Climate-resilient organic hops for sustainable beer

The Organic Research Centre is proud to have been part of the Innovative Farmers Organic hop varieties field lab which held its final meeting at Stroud Brewery at the end of March.

Organic hop varieties field lab. Final meeting at Stroud Brewery - pilot bre tasting.
Final meeting of organic hop variety field lab gets to do some brew tasting

The field lab brought together key stakeholders in the organic hops supply chain to find new varieties that are suitable for low-input, organic farming systems through participatory variety testing. Two organic farms were involved, one testing dwarf hop varieties in Worcestershire and the other testing tall hop varieties in Kent. Throughout the project, the challenges of growing hops in organic systems were identified. Insights gleaned from these challenges, along with shared expertise, fuelled collaborative problem-solving during various knowledge exchange events. Over the course of three years, field assessment observations of the hops and test brewing of the successful varieties took place, culminating in the identification of three hop varieties well-suited to organic systems. Further testing of these varieties will be supported by the breeder, recognising it can take up to 11 years to produce a commercially viable hop variety.

Organic hops

The recent media spotlight on the Organic hop varieties field lab showcases its significance. The narrative of climate-resilient hops broadcasted by Channel 5 underscores the urgency of finding varieties adaptable to our changing climate, while also reducing the environmental and carbon impact of growing hops. Hops grown in the UK, with reduced transportation distances and cultivated in an organic system, offer a promising avenue for minimising environmental and carbon footprints compared to conventional hops farming methods. The direct impact that climate change will have on one of our favourite drinks strikes a chord with the public, this project hopes to continue in its efforts to source hops that are resilient to climate change whilst having a minimal environmental impact.

News articles featuring the Organic hop varieties field lab:

Climate-resilient hops trialled amid sustainability concerns for British beer | Bracknell News

Climate-resilient hops trialled amid sustainability concerns for British beer | The Independent

Climate-resilient hops trialled amid sustainability concerns for British beer (

Climate-resilient hops trialled amid sustainability concerns for British beer | Evening Standard

Climate change: Stroud Brewery uses climate-resilient hops – BBC News

BBC Sounds feature: Stroud Brewery

Project page on Innovative farmers:

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