucky beer festival attendees will be scrambling to try these beers – now officially the best independent craft beers in the Wales & West region. Massive congratulations to Grey Trees & Purple Moose!” Buster Grant, SIBA Chairman.

The SIBA Wales & West Independent Beer Awards judge a huge range of beers across a number of styles before the winners from each category go forward to an ‘Overall Champions’ final. It was this ‘best-of-the-best’ final that finds the best winners in cask and small pack, which judges cans and bottles side by side.

Grey Trees Brewery, which started with a mission to get local people excited and enthusiastic about drinking ‘proper beer’ again as apposed to global lager, is run by Ray Davies, who had this to say on their win, “Fantastic! This has been a great year for the brewery and it is brilliant to see an IPA win the overall regional cask award. I would like to thank all of my family and everyone at the brewery for their support and hard work.” The Purple Moose Brewery is a ’40-Barrel’ micro-brewery based in the historic harbour town of Porthmadog, North Wales, close to the mountains of Snowdonia. Brewer Lawrence Washington from Purple Moose commented “This is amazing news for the brewery with so many great breweries in the Wales & West SIBA region. To win the overall small pack award is testament to how far we have come as a brewing business.” Full Winners List

Overall Champion of the Cask Beer Competition  

Sponsored by  SPAsoft Ltd

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Grey Trees Independent Craft Brewers Afghan Pale Ale 5.4
 SILVER  Mumbles Brewery Mumbles Weiss 5.8
 BRONZE  Corvedale Brewery Katie’s Pride 4.3

Cask Standard Mild & Brown Ales   

Sponsored by  Muntons PLC

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Corvedale Brewery Katie’s Pride 4.3
 SILVER  Hillside Brewery Over The Hill 3.5
 BRONZE  Hobsons Brewery Champion Mild 3.2

Cask Standard Bitters & Pale Ales  

Sponsored by  Murphy & Son Ltd 

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Wye Valley Brewery The Hopfather 3.9
 SILVER  Heavy Industry Brewing Ltd Electric Mountain 3.8
 BRONZE  Stroud Brewery Tom Long 3.8

Cask Best Bitters & Pale Ales   

Sponsored by  Charles Faram & Co. Ltd 

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Ludlow Brewing Company Blonde 4.0
 SILVER  Castles Brewery Limited White Knight 4.1
 BRONZE  Glamorgan Brewing Jemimas Pitchfork 4.4

Cask Premium Bitters & Pale Ales   

Sponsored by  Rankin Brothers & Sons  

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Big Hand Brewing Co Ltd Appaloosa 4.5
 SILVER  Heavy Industry Brewing Ltd 77 4.9
 BRONZE  Prescott Ales Super 6 No 2 Session IPA 4.5

Cask Strong Bitters & Pale Ales  

Sponsored by  Brewers Select 

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Grey Trees Independent Craft Brewers Afghan Pale Ale 5.4
 SILVER  Ludlow Brewing Company Stairway 5.0
 BRONZE  Cerddin Brewery Red Devilish 6.0

Cask Premium Strong Beers  

Sponsored by  Rastal GmbH & Co KG 

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Brecon Brewing Mind Bleach 10.0
 SILVER  The Untapped Brewing Co. Coldharbour 6.5
 BRONZE  Salopian Brewery Nephilim 7.4

Cask Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales   

Sponsored by  Bulk Storage & Process Systems Ltd 

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Cwrw Ial Community Brew Co Imperial Tan Halen 7.0
 SILVER  Heavy Industry Brewing Ltd Nos Smoked Porter 5.5
 BRONZE  Bespoke Brewing Co Ltd Money for Old Rope 4.8

Cask Speciality Light Beers  

Sponsored by  Crisp Malting Group 

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Mumbles Brewery Mumbles Weiss 5.8
 SILVER  Clun Brewery Ltd Solar 4.3
 BRONZE  Purple Moose Brewery Ltd Ysgawen 4.0

