Nick Carr on September 28, 2020 0 Comments Jester is one of the first English hops developed that has some new world flavor. Traditional English hop varieties are earthy, floral, grassy, woody, herbal, and tea-like; with very little of the bold fruity flavors of citrus, berry, and tropical fruit many of the New World varieties are known for. Jester bridges these two flavor worlds. Jester was born out of a breeding program meant to combine the best of both the New and the Old World. Charles Faram & Co. has been in the hop business since 1865. Initially, their Hop Development Programme focused on trying to develop hedgerow varieties that were less susceptible to disease and had higher yields, but as the punchy “new world” hop character started to gain popularity across the world, the Hop Development Programme sought a new goal: develop hybrid hops by crossing British and New World varieties. To accomplish this, American varieties were brought in and crossed with traditional British rootstock. A cross between a female Cascade and an undisclosed British variety resulted in the seedling that would become Jester. From here, Jester went into planting trials. These trials showed Jester performing well above expectations with good yields and strong resistance to many diseases. In 2013 Jester was released into the commercial brewing market. Jester remains a relatively small player in brewing realms, but this seems to be changing slowly as more people discover just what Jester can bring to the table: a traditional British appeal with a bit of New World freshness. How to Brew With Jester Hops If you plan on growing hops in your backyard, we would make a few recommendations to help you in your endeavors. Before you choose the variety you want to grow, it’s a good idea to talk to other local growers or possibly someone at your local homebrew supply store. They may be able to point you toward varieties that grow well in your area. The Jester variety is protected, trademarked by Charles Faram & Co. Rhizomes and plants are not available for home propagation. However, be sure to check out our other hop profiles for some other planting possibilities. General Characteristics: Origin— UK Year Released— 2013 Growth Rate — Info Not Available Yield — Info Not Available Cones — tight cones; Jester also has smaller leaves which translates to more cones Maturity — Info Not Available Susceptible to — Powdery Mildew Resistant to — Wilt, Tolerant to Downy Mildew Ease of Harvest — Easy Storage — Good Patented or Public — Protected. Registered trademark of Charles Faram & Co. Ltd. Acid Composition Breakdown Note: Hop oil composition will vary between harvest years and where the hop was grown. The numbers below are meant to be an average only. Alpha Acid: 7 – 9% Beta Acid: 4 – 6% Co-Humulone: 23 – 28% Oil Composition Breakdown Total Oils: 0.6 – 1.2 ml/100g Myrcene Oil (% of total): 45 – 50% Humulene Oil (% of total: 1 – 2% Caryophyllene Oil (% of total): 0% Farnesene Oil (% of total): <1% B-Pinene Oil (% of total): Info Not Available Linalool Oil (% of total): Info Not Available Geraniol Oil (% of total): Info Not available Aroma & Sensory Description: Jester is described as having new world-esque characteristics, but don’t expect the in-your-face sort of fruitiness many of the new American varieties have. Instead, Jester has some of those fruity notes but in a more delicate format. The three most commonly used descriptors for Jester are lychee, grapefruit, and blackcurrant. I’ve also seen it noted as having possible whispers of peach/mango/berry and pepper. Expect some earthy, musty, herbal elements to make an appearance, complements of the British side of its parentage and terroir. Overall it is considered mellow in both its flavor/aroma and bittering. Availability: Jester will definitely be easier to get if you happen to live in England, but they are available through some of the bigger U.S. online homebrew stores too. Of course everything you buy within the U.S. will likely be in pellet form. However, Stocks Farm will also ship to the United States and they sell Jester (and several other British varieties) in both pellet and whole cone form. Use: Jester is considered a dual purpose hop, though most brewers seem to relegate its work to aroma and flavor. If bittering with Jester, expect a mild herbal bitterness. Using Jester as a late addition, and especially in dry-hopping, will bring out more of Jester’s fruity side. It can complement other hop varieties very well and likely could be used to bridge more intense varieties used in the same beer. Common Beer Styles Using Jester Hops: English Bitters Pale Ales IPAs Saisons Stouts Porters Blondes British Brown Ale Dark Mild Commercial Examples: To help you gain a better idea of this hop’s aroma and flavor I would recommend you sample as many of these as you can find. This will deepen your understanding of how Jester works in different beer styles and give you a better idea of how to use it in your own homebrewing. Uses Only Jester: Return of the Empire from MOOR Brewery (UK) Jester from Green Jack Brewery (UK) Chief Jester from Farr Brewing (UK) Legless Jester from Cerne Abbas Brewery (UK) Uses Jester With Other Hop Varieties: For Fawkes Sake from Clandestine Brewing (UK)- Also uses Archer Fall Saison from Lone Eagle Brewing (US)- Also uses Nugget Jester from Hawks Head Brewery (UK)- Also uses Bramling Cross Tiny Rebel from The Commercial Pontmister (UK)- American varieties As you can see from the list above, beer brewed with Jester is a little hard to find, especially if you’re not in the UK. Check the one-offs at your local brewpub, though. You might get lucky.