Tuesday, 6 April 2021

AK hops 1878 - 1911

This AK material will all be ending up in "Free!". I anticipate it won't be hitting the shelves anytime soon. At my current rate of progress with "Blitzkrieg!" probably around 2028. If I'm still alive then.

Older brewing records are often very vague when it comes to hops. Often just the name of the grower or merchant is listed. It you're lucky, there might be a growing region and a year as well. Ironically, foreign hops are often described more specifically. In the set below, the only variety I can be 100% certain about is Hallertau.

The biggest surprise is how few foreign hops are present. Only two, Rose and Boddington, contain any. The rest are all English hops. With Kent, when the region is specified, being the most popular English source. Which makes total sense, Kent being then, as today, the region of the UK producing by far the most hops.

From the 1850s, massive amounts of foreign hops were imported into the UK. In some years, as much of half the hops used. I suspect the reason for their absence here is that AK was a Pale Ale, a hop-accented beer. As such, better-quality hops would tend to be used than in a Mild or Porter. To English brewers that usually meant locally grown hops. Only a fe of the best continental hops, such as Saaz or Hallertau, were considered to be of the same quality as good English hops.

That every beer, except the 1878 Adnams, contains multiple hops is exactly what I'd expect to see. Especially from the last decades of the 19th century onwards. It was standard practice, I believe to smooth out changes when one particular batch of hops ran out and had to be substituted.

AK hops 1878 - 1911
Year Brewer Beer hop 1 hop 2 hop 3 hop 4 hop 5
1878 Adnams AK ccdt    
1885 Kirkstall AK Farnham (1884) English (1884) English (1883) English (1884) Wylde's hop substitute
1887 Fullers AK EK (1886) Worcs. (1886)      
1890 Adnams AK Worcester Kent      
1896 Eldridge Pope AK English English English    
1896 Eldridge Pope BAK English English English English  
1896 Rose AK Sussex (1894) Hallertau (1895) Worcs (1895) Hallertau (1895) dry hops  
1901 Boddington AK English English English Californian  
1911 Russell AK English (1908)  English (1910)      
1911 Eldridge Pope BAK MK (1908) Kent (1908) Worcs. (1909) EK (1909) MK (1910)

Adnams brewing record held at the brewery.
Fullers brewing record held at the brewery.
Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/125.
Russell brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/RUS/8
Eldridge Pope brewing record.
Rose brewing record.



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