Nick Carr on May 1, 2017 0 Comments History of Boadicea Hops Around 60 AD, Boadicea (Boudicca) led a revolt of the Iceni and other Celtic tribes, against Roman rule. Resentment against the invaders governance had been brewing among the tribes for a number of years, but the spark that lit the fire of revolt came when Prasutagus, King of the Iceni and Boadicea’s husband, died. He had planned to split his kingdom, allowing Rome to take control of half and the other half was to be left to his two daughters. But after his death Rome seized the whole kingdom. It is also likely that Boadicea was beat and her two daughters raped. Lead by Boadicea, the tribes joined forces and the revolt that ensued cost the Romans dearly. During the short uprising a combined force of several different Celtic tribes defeated the Roman 9th Legion, burned Camulodunum (modern day Colchester), Verulamium (St. Albans), and Londinium (London). It is also estimated over 70,000 Romans and Roman sympathizers were killed. The Briton forces were finally defeated, and though the exact location of this final battle is uncertain, it is thought to have taken place close to present-day Fenny Stratford on the Watling Road, which once ran between Dover and London. It is unclear how Boadicea died, though tshe account set forth in The Annals by Roman historian Tacitus (AD 56-117) claims she took poison to avoid capture sometime after the battle. So, why relate this story? This is supposed to be about beer hops right? Well, there’s an reason this hop was named for the revolt’s famous leader. As Boadicea, warrior queen, fought and drove the Roman invaders back; so Boadicea, the humble hop, keeps the aphid invaders from making inroads onto its territory. This hop variety was the world’s first truly aphid-resistant hop. Boadicea was invented by Peter Darby of Horticulture Research International (HRI) at Wye College. It is a hedgerow, or dwarf, variety bred by open pollination in 1992. It was released in 2004 for and granted European Plant Variety Rights (the European equivalent to a patent) in 2008. Boadicea’s aphid resistance is due to its unique pedigree (PDF), which included the naturally resistant wild Japanese hop, Humulus japonicus. This natural aphid repellence, plus its resistance to wilt and downy mildew means it has much less need of pesticides, making it one of the most environmentally friendly hops, and an excellent candidate for organic hop farmers. Plant Information (Growth, Harvest, Storage): Unfortunately, root stock for the Boadicea variety is not available because it was granted intellectual property protection in the EU. If you are looking to specifically plant dwarf hops you may be out of luck in the U.S. There are a couple varieties available in the UK, Prima Donna and Golden Tassels, but they’ll likely be near impossible to get in America, and the few dwarf hops breed in the U.S. are all under patent. Acid & Oil Composition Breakdown Alpha Acid: 7 – 10% Beta Acid: 3 – 4% Co-Humulone: 26% Total Oils: 1.4 – 2.0 mL/100g Myrcene Oil: 33% (of total) Humulene Oil: 20% (of total) Caryophyllene Oil: 15 – 19% (of total) Franesene Oil: 5% (of total) B-Pinene Oil: ? Linalool Oil: 0.2 – 0.4% (of total) Geraniol Oil: ? Unfortunately, the best a home gardener might be able to do, is find a hop variety from the substitutes list in rhizome form. General Characteristics: Growth Rate — ? Yield — Low (1,350 – 1,650 kg/ha) Cones — ? Maturity — Medium Early Susceptible To — ? Resistant To — Wilt, Downy Mildew, Aphids Ease of Harvest — Being a Dwarf hop would make harvesting easier Storage — Fair to Good Sensory Description: Most often described as having a mild spicy character including light grassiness. Its flavor is lightly floral and spice-like earthiness with mellow citrus, light orchard blossom, and low ripe/dried fruit. Bitterness is rounded and clean. Availability: Can be ordered on the web from some U.S. homebrew suppliers as pellets, but I couldn’t find any selling whole cone. In the UK, they are easy to come by in both whole cone and pellet form. Use: Boadicea is an excellent dual-purpose hop, especially when brewing English-style ales like bitters, IPAs, and porters. The subtle earthy, herbal characteristics of this hop can work well with darker malts. Because its bitterness is considered quite clean it is often paired with another hop of bolder flavors, though it can do quite well on its own too. More of the clover-like grassy character will come through by using Boadicea for dry hopping. Can Substitute With/For These Hops: There is no really good substitute for Boadicea. What I’ve listed below may get you close, but will likely lose some of the subtleties. Each hop variety is unique in some way, so do not expect the exact same beer you’d get using Boadicea hops. Obviously, this goes the other direction too, using Boadicea as a sub for one of the below listed hops. Bittering: Target Aroma: Horizon Green Bullet Perle Common Beer Styles Using Boadicea Hops Bitters & Milds IPAs & Pale Ales Lagers & Pilsners Golden Ales Stouts Commercial Examples To help you gain a better idea this hop’s aroma and flavor I would recommend you sample as many of these as you can find. This, ummm… research will deepen your understanding of how Boadicea hops work in different beer styles, giving you a better idea of how you can implement the variety into your recipes. Though all the beer I found using Boadicea hops is limited to the UK, I encourage you to keep your eyes peeled for other examples. Some U.S. breweries have used this hop variety before, but the beers are often only limited release. Uses Only Boadicea Hops: Boadicea Ale from Rother Valley Brewing Company (UK) Adnams Old Ale from Adnams Brewing Company (UK) Golden from Bear North Brewing Company (UK) Boadicea Chariot Ale from Iceni Brewery (UK) Pheasant Plucker from The Hunter’s Brewery (UK) Use Boadicea With Other Hop Varieties: Adnams Southwold Innovation from Adnams Brewing Company (UK) — Also uses Columbus and Styrian Goldings. (Adnams uses Boadicea in many of their beers.) Ridgeway Bitter from Ridgeway Brewing Company (UK) — Also uses Challenger hops. Richmond Rye from Kew Brewery (UK) — Also uses Admiral and Archer hops. Crack Shot from The Hunter’s Brewery (UK) — Also uses Challenger hops. Essex Boys Best Bitter from Crouch Vale Brewing Company (UK) — Also uses Challenger. Cheers!