The Orchard bee keeper suggested we plant some hops for the benefit of his bees. Those planting the hops quickly discovered other beneficiaries and expanded the crop to 6 plantings with 3 different varieties.
Golden Tassels hops are one of England's revolutionay dwarf varieties launched to the trade in September 2003. They are vigorous herbaceous climbers with rough, twining stems, deeply palmately-lobed leaves and small green flowers, male and female on separate plants. The flowers borne on females can be used in dried flower displays or used to make 'hop pillows' to aid sleeping. If left, they develop into hops giving a rich citrus character to beers.
Fuggle hops are the most revered and famous English hop, known for its full bodied flavour in traditional ales. Discovered as a chance seedling in 1861 and propagated by Richard Fuggle in Kent, England in 1875. Fuggle was once the most prominent English hop and accounted for 78% of beer production in 1949. It carries a high carryophyllene oil as well as farnesene oil content. This combination brings a herbal and woody type of aroma to the finished brew.
Challenger hops were bred at Wye College in 1963 using a German variety. It is one of the few recognized all-purpose hops for beer making combining moderate amounts of alpha acid with a good kettle aroma. It can be added at the beginning of the boil in brewing for its bitterness or as late additions, and dry hopping for its aroma. The flavor of Challenger in beer is smooth, with floral character and some spice.