Nick Carr on February 5, 2016 6 Comments History of English Fuggle Hops: Fuggle hops have a history stretching back more than 150 years. Most information you can find on English Fuggle hops have cited the same origin story, which first appeared in 1901 in an article written by John Percival called “The Hop and its English Varieties,” and published in the Journal of Royal Agricultural Society of England (vol. 62). “The original plant was a casual seedling which appeared in the flower-garden of Mr. George Stace of Horsmonden, Kent. The seed from which the plant arose was shaken out along with crumbs from the hop-picking dinner basket used by Mrs. Stace, the seedling being noticed about the year 1861. The sets were afterwards introduced to the public by Mr. Richard Fuggle of Brenchley, about the year 1875. (Letters from Mr. John Larkin, Horsmonden, Mr. W.J. Noakes, Goudhurst, and others.)” Research done by Kim Cook on family records around Horsmonden and Benchley (villages in Kent) and published in his article “Who Produced Fuggle’s Hops (PDF),” in a 2009 issue Brewing History magazine; and Martyn Cornell’s research and connection to new sources after writing a piece on Kim Cook’s work called “Befuggled: doubts about a hop’s birth,” have helped to shine some new light on this origin story. Click Here to Buy English Fuggles on Amazon Martyn Cornell explores this new evidence in his update to the above article “Notes on a Fuggle: More Light on the early history of a great hop.” It seems that the George Stace, in whose garden the first Fuggle took root was actually, George Stance Moore. Cook’s research found no evidence to substantiate the existence of a George Stance, while census records have now confirmed the life of George Stance Moore. As to the Mr. Richard Fuggle, the man who supposedly brought the Fuggle hops to prominence, his is a harder path to track. Cornell’s research on this point is intriguing. He makes a probable case for the possibility that the introduction year of 1875, might not be accurate. (Notice the use of “about” in connection with 1875 in the story.) Cornell cites a report on hop growing in the Feb. 6th, 1875 issue of the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herlad, which calls the “Fuggle’s Golding” a “noted type.” He argues, based on other hop variety evidence of the time, it is likely there would have been several years between its introduction and Fuggle becoming a “noted type.” This wording seems especially unlikely in the same year of Fuggles’ supposed introduction. By pushing its introduction back to say, the late 1860’s the possibility of a certain Richard Fuggle being around to introduce the hop becomes credible. In Kim Cook’s research, the best fit for the “Mr. Richard Fuggle of Benchley” in the story, was the son of Thomas Fielder Fuggle of Fowle Hall, Benchley, but this Richard immigrated to Canada in 1871, making him an impossible player in the hops’ introduction if the date in the story is to be believed. But, if that introduction actually took place before 1871 as suggested by Cornell, then Richard Fuggle could, conceivable, have introduced the hop. Incidentally, Kim Cook found two other men with the surname Fuggle, related to the above Richard, who both, also have the given name Richard. They didn’t live in Benchley though. They lived in Old Hay, situated about a mile north of Benchley, which still makes them possible players in this story. In any case, Fuggle went on to become one of England’s two predominant hops. It would rise in popularity until the late 1940’s, when verticillium wilt devastated British hop fields. The cultivation of higher alpha acid hop varieties ensured Fuggle would not rise to the same popularity it once held. But it still enjoys a very firm place in the world of British beer; often considered a required addition to Ordinary Bitters, Best Bitters, and Dark Milds, to capture the round, quintessential British profile. Its also gone on to be grown as Styrian Golding in Slovenia and U.S. Fuggles in North America; slightly changed by its environment in each case. It is also likely that U.S. Tettnanger is a Fuggle hop. Fuggle is part of the pedigree of Cascade, Willamette, and Glacier hops. How to Grow & Brew English Fuggle Hops Before you try to grow your own English Fuggles, we would recommend reading over our hop growing article. When choosing a hop variety it is best to talk to other local growers or your homebrewer shop to get some info on which varieties grow well in your area. Acid Composition Breakdown Alpha Acid: 3.5 – 5.5% Beta Acid: 2.0 – 3.0% Co-Humulone: 23 – 33% Oil Composition Breakdown Total Oils: 0.7 – 1.4 mL (per 100 grams) Myrcene Oil: 24 – 28% (of total) Humulene Oil: 34 – 40% (of total) Caryophyllene Oil: 11 – 13% (of total) Farnesene Oil: 5 – 7% (of total) Geraniol Oil: 0% (of total) General Characteristics: Climate — USDA Zone 3-8, but best in temperate, wet climates with mild winters. Can grow well in stiff, clayey soil. Growth Rate — Moderate Yield — Low Cones — Medium sized, moderately compact Maturity — Early to mid Season Susceptible To — Moderately susceptible to Verticillium Wilt Resistant To — Downy Mildew Ease of Harvest — Good Storage — Good (loss 30 to 40% of alpha acid after 6 months storage at room temperature) Sensory Description: Fuggles bring a delicate bouquet of mint, grassy earth, light wood, and floral notes. When used as a bittering hop it presents as classic “English,” roundness, and having strong herbal qualities. Use: Fuggle hops once filled the role of both a bittering and aroma hop. With the rise of higher alpha acid it has become known more as an aroma variety, though it can still perform both roles admirably. Can Substitute With/For These Hops: These are general substitutions and are not perfect Fuggle clones in any respect. All hop varieties are unique in some way, so do not expect the exact same beer you’d get using Fuggle hops. Obviously this goes the other direction too, using Fuggle as a sub for one of the below listed hops. (US) Fuggle Willamette Newport Styrian Golding Common Beer Styles Using U.S. Fuggle Hops: English Pale Ale & IPA English IPA Stouts Brown Ales English Bitters Strong British Ales Golden Ale Lambics Ambers Winter Seasonals Commercial Examples: Beale St. Brown Ale from Fat Cat Brewing — Uses only Fuggles. Fuggle-Dee-Dum from Goddards Brewing Limited — Uses only Fuggles. Masham Ale from Theakston Legendary Ales — Uses only Fuggles. Old Peculier from Theakston Legendary Ales — Uses Fuggles as aroma hop. Peggotty’s Porter from Mauldons Brewing Company — Uses Fuggles only. Fuggles IPA from Shipyard Brewing Company — Uses only Fuggle Hops. Mutha Fuggle EPA from Tomoka Brewing Company — Uses only Fuggle Hops. Cream Stout from Boston Beer Company — Uses East Kent Goldings and Fuggles.