Available in Bottle 330ml, Seasonal Cask, Seasonal Keg
Over 2015 different varieties
Full Tasting Note
Top of the Hops 2016 We will be re launching our record breaking beer in December 2016 This beer will beat our previous record with 2016 different UK hop varieties. It will be a golden beer with complex flavours and a unique experience for all beer lovers. Press Release – Top of the Hops 2016 December 2016 will see the launch of Top of the Hops 2016 exclusively in Mitchells & Butlers pubs on cask. The beer is brewed with 2016 different UK hop varieties making it a world record breaker. The project was set up in 2011 as a way to invest in the UK hop industry and hop scientist, Peter Darby of Wye Hops ltd by purchasing the new hop varieties that were previously destroyed. Ben Lockwood, Nicholsons pubs said ‘With the continued interest and greater understanding in hops and their role in the diverse flavours of beer, we’re delighted to be working with Peter Darby again on this project. Our guests come to expect innovation from us, which is why we’re happy to be supporting the British Hop industry and educating our team members and guests at the same time’ The Science The UK still has a vital role to play in the cultivation of new hops, as hop varieties developed elsewhere in the world are not suitable for production in Britain due to the latitude and susceptibility to disease. At the forefront of research into UK hop cultivation is Wye Hops Ltd in Kent and scientist, Peter Darby. The hop plants are either male or female and therefore cannot self pollinate. Furthermore, because it is not ‘true-breeding’ every seed resulting from a pollination has a unique genetic code. The superior individuals are selected and approx 30 crosses are made resulting in 20,000 seeds. These seeds are sown and 1500 seedlings are transferred to the field where they are grown for 3 seasons/years. Therefore at any time there are 4500 different individual hop plants in the field and any of the female plants could become a new variety. Each year approx 5% of these go onto further assessment. The rest now go into Top of the Hops brews. This year The Great Yorkshire Brewery have purchased 2016 plants and will be brewing this golden cask beer exclusively for Mitchells & Butlers Pubs. The hops are different each year and have varying features and flavours making the beer truly unique. Over 69,000 pints will be available across the estate including Nicholsons Pubs, Ember Inns & Vintage Inns The History The hop plant, latin name Humulus Lupulus, meaning ‘Wolf of the Woods’ was first cultivated in the UK in the 16th Century. They were used to add flavour and act as preservatives in beer. The plant from which the hop was developed is as old as history itself and has recorded uses as a medicinal herb by the ancient Egyptians. The 19th Century was the golden age of the hop industry and the national acreage reached 77,000 acres at it’s height, making the UK a large player in this industry. By the 20th Century this has reduced to 32,000 acres, largely due to the importing of foreign hops. The demand was further reduced during the 1st World War when the government trebled the beer duty. The UK hop acreage now stands at approx 2650 acres, mainly in Kent and Hereford and produces 1070 hectares per annum. This decrease is due to the globalisation of brewing, changes in drinking tastes ( the increased popularity of wine )and the continued growth of imported hops from around the world.
Available Dec - Feb in Cask Available all year in 330ml Bottles