More on West Australian hops

The info below has been taken from a post on aussie home brewer forums;wap2

Hey Everybody,

I was sick of all the conjecture over what the Pemberton Hop farm was and actually grew. So I had some down time. This is what came out of it.

To start this we need to establish that there were 3 hop farms that operated in the Pemberton area.
The first one to be established was the Flybrook Hop Farm, which was well established by 1929
The next started to operate in 1931, by a Mr. J. Bunn, who was well known from the hop farms of Springfield, Victoria.
The last was farm was started by a Mr Gardner who apparently was a London Policeman prior to immigrating to Australia.
By 1946 only 2 hop farms still existed in the area.

Historical reference in newspapers from indicated that J. Bunn’s farm and Mr Gardner sold directly to Perth breweries in 1935.
However, what hops were actually grown is a bit harder to answer.
References found in the Hobart Newspaper form the 1920’s referred to growers growing Fuggles and Golden Cluster.
Articles sourced from Western Mail, Perth on 25th November 1937, says that the varieties planted in WA were as follows.
Californian, Golden Cluster and Bavarian.
There was specific reference made that Mr Bunn’s crop harvested in May 1936 was California and Golden Cluster that was sourced from the Springfield,
Victoria region when he moved to WA.
No reference, was made to what was being grown at the Flybrook farm, however, odd would point to a the Bravarian varieties.

So great, we know that none of these varieties are available on the market today, due to development of super hops.
The older articles made reference that the may be one male plant per 100 females.
(Reporter reference, I not sure if this could be confirmed) So this would make the rhizomes available would either be the pure varieties
listed above or some hybrid offspring.
The only true way to know would be to go look to see if you could find a male hop plant on the 20 or so acres that use to be covered with hop farms.
Interestingly enough, an interview with J. Bunn, cover that, the area of the southwest, were good for growing hops,
however they needed to transplanted no later than August, and they needed to be trained for a minimum of 3 years before they entered a good yield age.
(The Daily News, Perth 25th Nov 1944)

So the question that I asked myself so where did those varieties go.
The easiest one to trace was the Golden Cluster, this through interbreeding turned into what is know as Cluster today.

Bavarian, I found reference to in a breeding program for the states,
where a female was crossed, and after about 4 generation of cross breeding turned into Nugget.
I would hazard the theory that Bavarian, is actually a bred of Hallertau, which was more heat tolerate.

The only reference that was made to Californian was a male was crossed with Brewer Gold and the F2 hybrid of this mixing turned into Northern Brewer.
My guess is that Californian was original a wild variety domesticated in the late 1890’s.

Over all, we should be able to classify the lines of these hops by comparing the cone structure, with other modern varieties.
As far as the people who think that it would be POR growing in Pemberton, Sorry folks, POR wasn’t developed until the late 1950’s in Melbourne,
when Pemberton hops was on the decline.
I will admit that Fuggle, might have been grown in the area, however I found no reference source.
My research stopped at the point of running down the location of historical lease for J Bunn and Mr Gardner,
as I refuse to shell out 120$ an hour for some wanker at Landgate to dig through their archives.

Photo: State Library of Western Australia,

News articles that I remember to save:


Western Mail (Perth, WA)
Thursday 25 November 1937