Admiral

Hop Variety

Admiral

Origin

UK

Alpha Acid %

13.5 – 16%

Background

Admiral was originally intended to replace Wye Target as a high alpha acid hop variety used for bittering. It didn’t really take hold in the way it was intended primarily because of it’s perceptibility to disease. It’s parents are the Challenger and Northdown varieties.(citation)

Brewing Attributes

Admiral is used primarily as a bittering hop primarily because of the alpha levels and also the aroma is quite mild so it complements other varieties in beers nicely without competing. I have seen it described as both pleasant and English in aroma which usually brings to mind the grassy and spicy qualities of Fuggles and East Kent Goldings. As it was bred as a replacement to Target it is less harsh than it’s predecessor in terms of flavour and aroma.

Beer Styles

Admiral are an English hop and are used mainly in English style beers like Pale ales and Bitters.

Possible Substitutions

As they were bred in particular as a replacement for Target it is worth looking to these hops as a possible substitution. Target are a great hop in their own right but they are of slightly lower alpha acid levels so you will need to adjust your recipe accordingly..

Commercial Examples

I have found next to no beers that solely use Admiral hops there is one released very recently, whether you can get hold of it though is another thing. Adnams have recently released a beer available right now on cask only called English Red http://adnams.co.uk/beer/our-beers/english-red-ale/ of course finding this one is going to be a challenge for most people.

More famously Three Floyds Brewing make a Blackheart English IPA that use Admiral as a bittering hop and at around 80 IBU you’re gonna get a fair whack of them.

I expect a lot of British breweries use them as a bittering hop in some of their beers. If you know of any drop a line

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Boadicea

Hop Variety

Boadicea

Origin

UK

Alpha Acid %

7 – 10%

Beta Acid %

3 – 4%

Composition

Total Oil: 1.4 – 2ml / 100g
Co-Humulone: 26%
Myrcene: 33%
Humulene: 20%
Farnesene: 5%
Selinenes: 5%

Background

Boadicea is a hop bred and introduced by Horticulture Research International (HRI) at Wye College. It’s breeding is the result of open crossing and is aphid resistant.

As it is resistant to aphids that would otherwise harm the crop, as well as being fairly resistant to wilt and mildew it means less pesticides and other chemicals are required in ensuring the yield is good.

Brewing Attributes

Boadicea hops are dual purpose in usage but are generally perceived to be good finishing hop and dry hop. The aroma is floral with a slight peppery and spicy note. It shares a similar aroma to many English hops being light and having grassy notes. Boadicea has a orchard blossom like quality.

As a bittering hop it having above average alpha acids in comparison to many English hops it is more economical. The bitterness is smooth and rounded with a light body.

Beer Styles

The use of Boadicea will be ideal in most English style beers, you may find the aroma muted unless it is used as a finishing or dry hop. That being said, Boadicea has made it’s way into stouts and milds as well as a Golden ales and Pale ales.

Meantime Brewing released a Single Hopped Boadicea Golden Ale which may be worth looking out for.

Possible Substitutions

As a bittering hop you are best finding hops of similar alpha acids such as the UK’s Target. As an aroma hop you would be looking at similar floral hops that share the light blossom like character, something like Perle or Horizon.

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Bramling Cross

Hop Variety

Bramling Cross

Origin

UK

Alpha Acid %

5-8%

Beta Acid %

3%

Background

As the name suggest Bramling Cross is a hop a variety that crosses varieties, one being a popular Golding hop clone called Bramling and the other a Canadian wild hop called Manitoban. The reason for crossing the original Bramling was to gain make the variety more resistant to disease and mildew, qualities the Manitoban hop was picked for. The British variety of hop that was bred at Wye college in 1927 and becoming commercially available in 1951.

The use of Bramling Cross was relatively rare up until quite recently. It is now been embraced by craft breweries for its unique aroma qualities

Brewing Attributes

Bramling Cross is a good dual use hop which makes it good for bittering purposes. The aroma qualities however are quite unique and have a lemony and blackcurrant character when added late in the boil.

Dark fruit notes go very well in dark beers so Bramling Cross is ideally suited to dark beers like stouts and porters, they also find their place in lighter beers and are said to have an “American” aroma.

