The Need for Speed in Kent’s Green Hop Beer Festival

So what is a green hop beer? It’s a beer made from hops which have by-passed the drying process in the Oast House kiln. The hops are added to the brew fresh or ‘Green’. So what’s the point of doing that? Well it’s the hops that give beers their unique flavours and aromas but many of the oils and resins in the hops are lost during the drying process. A beer made with green hops has a totally different taste to a beer that uses dried hops. Green hops are lighter and fresher with grassy, citrus notes and the beers are usually pale ales, although there are milds and bitters too.
The freshness of green hops starts to deteriorate as soon as they picked, so they need to get from the hop garden to the brew house as quickly as possible. Most brewers aim to do this in less than twelve hours although Eddie Gadd of Gadds’ Ramsgate Brewery has done it in less than four hours. It’s an exciting time for the brewers as they race from hop garden to the brew house to make their once a year brew, the taste and flavours of which will be different from year to year.
Recently I was lucky enough to have a pre-taster of Wantsums Bramling Cross Best Bitter 4.5% made with Bramling cross hops and as you would expect with a name like that there was a definite blackcurrent aroma and taste.
The secondKent Green Hop Fortnight starts on 27th Sept and runs until 11th Oct. Green hopped beers will be available in pubs for the fortnight and on the weekend of 27th to 29th Sept twenty Kent brewers will be at the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival where around thirty five beers will be available for people to taste for themselves, to discover just how good they are. As the name of the festival suggests there will local food producers too, so some beer and food combining can be tried.
The festival opening hours are:
Friday & Saturday (27th & 28th Sept) 10am – 6pm
Sunday (29th Sept) 10am – 5pm
It is located in the Dane John Gardens close to Canterbury East train station and a short walk from Canterbury West train station.


About Mick Gall

Hello, my name is Mick Gall and I hail from Teynham in sunny Kent. I love gardening and ale so I thought I'd try this blogging m'larky. One blog is about all the great ales,ciders,pubs and brewers we have in Kent and Sussex the other is about gardening and wildlife, plus some folklore thrown in.
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