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  •   2018 IBD British Hop Awards  

    The judges met in early December at the English Hops showroom in Paddock Wood. This year, they were faced with a total of 206 samples across 31 varieties of British Hops, all excellently prepared and presented.

    This year, a number of merchants were invited to participate in the judging, who not only brought their expertise and knowledge to the team but are able to communicate the quality and variety available from British hops to customers worldwide.

    The selection of wining samples is based upon a number of criteria including

    Trueness to variety type
    Quality and intensity of aroma
    Disease and pest free
    Presentation of sample

    Samples are always presented blind and categories are judged from low to high intensity aroma. All of the samples are inspected by all of the judges who voted for their top three independently. If a consensus had not been reached after the first round of voting, low scoring samples were removed and subsequent rounds were conducted until the top three remained.

    Overall comments were that the samples showed a very high standard with good pick quality. Samples were clean and well-presented and with no evidence of any disease and pests. The judges were very pleased to see the appearance of more new varieties and commented on the excellent range of intensity of aroma from these.

    Judges for the 2018 competition

    Derek Prentice
    Jack Teagle
    Daniel Gooderham
    Paul Corbett
    Stuart Murray
    Jason Little

    Class A

    The Le May Cup

    Awarded for the best sample of Goldings and eligible clones.

    A very impressive category across the board. The judges were pleased with the universally high quality of presentation, especially considering the long dry summer. Samples from JE & JH Clinch took second and third places.

      J E & J H Clinch
    (East Kent Goldings)

    2nd

      J E & J H Clinch
    (East Kent Goldings)

    3rd

    Anna Clinch from J E & J H Clinch (East Kent Goldings).

    Class B

    The Hop Merchants Cup

    Awarded for best sample of British hops bough on the basis of their flavour character, regardless of Alpha Acid content.

    The great number of entries across the three categories of this class always represent a sensory challenge to the judges and this year was no different. The range in aroma was outstanding and the presentation and pick quality drew many appreciable comments from the judges.

    Category B was taken by J E & J H Clinch with a beautiful lemon zesty and floral example of Challenger. Category C was won by Clive and Richard Edmed with a bright, clean and fresh sample of First Gold.

    Category A - High Aroma Intensity

      Redsell Teynham Partnership
    (Bullion)

    2nd

      H J Davies & Sons
    (Bramling Cross)

    3rd

    Thomas Johnson from RedsellTeynham Partnership (Bullion).

    Category B – Strong Aroma Intensity

      J E & J H Clinch
    (Challenger)

    1st

      Little Pell Farm
    (WGV)

    2nd

      L E Humphreys & Sons
    (WGV)

    3rd

    Anna Clinch from J E & J H Clinch (Challenger).

    Robert Humphreys from L E Humphreys & Sons (WGV).

    Catergory C – Delicate Aroma Intensity

      Clive & Richard Edmed
    (First Gold)

    1st

      Little Pell Farm
    (Pilgrim)

    2nd

      Coombe-Jones
    (Goudhurst)
    (Progress)

    3rd

    Richard Edmed from Clive & Richard Edmed (First Gold).

    Andy Coombe-Jones from Coombe-Jones (Goudhurst) (Progress).

    Class C

    The Brewers Cup

    Awarded for the best sample of British Hops that are bought primarily for their high Alpha Acid content.

    The high alpha category this year displayed many fine examples of resinous, oil rich tight bright cones. Overall, the judges had difficulty in picking out their top three examples as they were all ‘shouting out loud’. However, the sample of Admiral from L Wheeler & Sons (Udimore) won through with what was described as a ‘high pungent fruit cocktail’ of zesty lemon and orange that was both sharp and intense.

      L Wheeler & Sons
    (Udimore)
    (Admiral)

    1st

      L Wheeler & Sons
    (EP)
    (Admiral)

    2nd

    Chris Wheeler accepting the winning trophy on behalf of Robert Wheeler from L Wheeler & Sons (Udimore) for Admiral.

    Chris Wheeler from L Wheeler & Sons (EP) for Admiral.

    Class D

    The Wigan Cup

    Awarded for the best sample of Fuggle.

    The judges commented on the consistency of this year’s Fuggles samples and the difficulty they had in separating them. All samples were presented to a high standard and credit must be given to the growers for such a fine selection of samples this year.

    Class E

    The Botanix Cup

    Awarded for the best sample of Dwarf/Hedgerow variety.

    This class demonstrated the impressive range of aromas possible from the dwarf/hedgerow varieties of British Hops. Once again, the quality of the samples was up on last year, with a much greater consistency amongst them. The variety and range were encouraging, with a pleasing spread of aroma types and intensities. The class winner was L E Humphreys & Sons sample of Endeavour which displayed floral and stone fruit characteristics of a very fine quality.

      L E Humphreys & Sons
    (Endeavour)

    1st

      L E Humphrey
    (Pioneer)

    2nd

      Charles Pudge
    (First Gold)

    3rd

    Robert Humphreys from L H Humphreys & Sons (Endeavour).

    Charles Pudge (First Gold).

    Class F

    The Grower’s Challenge Bowl

    Awarded for the best sample of new English variety.

    This class is designed to showcase the exciting range of new hops that are graduating from the various breeding and development programmes. The powerful aromas on this table were apparent even before the rubbing began and many of the samples displayed intense citrus and tropical characteristics not usually associated with British Hops. The samples all presented an oil rich and highly resinous rub with great a great range of distinct and powerful aroma..