Cask Speciality Mid to Dark Beers  

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Mantle Brewery Dark Heart 5.2
 SILVER  Stroud Brewery Redcoat Red Rye IPA 5.3
 BRONZE  Mumbles Brewery Oystermouth Stout 4.4

Overall Champion of the Small Pack Competition  

Sponsored by  Brewers Select 

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Purple Moose Brewery Ltd Chocolate Moose 4.5
 SILVER  Bewdley Brewery Sir Keith Park 4.5
 BRONZE  Stonehouse Brewery Off The Rails 4.8

Small Pack Standard Mild & Brown Ales   

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Hillside Brewery Over The Hill 3.5
 SILVER  Mumbles Brewery Malt Bitter 4.1
 BRONZE  Bespoke Brewing Co Ltd The Kings Shilling 4.2

Small Pack Standard Bitters & Pale Ales   

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Hobsons Brewery Old Prickly 4.2
 SILVER  Gloucester Brewery Gloucester Gold 3.9
 BRONZE  Stonehouse Brewery Sunlander 3.7

Small Pack Premium Bitters & Pale Ales   

Sponsored by  Beatson Clark Ltd 

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Bewdley Brewery Sir Keith Park 4.5
 SILVER  Bluestone Brewing Company Hammerstone 4.5
 BRONZE  Gloucester Brewery Session IPA 4.5

Small Pack Strong Bitters & Pale Ales   

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Bewdley Brewery Worcestershire Sway 5.0
 SILVER  Salopian Brewery Kashmir 5.5
 BRONZE  Wye Valley Brewery Glorious IPA 6.0

Small Pack Premium Strong Beers  

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Geipel Brewing Zoiglator Bock 6.7
 SILVER  Salopian Brewery Nephilim 7.4
 BRONZE  The Untapped Brewing Co. Tymor 7.5

Small Pack Standard Lager & Pilsners                                                           

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Mumbles Brewery Murmelt 4.4
 SILVER  Hillside Brewery Hillside Craft Lager 4.3
 BRONZE  Geipel Brewing Aloha from Bala 4.4

Small Pack Premium Lager & Pilsners  

Sponsored by  Saxon Packaging                                                                 

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Stroud Brewery Premium Organic Lager 4.9
 SILVER  Mantle Brewery Hoodwinked 5.0
 BRONZE  Bluestone Brewing Company Preseli Pils 4.7

Small Pack Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales  

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Stonehouse Brewery Off The Rails 4.8
 SILVER  North Cotswold Brewery Hung Drawn ‘n’ Portered 5.0
 BRONZE  Stroud Brewery Big Cat 4.5

Small Pack Speciality Light Beers   

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Salopian Brewery lemon dream 4.5
 SILVER  Mumbles Brewery Mumbles Weiss 5.8
 BRONZE  Brecon Brewing Brecon Bamboo 3.7

Small Pack Speciality Mid to Dark Beers   

Brewery Product ABV
 GOLD  Purple Moose Brewery Ltd Chocolate Moose 4.5
 SILVER  Wye Valley Brewery Mocha Stout 6.0
 BRONZE  Stroud Brewery Schwarzwalder 5.0
09May 2017
Iso 9001 2015 certificate 2017

Copies of all of our certificates can be found here http://www.charlesfaram.co.uk/certifications/

Charles Faram are exceptionally pleased and proud to have received the renewal of their ISO 9001 certificate for their Quality Management System.

They were first awarded the certificate in May 2016 shortly after employing Christopher Lane as Quality Manager.

Upon receiving news of the successful audit Paul Corbett, MD, said, “We are delighted to have achieved the ISO 9001 standard for another year. This underlines our commitment to quality and our dedication to continuous improvement. I would like to say thank you to our Quality Manager Chris Lane and all the Faram team who make this possible.”

Chris Lane added, “Continuous Improvement” is about ongoing commitment from all concerned by utilising the management system that ISO9001 provides.
This accreditation demonstrates not just to our customers, but also to our suppliers, we are committed to improving our already high standards and expectations.