Latest News

02Nov 2018

Photo of Robbie HarriganOur latest project on our pilot brew kit here at Charles Faram was in conjunction with our friends at Fermentis to explore how suitable their S-33 yeast strain was for brewing a New England IPA. On paper, S-33 looks like it could be a good candidate; its fermentation characteristics and relatively neutral flavour profile look like they fit the bill.

The history of the strain is unclear; an extensive Google search lists its potential origin as either the UK, Germany or Belgium but the consensus seems to be that it originated here in the UK. Many of the extremely popular ‘New England’, ‘Vermont’ or ‘Conan’ strains are also rumoured to have British roots, so this could suggest that we may not be too far off.

As for the recipe itself, we decided to keep it as simple as possible to minimise any potential variations that may distort the results. We went for a malt grist of 70% pale ale malt, 20% of malted oats and 10% of wheat malt. We’re lucky in that the water here at our Malvern site requires very little adjustment for brewing however we added a touch of calcium chloride to help round the beer out and give that ‘juicy’ mouthfeel the style is so well known for. We mashed at 65°C to produce a wort that was nice and fermentable.

This may be an article that focuses on yeast, but we can’t overlook the hops! Hops are what make or break this style, we opted for Azacca™, El Dorado® and Idaho 7 . These hops and their abundance of tropical, stone fruit and citrus notes fit the bill nicely. A tiny bittering addition followed by massive whirlpool and multiple dry-hop charges give the beer its huge hop aroma and flavour.

Not being overly familiar with the yeast we kept the fermentation regime simple and chose a temperature of 21 to ensure a healthy fermentation but not too warm as to produce unpleasant off flavours. Reports about this yeast being a fast fermenting strain weren’t wrong! Primary fermentation was completed in 3 days then the dry hops were added – an equal split between the 3 varieties at a rate of 10 grams per litre. It should be noted that this yeast does benefit from extra conditioning time as it does leave a powdery haze that is reluctant to drop.

To conclude – the beer is currently still in its conditioning phase, but it certainly looks the part! Its medium attenuation rate has left a beer with good body for the hops to sit upon and while it’s still quite young, it’s showing promise. That said, it has come out a with a spicier, more continental yeast profile than predicted. While the hops still take centre stage on the aroma front, it is certainly noticeable. We’re planning to brew this beer again and tweak a couple of things; primarily the fermentation temperature, we’ll look to bring this down a touch to keep any excessive esters and unwanted yeast-character under control.


S33 trial beer

S33 trial beer


05Oct 2018


Pilot kit club - A great opportunity to fly high with new and experimental varieties from around the world


Fly high with our Pilot Kit Club

We’re offering a rotating select range of new and experimental varieties in 1kg packs.
If you are a UK commercial brewery with the desire to try something new then you are already a member.

Keep an eye on this page for the current rotation list

11Sep 2018

Growers group interview all

The Charles Faram HopWalk 2018 took place at Pridewood Farm near Ledbury. Here Paul Corbett, MD interviews hop growers from around the world for a quick update on the crops.

Growers group interview uk


  • 4-5% increase in acreage. There’s a change of varieties to follow the market. Goldings and Fuggle still important.
  • More varieties going in (mainly the newer varieties like Jester, Ernest, Olicana®
  • Late start due to snow in March. Then it was really wet, thankfully
  • Then we had the hot sunny weather. Traditional British heritage varieties have struggled
  • It’s hard to tell until after the harvest what the yield will be but early varieties have suffered most
  • Endeavour is bang on average
  • Goldings are down by about 30%
  • Phoenix is 20% up on average.
  • New varieties are looking amazing. 60 will be ready for Charles Faram aroma testing at the start of next year
Growers group interview usa


  • Weather has been normal this year. It was a bit wet. It’s been extremely warm and then cooled down a couple of weeks ago
  • Centennial will be below average. Maybe Simcoe® and Idaho too
  • Acreage gone up by 2000 acres. Mainly Citra and proprietary hops
  • Simcoe® acreage reduced
  • Alpha is becoming more popular. It has been 80% aroma 20% alpha in the past although more recently aroma has been higher than alpha
  • Future will see more alpha going in
  • Release of new varieties has slowed down. Some great new varieties in the pipe line
Growers group interview czech


  • Crop yield is low. There’s more than 50% less on some farms
  • All 3 Hop regions are below average. Weather has been very dry for growers in Europe
  • Hop quality is better than expected. Essential oils this year are pretty good
  • Acreage of Saaz and new varieties expected to increase in acreage next year
  • Trial plots with Charles Faram are putting forward a new variety next year


  • 1800 hectares slight increase of around 100 hectares mostly Aurora. Good substitute for Perle
  • Crop very nice as had favourable weather (a wet “English” summer)
  • May was too hot for early varieties, but quality still good
  • Exciting times ahead with Hop development. More high aroma hops.


