Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Hidden hops

There seem to be more English hop varieties emerging at the moment. And I'm not talking about the hop breeding programme of Wye Hops Ltd.

Some hop growers are taking the approach of Mr Fuggle and selecting a plant they like the look of for cultivation. The closest hop grower to us at work has a small garden of "The Sussex Hop" we use in one of our beers. Westerham Brewery used "Finchcock's Hop X" in in their Jubilee beer, and Dave at work has just made an excellent tasting home brew using Flyer.

I wonder if there are any more out there?


  1. what about the ones that are disappearing ? whats happening to Fuggels?

  2. Wilt is taking it's toll on the amount of Fuggles grown in the midlands but I was recently in an East Kent hop garden where they've just started growing Fuggles, and the Fuggles in Surrey looked fine.:

  3. One of our neighbors has hops growing in his garden. Don't know what they are but we dry hop a couple of firkins and put them on in the Mawson.

    This year the beer will be London Pride, a beer we have never dry hopped before. Last year it was Chiswick.
    Doing things like this just makes life more interesting

  4. It has its moments being a brewer :-)

  5. I've got a couple of wild hop plants in pots, in my garden.
    They're root cuttings which I've found locally, over the last 2-3 years. One whitebine and one redbine.

    The whitebine had been rearing to go, with shoots growing since mid-winter. Unfortunately, it has since taken a battering from the weather and mildew, and has produced no hops whatsoever.

    The younger redbine has been a bit more resilient, and produced a few hops, but nothing like enough for a brew!

    However, at the weekend, I did pick about 4.5kg of nice plump hops from a plant, out the back of a local pub. :)

    I've now got about 50 mushroom trays stacked up in the garage, drying them out. About 10 days normally does it.

  6. How do they smell? A lot of wild hops I've looked at smell of garlic which puts me off.

  7. They don't smell of garlic to me, but then different perceptions and sensitivities are things that make life interesting!

    I think that I'd probably describe these hops as grassy. Not overly pungent in any way, at least.