Hop profile – Fuggles
Fuggles is one of the more common and well-known hops used today. For a time it was one of the most commonly used in Britain. But as more species were introduced to fit certain roles better, it is now mostly used as an aroma hop. It is pretty mild while still being full well-rounded flavour and bittering agent. This is likely part of why it is so common as it is easy to apply to many different beers, often complemented with Goldings as many of our kits do.
Fuggles as a known entity dates back to 1861, but before that it was a wild plant discovered by George Stace Moore who found the variety in his garden. It was Richard Fuggle though who propagated the hop which lead to its growing popularity. When exactly this happened is contested. 1875 is when the hop became notable but it was likely being propagated for many years before that. The exact history of both these men has been poorly recorded and romanticised, but we can be pretty certain of the general story at this point in time.
Though the popularity of the hop 100 years ago is not an exaggeration, even as recently as 1949 it made 78% of land used for used for hop production in Kent and it isn’t really surprising. Fuggles has a high enough alpha and beta acid percentage to bitter well and enough oils for pleasant aroma. But aside from the more technical aspects Fuggles is just very easy to use in any style of ale, its mild but well-rounded flavour makes it very adaptable. Especially without more modern hops which have been developed to be more specialised, Fuggles gave a relatively high percentage while being adaptable. Plus with the times tastes also change, some of the very bitter but lower alcohol content ales today would have been scoffed at in the past.
Even today Fuggles is popular and seems it will remain that way, while its use as a jack of all trades lessens over time Fuggles seems lie it will always remain a popular variety of hop.