Kent Green Hop Beer is beer made with fresh, or green, Kentish hops – instead of using hops that have been dried as is more traditional in brewing. The beers have a characteristic fresh taste because the hops used contain many of the oils that are normally lost when hops are dried. We make sure the hops are as fresh as can be by using them within 12 hours of being picked.
Every Kent Green Hop Beer has to meet the following requirements:
- Brewed in Kent
- Only contain Kent-grown hops
- Only flavoured with fresh, undried hops used within 12 hours of picking
The science part
Why are hops so special?
Kent grows great hops and great hops make great beer.
Hops are the seasoning in beer, the spice that adds the aroma, flavour and bitterness, creating a balance to the sweet, biscuity malt.
They were first used in brewing in the 1500’s, replacing gruit, a mixture of local herbs which had previously been used as a bittering agent.
In addition to adding bitterness, a spicy, tangy flavour and heady floral aroma, hops are a natural preservative. Beer was being brewed at home in small batches, and went off quickly. The addition of hops allowed it to last.
This enabled brewers to make bigger batches of beer and move brewing out of the domestic kitchen, prompting the start of the commercial brewing industry.
Why brew with green hops?
Ripening in early September the freshly picked hop flowers, or cones, are full of moisture and must be dried immediately to prevent them from composting.
This drying process is carried out in oast houses/kilns where warm air is allowed to pass up through a bed of freshly picked cones for up to 12 hours.
Too little drying and the moisture content is dangerously high, too much and all the aromatic, essential oils are lost.
Like other herbs used in cooking, freshly picked green hops impart a distinctly different character to a beer than the usual dried version.
Why is brewing with green hops so special?
Brewing with green hops can only happen during harvest and it creates a beer with a truly unique flavour and aroma.