Our selection of hop plants are commercial varieties normally grown for brewing, except for Golden Tassels which is an ornamental variety grown for its golden yellow foliage. The rhizomes are certified material from virus tested stock produced in England. Each variety differs slightly in colour, shape, size, aroma, and alpha acid content (which is important for brewers).

All of our hop varieties, except Golden Tassels, produce a green flower cone in late summer and are an attractive climbing addition to any garden. The best time to plant hops is during the winter months when the plant is dormant. Hops need cold conditions in the winter, particularly Goldings and Bramling Cross, otherwise they won’t grow.

Fuggle hops

One of the oldest available hop varieties, Fuggle hops were developed by the Reverend Richard Fuggles in 1856. This variety tends to crop more heavily towards the head of the plant and produces very large flowers, sometimes referred to as banana hops.

Fuggle hops are highly prized by traditional brewers and produce a light flavoured beer. The aroma is earthier and less sweet than Kent Goldings. It has been revered ever since as the classic aroma hop for British bitters and pale ales, often used in combination with Goldings. Fuggles are also suitable for porters and stouts. The alpha acid content ranges from 3% to 5.5%.

Phoenix hops

An early flowering variety, Phoenix hops are heavily fruiting with a dark coloured stem. This variety tends to crop very evenly throughout the length of the plant and is pretty to look at. A dual purpose hop providing the brewing industry with a mild aroma and slightly spicy flavour, Phoenix’s alpha acid ranges from 9% to 13%.

Challenger hops

Bred at Wye in 1972, Challenger hops the granddaughter of Northern Brewer. A columnar hop, it is small and heavily fruiting with a dark coloured stem. This variety tends to crop fairly evenly throughout the length of the plant. Challenger is a dual purpose plant providing the brewing industry with an aroma and alpha acid hop suitable for both lagers and bitters. Challenger is the preferred hop for Bass Best Bitter. Alpha w/w6.5 – 8.5%


Goldings hops

This is a group of traditional and very popular English aroma hops grown prior to 1790, also widely cultivated in the U.S. They’re called East Kent Goldings if grown in East Kent, Kent Goldings if grown in mid-Kent, and Goldings if grown elsewhere. Goldings have a smooth, sweet flavour. Most types of Goldings will work in place of another (Whitbread Golding Variety for East Kent Goldings). Please note that Styrian Goldings are not in this family.


Cobbs is an East Kent Golding variety producing small ‘pea hops’ which grow heavily towards the head of the plant. They are a favoured variety for producing typical English bitters.

Redsells Eastwell

A Golding selection made at Tony Redsell’s farm in 1988 when Wye College was trying to find Viroid free stock of all varieties, Redsells Eastwell is a true Kentish Eastwell Golding. Alpha acid of around 5% Probably one of the most vigorous and higher yielding Golding varieties. This hop flowers heavily and is a favoured variety for producing traditional English bitters with a typical English aroma.

Early Bird

Early Bird is an early flowering variety, favoured for producing traditional English bitters. This variety was widely grown in the Canterbury area.


Mathon is an English aroma hop of the Golding group. This variety is vigorous, yielding high numbers of cones, however, it is susceptible to both downy and powdery mildew. This hop was used widely in traditional ales and late hopped lagers.


Golding crosses

W.G.V. Whitbread Golding Variety

A slightly wilt tolerant Golding type, specifically selected by Whitbread for their use, W.G.V. Whitbread Golding Variety has the characteristics of both Fuggles and Goldings. It has a green stem with a light green leaf. The cones are slightly smaller than traditional Goldings. W.G.V. is usually used in combination with other types of hops. Bred in 1911 , it is not a true Golding but is not dissimilar, it is more robust with distinguishing sweet fruity note. Alpha acid 5.0%-8.0%.

Northern Brewer

Northern Brewer was developed in England in 1934 from a cross between a Canterbury Golding female plant and the male plant OB21. Grown in Europe and America as a dual-purpose hop, but mainly used for bittering in combination with other hops. A strong woody/earthy/fruity aroma and unique mint-like evergreen flavour. Alpha acid 8%-10%


Target is a mid to high alpha hop, bred from Kent Goldings in 70s at Wye. Target has a red stem like Challenger but with a deeper green leaf. The cone is smaller but more abundant, with a higher alpha than Challenger. Very resistant to disease. Used in the production of good quality bitters and pale ales. Alpha acid 9.5%-12.5%


Progress was developed in the 60s at Wye as a replacement to Fuggles. Similar to Fuggles however it has a degree of wilt tolerance. It has big, bold green cones, and combines fine aromas with good alpha acid content and is used together with Goldings to produce good class bitters and pale ales. Alpha acid 5%-7%

Brewers Gold

Brewers Gold is a bittering hop developed in 1919. It has a resiny, spicy aroma/flavour with hints of blackcurrant.

Notts Eastwell Golding

Notts Eastwell Golding is an English hop variety developed at Eastwell Park, outside of Ashford, Kent. This hop plant is a clonal selection very similar to other Golding hops and shares the flavour and aroma characteristics. It also has similarities to Fuggle. Poor resistance to disease. Alpha acids range from 5% to 5.5%.


An important variety in its day, Bullion was developed in the 1940s and has been superseded by more modern high alpha hops. Bullion is a bittering hop with a strong blackcurrant aroma. Bullion was used in the production of stouts.

Similar hops to this variety are: Brewers Gold, Chinook, Columbus, Galena.


Willamette a seedling of Fuggle. A popular aroma hop with a fragrant spicy woody aroma. An American aromatic hop for ales and lagers. Alpha acid 4-6%

Early Choice

Bred at Wye in 1927, Early Choice is not commercially widely grown but is increasingly being used by brewers as an acceptable alternative for Golding flavours. High yielding, low alpha


Used by American Microbrewers, Cascade hops have a very high level of some of the essential oils. They have a distinct citrus/grapefruit aroma all of their own. Historically not widely used in the U.K., it is now being introduced into some English beers. a Fuggle x Russian cross. Alpha 4.5-6%


Centennial is a dual purpose hop with a strong citrus-floral character. Bred in America in the 70s. A cross between Brewer’s Gold, Fuggle, East Kent Golding & Bavarian Alpha acid 9.5-11%.

Hallertau Mittlefruh

Hallertau Mittlefruh is an aroma hop. Mild spicy flavour. Alpha acid 3 .5-5.5%.


Perle is a german dual purpose hop, spicy, and slightly floral/fruity.

Mount Hood

Mount Hood is a half-sister to Liberty, an aroma variety Alpha acid 4-6%

Styrian Golding

Styrian Golding is a Slovenian variant of Fuggles, but similar to East Kent Goldings. Used in English ales and Belgian strong ales amongst others. From eastern Europe.


Chinook is another dual purpose hop, developed in 1985, but from NW USA this time. Chinook is a cross between the English variety Petham Golding with the attractively named male USDA 63012. The plant produces hops with high alpha but an aroma with a distinctive pine smell. This variety is widely used in American hoppy ales. Alpha acid 12-14%

Prima Donna

Otherwise known as First Gold, Prima Donna, is a dwarf variety, designed to grow to a height of 2 meters in a hedgerow system. If left to its own devices this hop will ramble over a trellis like any other variety. Bred at Wye in the this is a plant at the cutting edge of hop breeding. Prima Donna is used to produce a traditional light bitter.

Golden Tassels

Golden Tassels is our only ornamental hop variety, grown mainly for its golden foliage and cones. It may grow to a height of around two metres.

At Essentially Hops, we sell a wide range of bare root hop plants, dried hop garlands, and fresh hops (when they’re in season).