Friday 2 November 2012

The Goldings Hops: the out takes.

At last here's the final part of series on the history of Goldings hops: the hilarious out-takes. Being the most prized of English hops the term 'Golding' has often been applied to hops that are not in fact true GoldingsThe Hop Marketing Board complicated things further by classifying hops into four classes: Golding, Golding Variety, Fuggle and Other Varieties. The Golding class is for the various different clones of the true Goldings. Golding Variety was the class for hops which weren't actually Goldings but were ranked mid-way between Goldings and Fuggles in quality. There were two hops classified as Goldings Varieties, one of which is still grown today:

Whitbread Golding Variety

"Selected, or raised as a seedling, in 1911 (that auspicious year again) from a commercial variety of the time-reputedly Bate's Brewer-by E.A. White, of Paddock Wood. A small acreage of this variety, identified by the code number 1147, was maintained by E. A. White, and later by Messrs. Whitbread & Co., his successors at Beltring, Paddock Wood. Following the outbreak of progressive Verticillium wilt in the early 1930's, it was found to be largely tolerant to the disease. It was later extensively propagated, under the auspices of the Hop Marketing Board, for planting by growers in gardens affected by this destructive disease, which persists for several years in infected soil." (1)

The hop was originally called White's Golding and was a result of the breeding programme of EA White developed with the great Professor ES Salmon of Wye College. (2) Though the male parent of this hop is unknown there is the possibility that it was of American origin, as male American plants had certainly been imported by then as a way of attempting to raise the alpha acid content of English hops.


"Selected by Gerald Warde, of Tutsham Hall, West Farleight. It is grown in the same districts and requires similar treatments to Cobbs, which it closely resembles.
The cones 'hang' better than those of Cobbs, and the plant is somewhat less susceptible to hop mould." (3)

As far as I'm aware this hop is no longer grown.

Styrian Golding

This hop is not a Golding, and it's not Styrian either. Analysis found that the original Styrian Golding was in fact a Fuggle plant. The different soil and climate give it a distinctly different flavour though. And recently googling by me has found that Styria is a region of Austria, though all the Styrian Goldings I've ever used have come from Slovenia.

The story goes that as the term Fuggle-Golding was used by some for Fuggles the continentals got confused as to which hop they had and though it was a type of Golding. The plot thickens further though as the crafty Slovenians have continued to use the term 'Styrian Golding' for hops from their breeding programme, some of which are entirely unrelated to the Fuggle.

The current labels they use are Savinjski Golding, for the Fuggle plants grown in Slovenia, Styrian Golding B for the hop otherwise known as Bobek which is the offspring of Northdown and a seedling of unknown origin, and Styrian Golding C or Celeia for a hybrid of Aurora (a descendant of Northern Brewer) and a wild male. (4)

I've also found mentions of two hops bred by Professor Salmon which he gave the name Golding to:

Norton Court Golding

This hop came from Canterbury Golding crossed with OB21, a seedling of Brewers Gold and an American male OY1. This is the same parents as Northern Brewer, a hop which has had rather more success. (5, 6, 7)

Wye Field Golding

This hop also had the same parents as Northern Brewer. Northing seems to have come of Norton Court or Wye Field Goldings, but ironically another of Ernest Salmon's hops which he didn't give a Golding name to, Early Choice, is now sold as a Golding. (8)

There are also a number of hops which have a "gold" if not "Golding" worked into their names, Brewers Gold has already been mentioned, a dwarf variety is called First Gold, and Bullion and Nugget have the suggestion of Gold about them, though of these Nugget is the only one with Golding in its ancestry.

  1. Hops. AH Burgess. p43
  2.  The Encircling Hop. M Lawrence. p36
  3. Hops. AH Burgess p41
  6. Hops, AH Burgess. p46

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