HOPSTOCK is certified BIO
Background to the HOPSTOCK project
Since 2017 we have tested more than 35 hop varieties on our 1.3 hectare hop farm, from various professional sources around the world, to determine which varieties were suitable for organic cultivation. This project aimed to remove one of the main obstacles to the relocation of hops in France: the lack of healthy, quality plant material.
Only one organic hop farm existed in France in 2015, at the high school Agricole d’Obernai, in Alsace.
To identify the ideal organic varieties, we have set up a scoring system based on 3 main criteria:
- Resistance to bio-aggressors (aphids, spider mites, mildew)
- Organoleptic qualities (oil rate, brewers’ feedback)
The trial lasted 4 years, from 2017 to 2020, and the results were beyond our expectations!
Test protocol: all in the same boat
The protocol is simple: all varieties are subjected to the same soil and climatic conditions. They undergo the same cultural interventions (ridging, treatments, etc.) at the same time so as not to distort the results.
Pests were counted every fortnight, on 9 leaves, at three locations in the hop row, and at 3 different heights (top, middle, and bottom of the vine) for 4 years.
All varieties have undergone full analysis of oil, moisture, Alphas, Betas profiles for 4 years (contact us for a summary of the study).
We have thus obtained a top 20 list of hop varieties that can be grown in France, and more specifically in the northern half of the country.
Test in the hop field, then in the nursery
Since 2018 we have been selecting the best varieties in our nursery. We refine our catalogue according to the results of the experimental plot, and the demand of the hop growers.
We have tested countless propagation protocols to improve health, vigour and root size. Since 2020 we have been accompanied by professionals in the field of in-vitro propagation. Our aim is to supply organic hop plants to all hop growers in the country.
Some varieties have been discontinued: Centennial, Mount Hood, Golding, Hallertau Mittelfüh. These varieties proved to be too susceptible to diseases and their development was too weak.
You can now plant 100% organic hops
And what’s even better is that the prices don’t change!
Quantities remain limited for the time being, but we are increasing the production rate to meet the demand.
For professional quantities, we will have to wait until autumn 2023.