Skip to main content
8th March 2012


Marston’s 2012 Single Hop Ale programme is flying. Starting in January with New Zealand’s Wai-iti hop (lime zest and mandarin aromas; 3% alpha acid), followed by Australia’s Galaxy hop (passionfruit and citrus, 13% alpha acid) in February and  then England’s East Kent Goldings hop (spices and honey aromas, 5% alpha acid), the 12 cask ales will be brewed to exactly the same 4%abv recipe but each with a different hop.

The hops are sourced from nine countries – Poland, America, Germany, France, Slovenia, Australia, New Zealand, Czech Republic and England – and customers will be encouraged to vote for their favourites on as to their citrus, spicy, floral, herbal, berry flavours.

Current stockists of Marston’s Single Hop Ales include Spirit Pub Company in their Chef & Brewer and Taylor Walker pub estates. The Single Hop Ale programme has been designed to target traditional lager drinkers upgrading to the ale as well as appealing to female guests.

The Ferry Inn Chef & Brewer in Nottingham has sold more than 500 pints of the Single Hop Ales sinc e the start of the programme.  Duty Manager Sam Buckingham said: “Our guests enjoy the excitement around a guest ale and have really taken to the Single Hop range – we sold two barrels of Wai-iti in two days!  The origins of the hops, such as New Zealand and Australia, have been a great talking point at the bar.”

The Holly Bush Chef & Brewer in Little Hay has also enjoyed having the new ales on tap.  Team player Ann-Marie Russell enthused: “The Single Hop Ales have been going down a treat with our guests as they appreciate the lighter, more delicate flavours that you get from a single hop beer.  The Wai-iti was particularly popular – we couldn’t line up the casks quickly enough!”

Tarn Phillip, Assistant Manager, Zetland Arms Taylor Walker pub in South Kensington added: “The whole concept of Single Hop creates a talking point between us and our guests. Our guests have become more interested about the variety of ales on offer; and the fact that the hops are from all over the world is great for tourists and bringing British ale to the forefront.”

And Rob Graham, General Manager of The Plough, another Taylor Walker pub in Bloomsbury, agrees: “Our guests look at the Single Hop in a different light due to the hops being sourced from all around the world. It’s a great topic of conversation as we chat about how the hops affect the flavour of the beers.”


Marston’s Category Manager, Ian Ward, comments: “These Single Hop Varietal ales are producing really vibrant flavours. They allow each hop variety to really shout. Blending three grape varieties for Champagnes, or several hop varieties for beer, often leads to complexity and consistency of style; but using just one grape variety in Blanc de Blancs Champagnes (Chardonnay) or just one hop variety in our Single Hop Ales seems to produce drinks with greater elegance and greater clarity of flavour. The hops’ individuality shines through, and customers are starting to be more aware of the flavours hops can provide in their beer.


“Our Cask Ale report of 2011 highlighted the need to ‘sell and not just serve’ cask ale. Because some cask ales rotate on sale almost daily, drinkers are looking to know more about the beer and its taste before they choose to buy. We hope the programme will help bar staff sell cask ales and that our point of sale materials will help begin a selling dialogue. To us, hops are the perfect starting place.”


“We have had fantastic feedback from publicans, who like the fact that it’s such a different concept to most guest ales; and it creates a talking point between the staff and customers, and often that leads to sales. If the beer market is to grow, we need to keep building awareness of beer’s wonderful natural ingredients so that customers can understand why they like one beer, or beer style, more than another. As hops are the spicing of beer, hops are a great way for us to add understanding and conversation to beer.”


Simon Yates, assistant head brewer at Marston’s Banks’s Brewery in Wolverhampton, is responsible for all 12 ales:

“I recently took a cask of Wai-iti and Galaxy to a professional brewers dinner and there was a real bubble of interest in the beers’ exotic flavours and their zinging freshness.  Out of 20 or so casks on offer, Single Hop Galaxy was the first to run out – before the Dinner commenced! Wai-iti came a close second….


With most brews, I expect the hops to mellow and soften out with time, but with Wai-iti, the opposite happened. After a week in cask, the Wai-iti’s initially delicate flavour changed and the hop’s exhilarating flavours of lime zest and citrus became clearer and more focused.  Wai-iti has the lowest alpha acid (3%) of any I have brewed and I used  significant quantities both at the end of the boil and half way through emptying the whirlpool – so as to build the hop’s aroma. In contrast, Galaxy is 12.8% alpha acid and a much more powerful hop, so I used it more sparingly at the beginning of boil and in a bigger way as a final addition to avoid excess bitterness developing.”


The Single Hop beers will all use 100% pale malt, with no sugars and no adjuncts. They will have between 26-36 Bitterness Units, as the levels of alpha acids in the hops range widely, from 3% for Wai-iti through to around 14% for Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy.


The April brew will be brewed with the Hallertau Mittelfruh hop from central Bavaria, Germany, 3.5-5.5% alpha acid, with its floral, grassy, herbal aromas.


Editors Notes:-

–          The programme is as follows:

January – Wai-ti from New Zealand, with an aroma of mandarin, lemon and lime zest.

February – Galaxy from Australia, with an aroma of passionfruit and citrus

March – East Kent Golding, from England, with an aroma of spices, honey and caramel

April – Hallertau Mittelfruh, from Germany, with a floral, grassy, herbal aroma

May – Cascade, from the US, with an aroma of grapefruit, lychee and peach

June – Marynka, from Poland, with a herbal, berry fruit and floral aroma

July – Styrian, from Slovenia, with an aroma of lemon, citrus and perfume

August – Strisselpalt, from France, with a delicate floral and herbal aroma

September – New Zealand, with an aroma of gooseberry, grapefruit and citrus

October – Citra from the US, with an aroma of tropical fruit, mango and lime

November – Kohatu from New Zealand, with a floral pine and tropical fruit aroma

December – Saaz from the Czech Republic, lightly floral with an earthy and cinnamon aroma




Julie Carolan

R&R Teamwork


T: 020 7384 1333   |   M: 07717 707152   |   Twitter: @JulieCarolan