Phase one of the Wellhopped World Series is the AromaFest competition and SIBA BeerX was the perfect stage to present the first ever awards. The main aims of this competition are to give growers of Charles Faram Hop Development Programme recognition for their endeavours in the search for new varieties and to show the Charles Faram commitment to quality.
The AromaFest was judged on Friday 11th January and the awards presented to the winners at SIBA BeerX in Liverpool on Thursday 15th March. The trophy was specially designed for the occasion by a local Worcester designer, then cast in bronze by a local casting company. The design includes hops framing a globe and five leaves on the back to represent each country involved.
The competition is showcasing Charles Faram hops produced by growers in five different countries worldwide, UK, USA, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia.
Each country is at a different stage of development but all are growing these new plants in an attempt to produce new and exciting varieties to help brewers bring new tastes to the beer drinker.
Paul Corbett, MD said, “we’re already extremely grateful to everyone who has grown or brewed with one of our experimental hops and given us feedback about the varieties. We are also keen to get more brewers involved”. Anyone that is interested in helping with brewing trials and focus groups should get in touch with the team at Charles Faram in the UK.
Paul also went on to give big thanks to the judges for giving up their time to judge these hops for Charles Faram. “It was a long and hard day, not made any easier by having a camera focused on them for long periods during the day”.
Charles Faram teams in the UK, Canada and USA are very excited about the way the programme is moving forward and are anticipating even more exciting discoveries in the future.
James Hawkins with Faram Fuggle
John Walker with Faram Fuggle
John Walker with Minstrel
John and his wife Sue farm at Tedney, which is in the beautiful Teme Valley about 12 miles from Worcester.
Category 1: Flavour intensity 5-6 Delicate
Category 2, Flavour intensity 7-8 Mid-range
In our video Will Hartley explains what the judges were looking for in category 2, mid range alpha/flavour and aroma.
Mark Andrews with Mystic
Mark Andrews with Godiva™
James Hawkins with CF185
(as yet un-named)
James farms hops at Withington on a mixed farm with hops, strawberries, asparagus and turf. The farm is about 5 miles from Hereford and James has been working with Faram’s since 1993, but his family has worked with Charles Faram for many years before that.
James grows 50 ha of hops including First Gold, Boadicea, Pioneer, Pilot, Archer®, Minstrel® and Faram’s trial Fuggle replacement.
These are all hedgerow varieties as James has no tall hops. CF185 is one of the trial varieties James also has on the farm.
Category 3, Flavour intensity 9-10 High
Gareth Williams of Tiny Rebel describes what the judges were looking for in category 3.
Mark Andrews with Olicana®
Jindrich Krivanek with HP111
Mark Andrews with Harlequin
Mark and his wife Lesley farm at Bosbury near Ledbury in Herefordshire. The farm has been in the family for 3 generations.
Mark grows 30 ha of hops including Challenger, Pilgrim, Phoenix, Jester®, Olicana®, Sovereign and Cascade.
He has a large number of the new trial varieties on the farm including Godiva™, Mystic and Harlequin.
Mark has worked closely with Faram’s for over 20 years as did his father before him.
Early stage varieties
Faram’s own Jason Little explains about the category, Early stage varieties, which are the varieties of tomorrow.
Jindra Krivánek with development variety CF201
You may recognise Jindra if you have been to the Charles Faram HopWalk as each year Jindra gives an update on the Czech crop.
He has been an agronomist at the Czech Research institute and advises growers on everything from planting to harvesting. He is also a part owner of Hop Products Ltd which is a Charles Faram distribution partner in the Czech Republic.
He is growing these hops in conjunction with a grower group in the Rocov area near Zatec in the north of the Czech republic.
Charles Faram’s own Peter Glendinning with development variety CF250
Dariusz Kozieł with development variety CF129
Dariusz farms with his father-in-law in Wilkow which is not far from the border with the Czech Republic, and is the biggest county of hop production in Poland
They grow 5 ha hops including Lubelski, Sybilla and Magnum.
They planted the first Charles Faram trial hops in 2015
Supreme champion commercial variety
With samples taken from the top three in each commercial variety category the judges then went on to select their favourites overall. The video shows how they approached the final judging and what they thought of the quality on show.
Jindra Krivánek for HP111
James Hawkins with CF185
Mark Andrews with Harlequin
The Wellhopped World Series AromaFest did have US and Slovenian samples from the hop development programme on show against all of the winners, but as they are only in their second year the selections are not yet hitting the high notes that the judges had from the winners which have been in the ground for a bit longer.
Charles Faram are looking forward to seeing these varieties as medal winners as they go forward as they will undoubtedly be producing some very big aromas.
The whole team send congratulations to Mark and all the growers on their achievements this year and look forward to working with them, and the brewers on the future hop trials.