Herefordshire hop grower Sarah Hawkins and Farm Manager Matt Bailey of The Farm in Bosbury, travelled to the Pure Craft Bar in Birmingham this week
Earlier this year I sent a light-hearted request to the Charles Faram team, “please tell me which hop or hops you think you are and why”.
I had been tasked with writing an article and I think now might be a good time to share it.
I wonder whether you can work out who said what? (No prizes, just for fun).
Let’s start with firecracker baby born on the 4th July who desires independence.
Pleasant floral tones with some sour and salty sarcastic undertones. Resinous in my communications. The hop chosen is Centennial grown in the USA for its lemon, floral and resinous character.
Who might this all-American gal be?
No not that one, although he is the techy computer guy in the office.
This hop has proven to be a good substitute for Citra® for some beers with its grapefruit and mango character.
The person who likened themselves to Comet must think they are like a celestial object consisting of a nucleus of ice and dust.
Based on this, I’m hoping for his sake you don’t guess who it is. Imagine if other people agreed? He also said that like Comet he was bred a long time ago and works well with others!
Any idea who?
UK grown Boadicea is the choice of my next teammate.
Nil points for guessing who this is but she says she chose this variety because she is a passionate, strong, independent woman who thrives on having the best army around her.
Think creative, think floral notes and very friendly with a bit of a spicy kick.
Even though this member of the team confesses to not knowing much about hops (it’s not compulsory, it does depend on the job you do!) she says that this UK Charles Faram variety appealed to her because the description sounds lovely like something she would wear as a perfume.
The fruity mango and passion fruit sounds more like a delicious dessert to me but I can see what she means about the floral character.
It must be Olicana® a more leafy, taller and more vigorous plant than its sister Jester®.
But who would wear it?
And now for Pioneer, a great all-rounder with a pleasant citrus aroma (well, depending on which shower gel he’s used, it could be cedar).
This modest member of the team started doing things differently when he joined the company 30 years ago (mmm that narrows it down a bit).
He introduced new varieties and has continued to do so to mean that Charles Faram & Co now offers something like 150 hop varieties from around the world. Several of these were introduced as part of the Charles Faram Hop Development Programme, another one of his pioneering ideas.
I would take bets that you will all get this one wrong.
One of the members of the Charles Faram team says they are Barbe Rouge a hop that is grown in France.
Likened to this Red Beard literal translation hop due to the occasional red hair in their beard.
This is one of my favourite hops to rub with its strawberry, redcurrant and floral character and one I used in a beer recipe for a collaboration in 2019. It sold out before I could try it.
C’est la vie!
At the risk of getting you all singing along to The Clash’s Rock the Casbah our next hop is Kazbek grown in Czech Republic.
Is it just me that sings that song every time I say Kazbek?
Sharp as a lemon this one (well you have to be in finance) with a little bit of spice too. Quite a combination.
This widely used hop ideal for use in less malty flavoured, golden coloured beers was chosen for its low bitterness which presumably means they think they are not bitter, well not much anyway.
They think its home country of Slovenia is a brilliant place for food and drink, a bit like their house apparently. Sounds like they should be on Come Dine With Me doesn’t it?
Have you worked out which hop it is? We are talking about Celeia, a Styrian Golding variety with very low Alpha and strong aromas of lemon and lime.
I guess it’s my turn. After some considerable thought I have decided that I would be a combination of several varieties.
Challenger purely based on the name because I like asking questions.
Jester® because I like a joke and have some beautiful sisters although none of them are called Olicana®.
I dream of being a Styrian Eagle but I’m more like a Styrian Wolf.
You can find out more about these hops by clicking on the Charles Faram website page
Why not ask your team to work out which hop variety they would be?
You could use the Charles Faram brochure for inspiration and create some new recipes too.