  • Acreage increased by about 700ha
  • Mainly Herkules (Magnum and Taurus reduced as they cannot produce enough alpha per ha to compete)
  • Hot dry summer – many varieties hit hard (particularly the early ones).
  • Overall yields could be 20% short of normal
  • Herkules still to be harvested but expected to be lower alpha and yields.
14Aug 2018

Falcon brewing ajax logoCharles Faram’s very own Rod Daigle, Sales Manager from the Toronto office, collaborated on a brew day on Friday with the outstanding brew team at Falcon Brewing of Ajax, Ontario.


Rod designed the recipe in advance of brew day, and provided technical guidance prior to and on the day.  He even claims to have mashed in and dug out, although we do not have statements from any witnesses at this point.


Rod and falcon aug 2018 03smThe beer is a ‘moderately traditional” Altbier (including fermentation of ale yeast at lager temps) with an New Zealand twist.  In Rod’s words, “it’s effectively and Alt Alt”.


The base beer followed a relatively traditional “to style” grain bill, and will present malt-forward with a richmahogany colour.  The brew utilized Charles Faram sourced El Dorado® and Tettnang hops in the boil.

The “twist” incorporated an undisclosed New Zealand variety as a late whirlpool edition, also from Charles Faram, to contribute a novel, yet subtle and refined hop aroma.


The 5.8% ABV beer will be released closer to Falcon Brewing’s Oktoberfest celebrations.

Rod and falcon aug 2018 01sm


If you would like to do a collaboration with Rod, or the folks from our UK site,  then please get in touch.

Rod and falcon aug 2018 02sm

Keep an eye out for news on collaboration feedback from the use of our own hops from the Charles Faram Hop Development Programme.



01Aug 2018

Since the last update the company has been working very hard on all aspects of supply to its customers. Here are some of the developments.


Photos of the cold store being builtFaram’s have been investing heavily in their facilities in both the UK and the USA to ensure the best quality hops are received by their customers. Following on from ISO 9001 certification in 2016 growers are now audited regularly for the quality of their facilities, their production methods, their adherence to the Modern Slavery Act and as always, the final quality of their hops. To ensure the hops stay in the best condition a new cold store has been built at the Worcestershire site which stores the hops at 0°c. Paul Corbett, Managing Director said “This is a huge investment for Faram’s and the new facility is up there with the best cold stores in the world for storing hops.” The 1,860m² (20,000ft²) store is capable of storing an additional 1,700 pallets and is already full with stock. The hops are being held for customers to draw on as required. “We noticed that we were storing more and more hops for our contracts each year and wanted to make sure that we were storing them in the best conditions possible” continued Corbett. “The store was completed in January and we are delighted with the results. With the new store we have the ability to have British hops off farm earlier and get them processed into T90 pellets or Freshpak and into store much quicker. With our US and New Zealand hops they are now 100% cold from the day they are picked up from the farm. The Yakima facility we installed in 2016 has been fully operational for over a year now and the cold store there has proved to be a very useful staging point for the quality checks and safe carriage of US hops to the UK. With refrigerated containers continuing to be

Faram uk site 03

used to bring hops across the Atlantic it really is a complete cold chain.”

The company has also taken its responsibility with pesticide residue testing very seriously too. This has become a much bigger worry for everyone in the brewing industry and the testing programme undertaken by Faram’s has been stepped up to take samples from every farm they work with and have them checked for pesticide residues. “It forms part of the company’s commitment to supply the safest and highest quality hops we can” said Corbett.