Possible Substitutions

Bramling are difficult to substitute for aroma purposes because of the unique aroma profile. Otherwise for bittering purposes Progress or East Kent Goldings are said to be good alternatives.

Commercial Examples

Epic Thornbridge Stout

Brewdog IPA is Dead

Ruddles County

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Challenger

Hop Variety

Challenger

Origin

UK

Alpha Acid %

6-9%

Beta Acid %

4%

Background

Challenger is another British hop developed at the Wye college and was released commercially in 1972. Like many variations of hop it was developed to try and create a more disease resistant line of hops and Challenger was intended to have a higher alpha acid content for bittering purposes. Challengers parents include Northern Brewer.

Brewing Attributes

The primary intention for Challenger was to be a higher alpha acid%  hop which was also more disease resistant than alternatives at the time. Having met the challenges the name was applied. It is also however a good dual use hop with earthy and spicy aroma qualities. The bittering quality is smooth and full bodied and are used in many English style bitters, porters and stouts in conjunction with other hops.

Possible Substitutions

Northern Brewer its parent hop has similar bittering qualities to Challenger if you are looking for the same rounded character. Perle hops are said to be a good substitute as they have the earthy and spicy qualities akin to Challenger.

Commercial Examples

As with a lot of English hops there are hundred of beers that will use them in combination with other varieties for their beers, some good commercial examples though include the following:

Dark Star – Espresso – http://darkstarbrewing.co.uk/beer/ A dark beer made with Challenger hops and coffee. The hops can be a bit overwhelmed by the flavour though.

Coniston Brewery – Bluebird Bitter http://www.conistonbrewery.com/coniston-ales.htm – Made with just Challenger and you get the earthyness from them but also some fruity notes.

 

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East Kent Goldings

Hop Variety

East Kent Goldings

Origin

UK

Alpha Acid %

4-5.5%

Beta Acid %

3.5%

Background

There are a many hops that come under the name Goldings and East Kent Golding may be the most widely known of all of them named after the grower for and commercially available for well over a century. As the name also suggests they are only grown in the Eastern part of the county of Kent, if they aren’t then they are not East Kent Goldings.

The East Kent Goldings hop along with Fuggles is quintessential hop linked to English Pale Ales and India Pale Ales and is has ingrained itself into British brewing in a similar way to Cascade in the US

Brewing Attributes

East Kent Goldings are primarily an aroma hop with earthy qualities and the aroma is perfect for dry hopping too. Even so it is still used in the boil for it’s rounded bittering. As mentioned previously it has pretty much defined English Bitters and Pale Ales like no other hop.

Another quality they add is the sweet, honeyed note they can give a beer, late additions will generally give you a honeyed flavour in blonde beers that is hard to replicate with other varities.

Possible Substitutions

Substitutes for aroma purposes just aren’t going to be the same. If I were making an English Pale Ale for example I would substitute something applicable to the beer style rather than searching for something to try and replicate the aroma profile.

Goldings or Whitbread Goldings are a suitable bittering substitute or you could even try Fuggles or Progress if it suits the style.

Commercial Examples

East Kent Goldings is the quintessential English Ale hop so there will be 1000’s of beers that make use of them in some way, if you are looking for some examples where the hop dominates however than the following beers are worth a look:

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First Gold

Hop Variety

First Gold

Origin

UK

Alpha Acid %

6-8%

Beta Acid %

3.5%

Background

First Gold is a dwarf variety of hop meaning they could be grown on shorter trellis meaning less labour and maintenance (pesticide) costs. First Gold is another English variety developed in Wye College, released in 1995 it parents are Wye Golding and a dwarf variety. It shares similar characteristics to its parent Golding but has a higher alpha acid content.

Brewing Attributes

As mentioned previously the First Gold hop shares similar character to Golding hops but have the added alpha acid levels which make it a great dual use hop. Like many English hops it has an earthiness but some of the more unique aroma qualities are the citrus and orange notes it can give a beer. The orange can come through as a marmalade character and this makes it perfect for lighter English Ales and bitters.

Possible Substitutions

Many English hops share similar spicy, earthy qualities that are found in First Gold. Substituting with something like East Kent Goldings is ok but for aroma purposes you will be missing the citrus, orange note that First Gold has. Challenger can have a marmalade character so take a look at these.

