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British Hop Awards held in Wimbledon

The Institute of Brewing & Distilling recognised the best of British hops at a ceremony in London this week, where changes in the industry and the character of UK varieties was much in evidence.

L-R: Dr. Jerry Avis CEO of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling with Antony Rudgard-Redsell and Tony Redsell OBE of TG Redsell.

Wimbledon brewery in south-west London was the host venue for the ‘British Hop Awards’, where grower TG Redsell walked away as overall champion for its ‘Cascade’ hops that showed aromas of “citrus peel, orange and tangerine”.

The Kent-based grower also picked up an award for its ‘Fuggle’ variety.

Organisers said that the competition “highlighted the skills of British hop growers in producing hops with a vibrant and pungent aroma” and challenged the preconception that British hops tended to be more delicate than their US cousins.

Winners in other categories included a number of new varieties that have stemmed from breeding programmes in response to brewers asking for hops with more intense floral, citrus and fruit characters.

Organiser and judge, Shane McNamara, commented: “In what was a challenging growing year for the farmers, it was an exceptional year for the newer British hop varieties and their American counterparts grown in the UK.”

Ali Capper from the British Hop Association, added: “It has been a clear strategy of the Wye Hops Board for over nine years to breed new British hops that deliver stronger unique aromas for the brewers and British hop growers are certainly delivering this today with over 28 different varieties available.

“There will always be something new, something different and something a brewer has not tried before from British hops.”

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