British hop growers and brewers gathered at Stocks Farm in Worcestershire for the unveiling of the results of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s annual British Hop Competition for the 2012 crop.
The competition dates back to 1944 and is judged by a panel of master brewers who draw on their personal experience as head brewers to judge the quality of the hops. One hundred and twenty two samples from the 2012 harvest were submitted to the competition by 45 growers from across Britain.
The overall champion was a sample of Fuggle hops grown by James Rickard, of Rickards Farm in Canterbury, Kent. The award was presented by Mark Woodhouse, chairman of Hall and Woodhouse and Master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers.
Simon Jackson, chief executive of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, said: “Britain is famed around the world as one of the world’s top brewing nations. The excellence of our local raw materials has been a key contributor to this noble tradition.
“This year’s winning hop variety, Fuggles, can be traced back to Kent in the 1870s and has a wonderfully delicate, minty, grassy and slightly floral aroma. The winning sample ably demonstrated why this British hop variety continues to be one of aristocrats of the hop world.”
Hop farmer and British Hop Association committee member, Ali Capper, added: “Hop growers and merchants are thrilled to welcome so many brewers to these awards. It’s thanks to your enthusiasm that British hops are going through such resurgence. You have shown how they can be used to brew beers with myriad different flavours — tangerine, citrus, grass, grapefruit, chocolate, blackcurrant, spice, pepper, apricot, marmalade and mint. An endless array of delicate but complex flavours to tempt the palate of every beer connoisseur.”
The British Hop website has a flavour guide that allows brewers and beer drinkers to discover which beer flavours are associated with which hop variety.
This blog post is not by Wobbly Wallet but originally appeared on Beer Today: http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=12157