Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A win for wild hop

I was delighted to see that the Sussex hop was chosen as the overall winner of the British Hop Awards. In my previous job we were the first brewery to use it, which may even make us innovative. That's right, in brewing you can be innovative by doing everything exactly as you normally do, but using a new hop variety. Harvey's later used Sussex hop in a beer they also named Wild Hop, which did lead Miles Jenner to phone us and check this didn't cause any problems, but we told him not to worry.

The Sussex hop was first grown by Peter Cyster, a retired hop farmer, propagated from a wild hop he liked the look of. Oil analysis has shown it's a new variety, and if I remember rightly it was suspected it was a daugher of Boadicea as it's a also a dwarf variety, and Boadicea is grown on the hop farm where it was found.

I visited the farm back in 2011, when Sussex was grown in one corner. I was surprised to see that the winning hops were grown by A H Hoad and Son, but they've now been growing Sussex for two years so production of the variety is spreading. I have a slight edge on them as Peter Cyster was kind enough to give us some plants at the brewery and I've been growning a Sussex since 2012. I don't think mine will be winning any prizes though, but it goes well in my annual green hop beer.

Sussex hop


  1. what are the aroma and taste profiles like? Great news though, we need to keep getting new viable UK varieties to ensure there's sufficient demand from hop farms to prevent more acreage loss.

    1. I thought it was fruity, with some citrus and vanilla.