Ilkley brewers test a new English Olicana hop

Wharfedale Observer: Paul Corbett, of Charles Faram and Co hop merchants, with Chris Ives, managing director of Ilkley Brewery, at SIBA BeerX where the Olicana hop was unveiled Paul Corbett, of Charles Faram and Co hop merchants, with Chris Ives, managing director of Ilkley Brewery, at SIBA BeerX where the Olicana hop was unveiled

A new British hop named Olicana, grown by Charles Faram & Co Hop Merchants, and test brewed by Ilkley Brewery, has been unveiled.

The Herefordshire-grown hop was revealed at the 2014 SIBA BeerX conference in Sheffield where thousands of brewers, licensees, hop growers, maltsters and craft beer fans gathered for this annual celebration of British beer.

The Olicana seed was originally sown in 2009 and in 2013, after three years of agronomic assessment, Charles Faram and Ilkley Brewery teamed up to exclusively harvest and brew with this new hop, then, simply named 1391.

Ilkley Brewery will brew exclusively with Olicana this season but it is hoped the hop will go into full scale production in 2015.

“Working with Charles Faram brings a fantastic opportunity to brew with a completely new hop that has wonderful citrus characteristics and challenges the convention that you need to source hops from the New World to brew hop-forward beers,” said Chris Ives, managing director of Ilkley Brewery.

“British breweries have been importing aromatic hops from countries like America and Australia for many years now but the knock-on effect is that British hop growers have taken a back seat. Creating different and exciting hops like Olicana, and growing them here in the UK, is vital for the British hop industry to stay alive,” added Chris.

Paul Corbett, managing director of Charles Faram and Co. Hop Merchants, said: “We are delighted to have had the help and support of Ilkley Brewery with this, one of the first varieties from our new hop breeding programme. It gives us an excellent first-hand opportunity to assess the brewing potential of this new hop and we hope that it is well received.”

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