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Why everyone’s talking about the CF302 hop

While new British hops like Harlequin, Olicana, Jester and Emperor are turning brewer’s heads, one unnamed experimental hop is gaining much attention.

The news follows Wimbledon Brewery revealing that it is working with hop merchants Charles Faram to showcase recently developed English hops for a brand new range of beers for release in 2024.

Speaking to the drinks business, Wimbledon Brewery managing director Simon Lewis said that the London-based brewery’s plans are to “produce a new English pale ale to be a core beer” using the progressive new hops available from Charles Faram while other beers created will be “one-offs”.

Explaining more to db, Lewis admitted: “We are particularly interested in ‘graduates’ from the Faram Hop Development programme like Harlequin and Olicana as well as Emperor which is still in early trials.”

Lewis told the drinks business that “this project is giving our talented team of brewers the chance to genuinely experiment with hops” and insisted that “this is the sort of research and development that the team relish” and noted how “there are over 200 hops that have been picked for samples this year out of 1000’s of experimental plants” and admitted “many of these hops don’t even have names yet so we are expecting to brew with the likes of CF302.”

CF302 is a hop variety that falls into the style of “new, modern” within the merchant’s hop development programme and sports “tropical, floral [and] pine” characteristics. The CF302 hop is also part of the merchant’s “experimental” strand which only exists within Charles Faram’s “early trials” stages.

Discussing its new relationships and working with Wimbledon Brewery, Will Rogers, group technical director in charge of the Charles Faram Hop Development Programme added: “Using locally grown hops from our hop breeding programme will bring vibrant fruity flavours to the beers and help support the British hop industry at a time when it support is genuinely needed.”

The CF302 hop has been rumoured by other craft brewers to smell of pineapples and tropical fruits, a trait not often seen from British-grown and naturally-irrigated hops that have been nurtured in the UK.

Wimbledon Brewery has revealed that it will work with its customers to make sure that each of the new beers created using the progressive experimental hops becomes available across the on and off trade. The new range of beers made using Charles Faram’s programme will be announced over the coming months.

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