Stroud Brewery creates new climate change-resistant beers

Following three years of research with top UK growers, Stroud Brewery has created a new line of beers made from climate change-resistant hops as part of a trial to secure supplies for the future.

By Jake Chown  |  Published
Judges sampled six beers made from five UK-grown, organic hop varieties at a tasting event at Stroud Brewery in March 2024.

Stroud Brewery is inviting punters at its taproom to taste newly-crafted beers made from climate change-resistant, UK-grown hops, as part of a trial to make beer production more sustainable.

But anyone who wants to try the limited edition beers is advised to hurry, as 'once they're gone, they're gone'.

The brewery, which is a certified B Corp, has co-coordinated the Innovative Farmers' Hop Trial together with leading UK hop growers in a bid to find solutions to the main challenges facing hop production today — climate change and the declining acreage of crops.

The trial aimed to identify hops which are resilient to increased temperatures and unpredictable weather, which can inhibit growth, reduce yields and increase the prevalence of pests and disease.

The team hopes that doing so will also supply UK farmers with crops that they can sell to brewers at home and abroad. Currently there are only around 50 hop producers in the UK — and only two organic growers — with most hops being imported from countries like the US, due to consumer taste.

Three years of research culminated in a special tasting session at Stroud Brewery at the end of March 2024 at which project members sampled six beers brewed with five potential new hop varieties grown in the trials.

The judging panel particularly enjoyed beers made with hop varieties Endeavor, 302 and Harlequin, commenting that they not only showed higher tolerance to disease but produced exciting flavours, with notes such as pineapple, strawberry laces, blackcurrant, spice and lemon.

The trial is part of the Duchy Future Farming Programme; led by the Cirencester-based Organic Research Centre which researches sustainable land management and food production solutions in the UK; and is funded by the King Charles III Charitable Fund.

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