Aroma Profile: Ernest has a fruity aroma with hints of citrus, apricots and spice.
Alpha Acids 5.3-6.3%
Beta Acids 4.5-5%
Total Oils 0.7-1.1 mL/100g
Ernest was selected for trials after it was discovered to have a good tolerance for wilt disease in 1953. These tests were run by Dr Keyworth at East Malling Research Station. This research station tested a lot of untested breeding lines, and Ernest was one of the many hops that came onto the market thanks to these tests. These hops have a lovely new world characteristic which produces a very intriguing and complex flavour. This flavour is full of fruity notes, particularly apricot, citrus and spice.
Ernest is susceptible to powdery mildew and aphids. It is also vulnerable to downy mildew in the spring. However, with proper care and attention, this hop’s cones can retain their green colourations late into September.
Ernest is named after the breeder of the hop, Professor Ernest Salmon. It was used in production during the farm trails in 1957 and 1958, and it was also used in brewing trials, conducted by the Institute of Brewing in 1959, but it never came to be of much worth, back then! The variety was rediscovered by Simon Parker – one of our near neighbours in the upper Frome valley in Herefordshire. He had the foresight to plant some up at his farm (Instone Court) just as brewers were looking for more variety from UK hops.
Ernest has a strong flavour by UK standards, and so it can often overpower other hops. This can, of course, work in the brewer’s favour, it just depends on the taste and aroma they are after. This is why, after the trials, it didn’t make too much of an impact on the brewing world. It was considered a poor substitute for the control variety, Fuggle. This was due to its strong, harsh, American aroma. Ernest, because of these trials, is now quite a rare hop, but the traits that deemed it no good during the trials of the late 1950s, now make it an excellent hop for craft beers.
Craft beer brewers are crying out for a hop like Ernest. It has a different and exciting taste that isn’t used too much, making it a rare commodity in the brewer’s world. Ernest can add a lot to a beer if you want intense flavours, which many craft beer brewers want nowadays. This hop could be the key to many new craft beers. It has a strong taste that is perfect for bittering. We think it is high time that Ernest came to the forefront of modern-day craft brewing, it is a very exciting hop that has never really seen the light of day, and we want that to change!