British hops are definitely different. They’re unique, and they’re unique because of where they’re grown. It’s that lovely maritime climate, which means these hops experience warm, but not hot summers and cool, but not cold winters. It means an even precipitation, too. New Zealand has a maritime climate, and Tasmania has a maritime climate, but they have far less precipitation and cloud cover than Britain. So what that delivers in a British hop is a lower myrcene level amongst other unique traits and benefits.
More and more craft brewers are turning to British hops, and so are more homebrewers. Stocks Farm, for instance, has been selling British hops for homebrewing for a few months, and to mark the occasion the hop supplier has made a list of its most popular varieties so far. These hops have been sent across Europe, to the USA and all over the UK, and they can definitely be used to make your favorite, traditional or experimental homebrew.
1. The brand new variety, Jester outstripped all of Stocks Farm’s other varieties with almost five times the sales. However, this was to be expected, as Stocks Farm is the ONLY place for homebrewers to purchase this unusual variety. Jester is an incredibly special hop as it has a hugely intense flavor, a characteristic fairly uncommon of a British hop. Jester features wild American, tropical fruit aromas of lychees, grapefruit and blackcurrant. These higher aroma notes mean that Jester really suits IPAs and American Pale Ales.
2. Coming second to Jester was Endeavour, another new variety and the daughter of the well-known variety, Cascade. Also perfect for IPAs and American Pale Ales, Endeavour features aroma notes of blackcurrant, spice and citrus. Endeavour is a popular purchase from Stocks Farm as it is not widely available elsewhere.
3. In third place comes First Gold, an incredibly special and well-established British hop, as the first-ever variety to be bred for the low trellis growing system, it is now in its 20th year. First Gold includes spicy notes of orange and marmalade and is very well suited to session beers such as: Pale Ales, Golden Ales, Lagers, Best Bitters and Seasonal Beers.
All of the other six British hop varieties from Stocks Farm have also sold very well. Phoenix, with beautiful aromas of chocolate and molasses, which make it especially good for Porters, Stouts and Imperial Styles. Bramling Cross, a recently rediscovered variety, dating back to 1951, is well loved for its blackcurrant and spicy lemon aromas, suiting IPAs and American Pale Ales. Pilgrim is an excellent dual-purpose hop with great bittering qualities. It is the perfect bittering alternative to varieties such as Columbus and Magnum; with its wonderful aroma properties of spice, citrus and pears.
Goldings is the oldest British hop, dating back to 1870, and it features spicy, honey and earthy aroma notes, making it another hop variety that’s perfect for session beers. Target has recently been finding favor as a late hop with its aroma notes of sage, pine, spice and citrus lending itself to IPAs and American Pale Ales. Sovereign is the second British Hop that was bred for the low trellis system and features beautiful delicate floral, grassy and herbal aromas making it an ideal variety for session beers.
To get your hands on these amazing varieties go to www.stocksfarm.net/shop.