Hawkins Farming, situated in Bosbury, Herefordshire, is delighted to announce that their outstanding hop variety, Harlequin®, has once again secured the prestigious title of the overall Champion Hop at the 2023 Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) British Hop Awards. This achievement marks a consecutive victory for Sarah Hawkins and her dedicated team.

The IBD British Hop Awards, renowned as the pinnacle of recognition in the UK hop industry, brought together samples from hop growers across the nation. The expert judging panel, consisting of leading brewers, selected Harlequin® as the standout hop, reaffirming its status as a pioneering variety. Harlequin® has been developed by Malvern-based hop merchant Charles Faram and Co. Ltd. Their Hop Development Program crafts new and exciting hop varieties, with a huge focus on sustainability. These hops are then used to flavour your favourite beers.

Harlequin® was specifically crafted to enable UK growers to compete with the popular “new world” hop varieties from the USA and New Zealand. The aim is to give more intense hop flavours and choices for British craft brewers, particularly for beer styles like New England IPAs and India Pale Ales.

Expressing her elation, Sarah Hawkins, the proud owner of Hawkins Farming, stated,

“We are absolutely thrilled to once again secure this prestigious award. Winning is a testament to the dedication and hard work of everyone at Hawkins Farming Ltd and it brings us immense joy and pride, especially for Matt and his exceptional team, who have invested an incredible amount of hard work and effort into cultivating these beautiful hops.”

As part of the celebration, Renegade Brewing hosted the awards ceremony and created a special cask beer with the winning homegrown hop, aptly named ‘Harlequin.’

Harlequin® is described as moderately bitter and sweet in equal quantities, presenting notes of peach and pineapple with a tropical fruit flavour and a long, clean finish.                                                                                                                                      

Renegade Head Brewer, Will Twomey, shared his excitement about brewing the beer, stating, “As a brewer and lover of cask beer, it was a great honour to be asked to brew a beer with this year’s Champion Hop.”