• Hop Development Programme logoOur Hop Development Programme in a nutshell
    • Commercial programme – breaking all the traditional rules of hop breeding
    • Shared risk with growers, equal reward
    • Brewing trials performed as early as possible
    • Promising varieties pushed forward before disease screening is completed
    • 5000 seeds planted a year.  Every one a new variety in itself.
  • Most frequently asked question

The most common question is ‘How can I get involved’?. We keep an availability list at HQ, brewers wanting to get involved can request that list, or if they are interested in a variety which isn’t yet available can express their interest to our sales team.

We also get asked regularly, “What style of beer would you like me to produce with it?” We have a small pilot plant on site where we experiment with hop forward pale ales. For commercial trials we prefer brewers to choose a style that they feel is appropriate for the hop. The flavour notes we have from our experimental hops lend themselves to a plethora of styles of beer.

Feedback is vital! We are planting large numbers of new varieties every year as single plants, and have a dedicated team of growers who follow up with expanded plots with which to provide these brewing samples. To take a variety further, or not, we need your feedback.

  • Photo of hops being propogatedGodiva release

A daughter of Jester, we planted the seed in 2012. A stand out plant from the first year both in terms of aroma and agronomy. We named Godiva early on in development, as it is a somewhat wild and strong plant but almost completely leafless, we felt the reference to the historical figure was fitting. Production has been steadily geared up to the point that this year we have been able to package both as leaf and pellet. Brewing trials have been very successful and Godiva has already been used to develop permanent range beers at some notable breweries. Tasting notes are tangerine, white grape and spice, with no doubt that Godiva imparts a very sessionable quality to beers. Both leaf and pellet are available for brewing trials.

  • CF160 background and progress

Another daughter of Jester (you might notice a common theme!), we planted the seed in 2014. As a somewhat untidy plant we didn’t hold out much hope, but during a very late evening green aroma assessment, Peter Glendinning and Will Rogers stumbled – literally, across it. They didn’t even need to rub the hop as it has a powerful tropical fruit aroma.  With this in mind plots were planted and this year the grand total of 600kg was produced. This is just enough to pellet, so the decision was made to make T90 pellets with it all and let it demonstrate its prowess as a dry hop! We have a small amount still available if you wish to try it.

  • Brewing Little Darlings and all about the name

Will Rogers, Charles Faram

Rooster’s Brewing Company turn 25 this year and as part of their celebrations have been organising a series of collaborative brews. Ol Fozard, Head Brewer, has joined us for hop selection on a number of occasions and had identified CF160 as a hop he would like to brew with. The name came from a farm visit when an enthusiastic farmer, proud of his crop exclaimed ‘look at those little darlings’ describing some perfectly ripe hops hanging from the bine, like grapes, just waiting to be picked. Ol asked me to join him brewing this special beer, and I was happy to oblige. The brew day was good fun, highlights being the brewers breakfast (bacon and egg butties), lots of quality control of beer, and digging out the mash tun…….