This Year’s Hop Setts Have Arrived

This year’s hop setts have arrived just in time to coincide with the arrival of storm Doris tomorrow!  That will probably delay planting for 24 hours, but we planted several out today and the rest are now safely bedded-in until Doris passes.  I love baby hops and as always these setts from Stephen Wright are superbly grown.

We have the more popular varieties already growing which we wanted to bulk up, but also 3 ‘brand new to us’ varieties for the home brewer to try. Hopefully these new additions to our range for 2017 harvest will whet a few appetites; well certainly enough to give them a try in a brew.

There should also be 2 Heritage varieties on offer this year. But I will wait until closer to harvest to select which two will be listed.

This year’s 3 new additions to our range are Willamette, Ernest and Perle. Ernest and Perle sound like perfect partners, an old couple from the East End who always came down for the hand picking! However nothing could be further from the truth as Ernest is a very new ‘old ‘ hop.  Dr Peter Darby revisited varieties in the national collection which had been rejected many years ago and made this fresh selection in keeping with the flavours preferred today. This one had been bred by Professor Ernest Salmon and up until that point known only as OZ97a. It has been named to honour Professor Ernest Salmon and his wonderful work.  He bred many of our well known hop varieties among them wilt resistant varieties.

I did have sniff at some dried Ernest at Christmas and they had a wonderful rounded aroma with a good waft of pineapple.  I am now really looking forward to seeing how they grow  this season. Perle and Willamette I have never smelt, so it is all very exciting.

Snow drops are out, a few early daffodils along sunny banks and the hellebores are as stunning as ever. This year’s hop setts have arrived, hurray Spring is not far off.