Why are we doing it?
It's much more than an award celebration...

The Charles Faram International Hop Awards is an annual competition to recognise the commitment of growers and the best hop variety sample from the Charles Faram Hop Development Program.

The Charles Faram International Hop Awards have been established to recognise the commitment of growers in the Charles Faram Hop Development Program. The program was set up to develop new varieties that concentrate on new flavours, disease resistance, sustainability and combatting environmental issues.

Besides winning the awards, the growers are given in-depth feedback from the judges. Judges are head brewers that have been asked to consider the type of characteristics that they are looking for as well as to judge aroma and quality. The results are an excellent way to benchmark best practices and raise quality across all farms.

Samples range from brand new, where we just have one plant in existence up to already released commercial varieties.


The judging and winners

New varieties

The competition compares new varieties from the UK, USA, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia for all important benchmarking and as an aid to selection for future commercial varieties.

Just 30 years ago there were only three varieties available from Charles Faram; Fuggle, Golding and Challenger.  For small brewers it was very difficult to compete unless the beer had a USP or point of difference.  To many, hops were that point of difference.

Charles Faram was the first company to import new world varieties such as Nelson Sauvin, Citra and Simcoe giving UK brewers access to more varieties than ever before.

The programme was started to establish a wider palette of varieties for UK growers to plant.  This has now been extended to the USA, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia.

Sustainability and the planet

US acreage has doubled since 2011 from 12,054 to 25,6112 hectares through the development of new varieties like Cascade, Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic which focussed on high aroma and citrus and fruity flavour. In the meantime the UK hectarage has been stable but not growing at the same rate.

By developing intense aroma new varieties here in the UK we hope the industry can recover from Covid and get back into significant growth. At the same time Faram’s hope to increase acreage for their grower partners abroad by helping with their offering for locally grown hops and reducing their carbon footprint.

Carbon footprint

The Hop Development Program is working to develop varieties that require less fertilisers and pesticides; this is a priority. By growing hops locally, we immediately reduce the cost and the carbon footprint of shipping hops around the globe. This should save cost and reduce Co2.

We believe it is a challenge that we cannot ignore, and so are encouraging brewers around the world to buy more of their hops from their local farms.

Playing your part
Sustainability, environmental initiatives, future flavour

Paul Corbett, Charles Faram Managing Director said, “We’re already doing the major work, which is a continuous cycle, but brewers have a massive part to play with the ingredients they buy, purchasing practices and their levels of development involvement. “

“Brewers now have a more environmentally friendly option with a pretty close flavour profile to those you would traditionally have found further afield. “

“We hope that we can encourage more brewers to support the programme and buy local hops.”


With feedback from the Charles Faram International Hop Awards, we can provide a detailed analysis of areas of excellence along with areas of improvement for the growers.  This year the awards have been particularly interesting in highlighting consistency and a great formula for hop growing success.

The 2022 winners

Save Money I Save the environment I Save the planet