TWO Herefordshire farms have had success at a top industry awards ceremony, with a third just over the county border also recognised.

The Charles Faram International Hop Awards are about recognising the commitment excellence of growers in the UK, USA, Czechia and Germany in the Hop Development Program, an initiative which concentrates on new flavours, disease resistance, improved yields, and environmental sustainability.

This year, the firm said the awards had been especially exciting in highlighting the consistency and successful formula for hop growing and quality across all aspects of the breeding project.


This year’s winners were announced at the Charles Faram main office on February 10 and were presented by their group technical director Will Rogers.

The overall winner for the commercial varieties was awarded to Mark and Lesley Andrews from Townend Hop Farm, in Bosbury near Ledbury, for their sample of Harlequin hop variety.

The couple's farm has been producing award-winning hops for three generations.

Mr Andrews said: "We are delighted to win this award; the team have worked extremely hard to produce these hops in the very best condition and to have that recognised by the judges is amazing.

"We are looking forward to seeing how Harlequin develops as a variety in the future. We are certainly keen to grow more."

Sign up for our free daily morning news briefing here and the day's top stories will be delivered straight to your inbox.

Harlequin also won the silver and bronze awards, with Richard and Alison Capper from Stocks Farm, in the Worcestershire village of Suckley, near Bromyard, winning the silver award, adding another trophy to their award-winning hop portfolio.

Sarah Hawkins from Hawkins Farming, also in Bosbury, was awarded the bronze certification.

Hereford Times: Charles Faram International Hop Awards Olicana Cup: Will Rogers, left, along with Peter Glendinning presents the gold award to Sarah Hawkins of Hawkins Farming, based in Bosbury, near LedburyCharles Faram International Hop Awards Olicana Cup: Will Rogers, left, along with Peter Glendinning presents the gold award to Sarah Hawkins of Hawkins Farming, based in Bosbury, near Ledbury (Image: Charles Faram International Hop Awards)

Earlier this year, Sarah travelled to Pure Craft Bar in Birmingham to pick up the prestigious overall champion award at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s (IBD) annual hop awards ceremony. This demonstrates great consistency and great results for Hawkins Farming this year.

The early-stage variety category was awarded to the CF310 variety which has been grown by Mark and Lesley Andrews, of Townend Hop Farm.

Varieties with a CF code signify that it is still in the trial plot stage, as soon as the hop hits the commercial release stage then it is given a proper name.

These samples can come from any of the international locations within the Charles Faram Hop Development Program.

Besides winning the awards, the growers are given in-depth feedback from the judges.


The judging panel consisted of twenty-one eminent international head brewers, who were asked to consider a range of desirable characteristics that they look for, as well as to judge aroma and quality.

The results are an excellent way to benchmark best practices and raise overall quality across all farms.

Brand new seedling K9 from Peter Glendinning won the new hop variety award, so this hop will continue to the next phases of trials and will potentially be released commercially in as little as five years.

This category is for completely new varieties, where only one plant exists in the top-secret Charles Faram nursery in Herefordshire.

The Jester Cup, Olicana Cup and Harlequin Cup are all awarded for the best sample of their respected and established varieties. The Jester Cup was won by Jonathan Adams from Lower House Farm in Tenbury, Worcestershire, the Olicana Cup was awarded to Sarah Hawkins and the Jester Cup was presented to Mark and Lesley Andrews.