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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.