The Charles Faram International Hop Awards are about recognising the commitment excellence of growers in the UK, USA, Czechia and Germany in the Hop Development Program, Charles Faram’s fast-moving hop breeding initiative, that concentrates on new flavours, disease resistance, improved yields, and environmental sustainability. This year the awards have been especially exciting in highlighting the consistency and successful formula for hop growing and quality across all aspects of the breeding project.
Besides winning the awards, the growers are given in-depth feedback from the judges. The judging panel consisted of twenty-one eminent international head brewers, who were asked to consider a range of desirable characteristics that they look for, as well as to judge aroma and quality. The results are an excellent way to benchmark best practices and raise overall quality across all farms.
This year’s winners were announced at the Charles Faram main office on Friday the 10th of February and were presented by their Group Technical Director Will Rogers. The overall winner for the commercial varieties was awarded to Mark and Lesley Andrews from Townend Hop Farm, for their sample of Harlequin® hop variety. Mark and Lesley’s farm is based in Herefordshire and has been producing award-winning hops for three generations. Mark said, “we are delighted to win this award; the team have worked extremely hard to produce these hops in the very best condition and to have that recognised by the judges is amazing. We are looking forward to seeing how Harlequin® develops as a variety in the future. We are certainly keen to grow more!”
Remarkably, again this year Harlequin® also won the silver and bronze awards, with Richard and Alison Capper from Stocks Farm winning the silver award, adding another trophy to their award-winning hop portfolio.
Sarah Hawkins from Hawkins Farming was awarded the bronze certification. Earlier this year Sarah travelled to Pure Craft Bar in Birmingham to pick up the prestigious overall champion award at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s (IBD) annual hop awards ceremony. This demonstrates great consistency and great results for Hawkins Farming this year.
The early-stage variety category was awarded to the CF310 variety which has been grown by Mark and Lesley Andrews (Townend Hop Farm). Varieties with a CF code signify that it is still in the trial plot stage, as soon as the hop hits the commercial release stage then it is given a proper name. These samples can come from any of the international locations within the Charles Faram Hop Development Program.
Brand new seedling K9 from Peter Glendinning won the new hop variety award, so this hop will continue to the next phases of trials and will potentially be released commercially in as little as five years. This category is for completely new varieties, where only one plant exists in the Charles Faram nursery in Herefordshire. In fact, it is in such a top-secret location that even some of Faram’s team members are unaware of where it is!
The Jester® Cup, Olicana® Cup and Harlequin® Cup are all awarded for the best sample of their respected and established varieties. The Jester® Cup was won by Jonathan Adams from Lower House Farm Worcestershire, the Olicana® Cup was awarded to Sarah Hawkins and the Jester® Cup was presented to Mark and Lesley Andrews.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
- About Charles Faram –
Charles Faram has one of the largest ranges of hop varieties, while their Hop Development Program continues to produce new aromas and flavours.
They offer maximum diversity through ingredients for every type and style of beer, as well as free technical advice and educational events. With decades of great relationships in the hop growing and brewing worlds.
- About the awards –
The Charles Faram International Hop Awards are about recognising the commitment of our growers in our Hop Development Programme and determining which brand-new hop varieties should continue through to the next phases of development.
- Harlequin, Jester and Olicana variety is a trademarked variety from Charles Faram. Harlequin®, Jester®, Olicana®
- The Institute of Brewing & Distilling delivers Gold-standard Technical Qualifications and support programmes for the beverage industries that are recognised around the world.
Press release from Charles Faram.
Contact: Charlie Gorham
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