The hops from 2018’s Southern Hemisphere harvests are now on the market and John Fearless has received its latest allocations: we can offer to craft brewers throughout the world, in pelletized format, highly sought-after specialty hops such as New Zealand’s Nelson Sauvin and Motueka, and South Africa’s Southern Passion and African Queen. Fearless also offers a range of US-grown hop varietals including – following the recently completed 2018 harvest – an exciting new addition.
As the US hop harvest only finished at the start of October, it’s too early for numbers, but the feeling in the hopyards is that – yield-wise – it was an average to slightly below average year depending on varietal. The height of the growing season in Washington State – producer of approximately 85% of the total US crop – was unseasonably cool with night-time temperatures sometimes as low as zero, inhibiting cone development. Total volume will exceed last year’s record crop, however, due to new acres, so it will continue to be a buyer’s marketplace. Quality, meanwhile, looks good.
Fearless offers a six-strong core range of US-grown hop varietals but is more than happy to meet demand for varietals outside of these. Last year we started selling an innovative aromatic hop called Medusa, bred by Yakima Valley’s CLS Farms from the neomexicanus hop plant indigenous to the Rocky Mountains and northern Mexico. Medusa is one of only two hop varietals on the US hop market that can claim to be a 100% indigenous US hop varietal. CLS Farms has since further boosted the aromatic qualities and yield potential of this hop, and named it ‘Zappa’. Fearless will have pelletized Zappa hops available for anyone interested: give us a call.
For the fourth successive year Fearless attended the California Craft Beer Summit in Sacramento – this year held September 6-7 – and our broad range of aromatic hops (available to touch and sniff!) and five-strong Humuflor hop essence range drew crowds to our booth. Alongside us were our friends from South Africa, Stoak Technologies, introducing their all-natural liquid beer stabiliser BrewShield to the US market, where Fearless holds exclusive distribution rights. BrewShield garnered great interest and a number of brewers have committed to trialling it. In addition, Stone Brewing served an IPA hopped exclusively with two of Fearless’s South African hops, aromatic Southern Aroma and dual-purpose African Queen, a fantastic beer that impressed all.
Despite the overall slowdown in the growth of the US craft beer market, the Beer Summit was abuzz. Fearless’s innovative hops, all-natural Humuflor hop essences and Stoak BrewShield are perfect ways for craft brewers of any size to differentiate their beers and boost efficiencies in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
John Fearless can provide: aroma and bittering hops; Humuflor hop essences; Stoak all-natural liquid oak extracts for wine and beer making; used wine, bourbon,whiskey and rum barrels; used foeders; base and specialty malt; and fruit concentrates, purees, juices, and powders.