CF160 is the latest exciting variety to emerge from the Charles Faram Hop Development Programme and Will Rogers, Hop Development Director has taken it for its brewing trial at Roosters Brewery today.
The Charles Faram Development Programme breaks all the rules as all promising varieties are sent forward for brewing trials before full disease screening is completed. Disease screening looks for natural resistance to powdery mildew and tolerance to downy mildew. They are then sent to Slovenia for Verticilium Wilt resistance screening. This is an expensive and time consuming process so we make sure that we have positive brewing results first.
The new varieties are primarily selected on aroma at trials that we nickname AromaFest. 5000 individual variety seeds are planted each year and of these around 50 new varieties make it to the advanced development stages of the programme. From those 50, 1 to 2 commercial varieties are released per year.
The Development Programme began in a secret nursery in Herefordshire, but we now have planting programmes in the US, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland.
If CF160 trials well at brewing then it will go forward to become a commercially available hop with shared risk, investment and commitment from the growers to provide the acreage.