Commercial Examples

A nice single hop bitter from the Badger Brewery is a available called First Gold http://www.hall-woodhouse.co.uk/beers/badgerales/cask_firstgold.asp (funnily enough) and it portrays the hop well.

Salopian Breweries Golden Thread is hopped three times with First Gold and produces some of the spicy, citrus notes the hop has http://www.salopianbrewery.co.uk/beers.php

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Fuggles

Hop Variety

Fuggle

Origin

UK

Alpha Acid %

3 – 6%

Beta Acid %

2%

Background

Fuggle was introduced to the brewing world around 1875 by a man named Richard Fuggle after he selected the variety as a seedling found growing in a garden in Horsmonden in Kent in around 1861. Since that time it has become one of the foundations of British ale brewing due to it’s delicate aroma and pleasant qualities.

In recent times Fuggles has become overlooked in terms of it’s economy and hops that have a superior yield and disease tolerance. It has however become the go to variety for parenting other hop varieties such as Willamette.

A clone of Fuggle is also grown in Slovenia under the name of Styrian Golding.

Brewing Attributes

Fuggle is primarily an aroma hop but has been used extensively as a bittering hop although it is now more economical to use other higher alpha varieties. The bittering qualities are pleasant and herbal but as an aroma hop fuggles is a cornerstone in the brewing industry.

Words often associated with English hops like earthy and herbal apply to Fuggle but there is a wood note as well. Some home brewers report

Possible Substitutions

Willamette is a close relative of Fuggle grown in the USA and is very similar in character. As mentioned above a Styrian Golding variety is cloned from Fuggle although the qualities are subtly different.

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Jester

Hop Variety

Jester

Origin

UK

Alpha Acid %

7 – 9%

Beta Acid %

4 – 6%

 

Jester Hops

Background

Jester are a very new release of English hop at the time of writing this in 2015 they are only really available to home brewers with limited amounts going to commercial breweries.

They are a release from the Charles Faram Hop Breeding program. The purpose is to grow a hop in the UK with the bold, punchy and citrus flavours that are so predominant in the US and New World hops.

Jester is a registered trademark of Charles Faram.

Brewing Attributes

Jester hops were bred with the intention of replicating some of the aroma of the US “Big C” hops. Used as an aroma hop the predominant flavours are grapefruit and tropical fruits such as lychees. The are also some reports of peppery notes and subtle onion aroma. Jester is definitely a unique hop and has a flavour profile all of it’s own.

As a bittering hop it is said to add a complex bitterness. Whether that’s a good thing or not I cannot decide. That being said there is such limited availability at the moment you may be best to select a slightly more accessible hop for bittering and keep the Jester as a late hop.

Possible Substitutions

Jester is a really unique hop, however it’s whole purpose is to bring some of the flavours of bg, punchy new world hops to the UK. If you are brewing a big hoppy IPA you can substitute in some of the American hops so closely associated to the style. Otherwise there are no real substitutes at present.

 

 

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Target

Hop Variety

Target

Origin

UK

Alpha Acid %

8.5 – 13.5%

Beta Acid %

4.0 – 5.7%

Background

Target are another variety of hop bred by the Hop Research program at Wye College and was released in 1972. A cross between Northern Brewer and East Kent Goldings, they are the most widely grown variety of hop in the UK and make up more than half the market in production.

The high alpha acid content for an English variety of hop make it a popular and economic choice to provide bitterness in English style beers.

Brewing Attributes

Target hops are primarily a bittering variety used in a diverse variety of beer styles. Used later in the boil they are said to provide a harsh aroma although they have been highlighted for the desirable attributes they provide as a dry hop.

The traits they bring as a late or dry hop reflect that of other earthy English varieties but also those of sage, liquorice and hints of marmalade.

One of the most notable uses of target is in the flagship beer brewed by Fullers Brewery. London Pride has a bittering addition of Target along with other additions of Challenger and Northdown as aroma hops.

Possible Substitutions

The primary use of Target as a bittering hop means that finding a substitution to bitter your beer with shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The only possible aroma substitutes would be an English variety such as Fuggles or the US Willamette

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