Hop Development Programme

Hop Development Programme logoThe company continues to work closely with growers in the UK, the US, the Czech Republic and Slovenia to develop new varieties of hops. Will Rogers, Charles Faram Sales Director and lead on the Hop Development Programme is very excited by the way the new varieties are developing. “We have already been able to release several new varieties that have shown great potential” said Will. “There are even more exciting new possibilities in the pipeline” he adds. “It seems that the further we go with our programme the more intensity of flavour we are getting. I can’t wait to taste some of the results from the brewing trials this year, the brewers who have tried the new hops are doing a great job!”

Faram’s have also invested in the programme of new hop seedlings developed by the British Hop Association at Wye Hops in Kent. Working in conjunction with Peter Darby this will give Faram’s access to a completely different genetic pool of potentially new varieties. 11 different “potentials” are being planted out in larger farm trials plots this year and there are many more in the pipeline. The Faram’s team have been making the annual September pilgrimage to Kent to test the “green aromas” on the trial plants; anything that smells promising has then been picked and dried by the Wye Hops team and presented for further aroma evaluation in January after harvest. This is where the 11 high scoring selections have come from and no doubt more will follow.



Cfda18 2048x552 brithop webbanner

#Brithop and British Music

In association with the British Hop Association Faram’s has sponsored and supported an initiative from Drinks Maven to have several brewers (The Kernel, North Brewing Co, Burning Sky, Wild Beer Co and Cloudwater) to brew some fantastic new beers using British hops. Each brewer has nominated a song to be matched to the beer. The results were released this week at Mother Kelly’s in London and went down a storm! The aim is to raise awareness of the locally produced British varieties (old and new) and promote the benefits of using locally grown hops. Hopefully this event can be rolled out to more brewers next year with an even bigger selection of breweries, hops beers and music.

Current market update

photo of Mandarina BavariaIt looks like this year could be another interesting one with the Czech Republic and Eastern Europe reporting a very early bloom in the crop. So early in fact that some hop yards are already coming into cone! This could mean that the harvest is very early this year and if it is will lead to reduced yields. As always it is very important to make sure that all your contract requirements have been communicated to your hops supplier so that the necessary arrangements can be made to cover them.


23May 2018

Brit hop participant logos

Five of the UK’s best breweries will be launching a line-up of exceptional beers using new progressive British hops in new project named BritHop that is due to launch this summer.

The BritHop Series, pioneered by Drinks Maven, has been initiated in conjunction with hop merchant Charles Faram and the British Hop Association [BHA] and aims for a supergroup of new and exciting British beers to be brewed by some of the nation’s top brewers. Each beer will also be aligned with a music track from a British band or artist that suits the beer.

Breweries involved in the project include: Burning Sky, The Kernel, Cloudwater, The Wild Beer Co and North Brewing Co.

“Great beer and great music should go hand-in-hand. In Britain, we are lucky enough to have both. The new progressive hop varieties we now have available to us in the UK are at the heart of this series and will be used to create some exciting new beers. This is the start of a journey into the next generation of flavour for British beer – an exciting step towards growing an appreciation for all of the nuances and subtleties of what British hops have to offer whilst also giving a nod to some decent music at the same time,” said Drinks Maven founder Jessica Mason.

BritHop is an independent project and a way for beer and music fans to also show support for local industry. The BritHop Series will launch aligned with Beer Day Britain and the limited line-up of beers will be available to taste at a party at Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green London on the evening of 15th June, 2018.

Twitter and Instagram: #BritHop @drinksmaven


Brit hop sponsor logos


Beer Day Britain graphic saying, celebrate Britain's National drink on Beer Day Britain 15th June with extra Britishness. Archer, Jester, Minstrel, Olicana

21May 2018

The Royal Wedding is over, so here is the last recipe in our #RoyalWedding #Wellhopped series and this time it’s from Ben Adams.

Pale Ale

IBU 25

EBC 10



85% Extra Pale malt

10% Carapils

5% Torrefied Wheat



First Gold                        start of boil

First Gold                        end of boil

Mount Hood                  end of boil





First Gold imparts an easy session drinkability with its soft bitterness. Late additions of First Gold and Mount Hood combine herbal undertones with a zesty orange and lemon finish



Click here for Recipe #1 New England IPA from Robbie Harrigan

Click here for Recipe #2 Red Ale from Ben Adams

Click here for Recipe #3 Vienna IPA from Robbie Harrigan