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25th July 2017

The man with the golden hops?

Chance to put James Bond style excitement on the bar
XT Brewery Brit Hop debuts new hop varieties
Pubs have the chance to put some James Bond style excitement on the bar this summer, thanks to a brewery that’s managed to get hold of some hops grown in a manner worthy of Q himself.
XT Brewing Co, based in Buckinghamshire, is one of a select few breweries given the chance to make beer with hops that have faced death – and survived – as many times as 007.
Known only as CF160 and CF182, the prototype hops are the work of the Charles Faram Hop Development programme. Each year it plants as many as 5,000 new varieties, of which as few as 100 may survive. Hop breeders are then ‘licensed to kill’ some of them, but only in the name of finding out which plants can withstand disease and pests.
Varieties that survive and make the grade are set to transform the British brewing industry with big new flavours designed to take on competition from imported hops.
“It’s a major thrill to have the chance to brew with these new varieties of British hops,”
said XT Head Brewer Russell Taylor.
He added, “We’ve known since we started brewing that hops from the USA, Australia and New Zealand, with those punchy, tropical fruit flavours, are hugely popular with beer drinkers. If this breeding programme can bring forth a British answer to hops like that I think it’ll be a game-changer for everyone who drinks, makes or sells beer.”
Named Brit Hop, the beer is a strong pale ale. The new hop varieties it features are said to have flavours of passionfruit, and green peppercorns and spicy, floral sweet peaches.
Much of the hop breeding work that created the new flavours is done at secret locations to avoid surveillance and espionage. This means pub-goers will be in a privileged position of being among the first to taste the new flavours the hops offer – along with visitors to the Great British Beer Festival where the beer will be officially launched.
A spokesman for Charles Faram & Co, who wouldn’t confirm if people ever referred to him as ‘M’ – or perhaps ‘H’ – said, “I see our breeding programme as being in the true spirit of British innovation, like an inventor in a garden shed, mildly eccentric but still managing to achieve results which perhaps punch above our weight as a nation and also as a small company doing some crazy things with hops.”
Regardless of what hops are in it, beer should be neither shaken nor stirred, but enjoyed in a scrupulously clean glass in the company of friends.
 Those attending GBBF’s trade session on 8th August can visit the XT Brewing Co bar for a chance to sample Brit Hop. Pubs wishing to stock the beer should contact XT Brewing Co on 01844 208 310.
Images to illustrate this story can be downloaded via this link:
For further details/interview requests contact:
 Sophie Atherton on 07946 112 025 or via
 Russell Taylor on 07776 494 227 or via
Editors’ notes
The beer
 XT Brewing Co Brit Hop (5%) will be launched at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival at London, Olympia from 8th – 12th August. It will be available from the XT Brewing Co bar – while stocks last and in select pubs after the festival.
 XT supplies beer to pubs across the South of England and the Midlands – including Birmingham, Bristol, London, Cambridge, Southampton, Oxford, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
 XT Brew Co was founded in 2011 by Russ Taylor and Gareth Xifaras. It is an innovative, independent brewery crafting a wide range of beers for cask, keg, cans and bottles. It brews a core range of characterful, full flavoured XT beers and regular one-off, experimental beers under the ‘Animal’ banner. The brewery is on the beautiful Notley Farm in the village of Long Crendon, on the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border near Oxford.
 The Charles Faram Hop Development programme is run by Britain’s oldest hop merchant Charles Faram & Co, which was founded in 1865. The company now has offices in the USA and Canada as well as its head office near Worcester in the UK.
 Its ongoing hop development programme has been running for more than 10 years. (Hops are a perennial plant and take around three years to reach maturity).
 The ‘licensed to kill’ aspect of its work refers to surviving hop plants being put through their paces to see if they can withstand pests and diseases.
 Some hop plants are sent hundreds of miles to testing facilities in Eastern Europe because the diseases they are subjected to are so dangerous they could could completely wipe out existing commercial crops.
 Other plants are deliberately sealed into UK greenhouses in perfect conditions for diseases to occur and are infected if disease does not occur naturally – all to determine how hardy each type of hop is.
 Several new British hop varieties, such as Jester*, Olicana*, Minstrel* and Archer* have emerged thanks to the Charles Faram Hop Development programme.
 *The names of these hop varieties are registered trademarks of Charles Faram & Co.
Circulated by Sophie Atherton
Freelance Journalist & Accredited Beer Sommelier 
Mob: 07946 112 025
– on behalf of XT Brewing Co: