Tag Archives: Canterbury Food & Drink Festival

The Kent Green Hop Beers at Canterbury F & D Fest

Our tent at Canterbury marks the official start of Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight, but I have the feeling that for some it is the Fortnight. There’s always such a good atmosphere and plenty of familiar faces year-after-year.


This year it seems you loved the beer more than ever. You got through 800 pints on the Friday! Gadds’ Green Hop Ale (4.8%) is always the first cask to sell out – which is why we always have several casks of it – but the next to go this year was Old Dairy Fuggles (4%). Everyone seemed to agree it was delicious. You’ll have to seek this one out in pubs across the county now, or one of the brewery’s KGHB events, as we only had one cask of it for Canterbury. I’ll whet your appetite by telling you it’s a light, delicate and very drinkable brew with honey and lemon hop flavours against the restrained sweetness of a malt backdrop reminiscent of brown sugar. Absolutely worth hunting for.

We have many other delicious brews at Canterbury Food & Drink Festival this Saturday (24th Sept). Here’s a flavour of what’s on offer.2016-kghb-casks-canterbury

*Bexley Brewery Berry EKG pale ale (4.1%) has an enticing perfumed, floral aroma threaded with lemony notes leading you in to a zesty beer with honey notes. One that really evokes the summer sunshine.

East Kent Green Hop Collaboration (5%) This collaboration between Gadds’, Canterbury Brewers/The Foundry, Canterbury Ales, Wantsum and Goody Ales tastes stunning. It’s super zingy, light and lemony. A juicy sherbet lemon of a beer! It’s hopped mostly with EKG along with a smidgen of Bullion – which here exhibits stone fruit notes rather than the blackcurrant it can offer up. Because it’s a green hop the flavour is delicate but the taste will please fans of American craft beers (but won’t put off traditional/British ale fans).

Wantsum Brewery Bullion (4.5%) poured much darker than I was expecting and has a pronounced spicy blackcurrant aroma and flavour with hints of chocolate. I bet it would taste great with a nice bit of venison!

Boutilliers Green Hop Saison (4.2%) Joining KGHBF for the first time Boutilliers have made a rather traditional saison. The aroma is of saison yeast with a hint of lemons. It’s a dry, snappy beer with more lemony notes emerging as you drink. I think it would be a good one to have with salmon or a dish like lemon chicken.

Pig & Porter Strangely Brown (4.8%) is much the same dark but light delight as it was last year. The green hops lift the malts so you get all of the flavour and body in a exceedingly drinkable beer. Expect lots of chocolatey flavours with a hint of lime.

We’re back at Canterbury today. The Food & Drink Festival is in Dane John Gardens. It’s free to get in. Opening times, 10am – 6pm. Find us at the foot of the mound – more directions here.

See you later for a beer! (See below for a couple of corrections to the beer list).

Beer list corrections – for Canterbury F&D

Bexley Brewery  *Instead of those listed we have – Berry EKG pale ale 4.1% (see tasting note above).

kghb-beer-board-cby-2016Pig & Porter Instead of Purest Green we have Green Spider Rye.

Wantsum In addition to what’s listed we have their Bullion.

Not long till Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight!

In just over a month’s time we’ll get the chance to drink Kent Green Hop Beer again.

Apologies to all those of you patiently waiting for information on this year’s Fortnight. It IS happening and it starts on Friday 23rd September with our beer tent at the Canterbury Food & Drink Festival.

The East Kent brewers open day and bus tour will be on Saturday 8th October. Book tickets here.

The season finale, so to speak, falls beyond the official Fortnight but we’re always grateful for the support and enthusiasm of West Kent CAMRA who make a big feature of Kent Green Hop Beer at the Spa Valley Railway  Real Ale & Cider Festival (and Autumn Diesel Gala), which this year runs Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd October 2016.

Men enjoying KGHB 14


We’re working on the beer list right now and brewers are poised to start making this freshest of brews and the ultimate seasonal beer.

Over the next five weeks, in the run up to the start of the Fortnight, we’ll be posting news and features to whet your appetite.


So stay tuned, tell your friends and please follow us on Twitter (RTs, @mentions and use of the hashtag #KGHB much appreciated) so you don’t miss any Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight 2016 news.

KGHB at Canterbury Food & Drink Fest

We are back at Canterbury Food & Drink Festival, in Dane John Gardens, and have had such a busy first day this is the first chance KGHBF Publicity HQ’s had to log in and post an update.

The Kent Green Hop Bar is in a new location this year (2014) and is NOT the same as the Festival Bar! Here’s how to find us:

  • If you’ve entered via the Gas Street end of the Gardens follow the main tree lined path and we are ON THE RIGHT just before you get to the fountain.
  • If you have come in from the Watling St end then join the main tree lined path and head into the centre of the gardens towards the fountain – passing the main Produced in Kent stands and the bandstand on your left – go past the fountain and turn left where you’ll find us near the pub style seating just before the kids’ play area.
  • If you have come into the park from the Marlowe Ave side – take the shortest route to the tree lined main path and turn right, heading towards the fountain (with the bandstand on your left). We are on the left shortly after the fountain – near the pub style seating just before the kids’ play area.
Use the fountain as your landmark to find the bar this year (see directions above).

We are NOT by the fountain this year but it’s a good landmark for finding your way to the Green Hop Bar (see directions above).

The Green Hop Bar is also marked on the festival map, copies of which are available at the Festival – but basically we are not in the main area this year, we are near the mini fairground rides but also conveniently not too far from the loos!

The beers are tasting marvellous once again this year. The only downside is that some breweries have been unable to send casks in time. We hope to post an update to the beer list during the weekend but can only offer our apologies regarding any ‘missing’ beers and offer to help you find alternative brews to suit your palate.

We look forward to seeing you in Canterbury over the weekend!

Sunday’s beers at Canterbury F & D Festival

We’ve had a busy weekend and Kent Green Hop Beers have proved even more popular than last year – so we have run out of some of our brews. But here’s what we’ve managed to get for you if you are coming to the final day of Canterbury Food & Drink Festival. (See beer page for tasting notes and ABVs).

Canterbury Ales East Kent Golding

Canterbury Brewers/Foundry Brewpub East Kent Belgian and East Kent Pale

Caveman Hunter Gatherer

Gadds’ Green Hop Ale

Hop Fuzz Garden of England

Mad Cat Autumn Sun

Old Dairy Green Hop 4 (Target)

Spencer’s Green Hop Gold

Shepherd Neame Tallyman’s Special

Swan on the Green Boadicea

Tonbridge Capel Pale

Westerham Scotney

Whitstable Grafty Green Hop

Don’t forget the festival closes at 5pm today – and we will have to call last orders before then – so don’t leave it too late getting here!

If you’ve missed us at Canterbury don’t forget Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight continues in the county’s pubs.

Canterbury Food & Drink Festival

If you’re coming to Canterbury Food & Drink Festival for some Kent Green Hop Beers this weekend here’s what to expect and a few details to help you find us.

The food and drink festival is in Dane John Gardens which is close to Canterbury East train station. We do NOT have a Kent Green Hop Beer tent this year but we are easy to find. We are next to the main festival bar, which is between the bandstand and the fountain/water feature – but closer to the water feature.

Find us near the fountain - to the left of the festival bar

Find us near the fountain – to the left of the festival bar

The festival is a DAYTIME ONLY event. Opening hours are 10 am – 6pm on Friday and Saturday and 10 am – 5 pm on Sunday. Please note we will have to call last orders in good time for people to drink up before the festival closes. So get here early to avoid disappointment!

The Kent Green Hop Beer blackboard!

The Kent Green Hop Beer blackboard!

Finally… the beers are tasting AMAZING … so don’t miss out. Come to Canterbury for some of the freshest seasonal beer you’ll ever have. 

We look forward to seeing you!

The lady got taste - punters tuck into Kent Green Hop Beer

The lady got taste – punters tuck into Kent Green Hop Beer

Kent Green Hop brewing is under way!

With just a few weeks to go before the start of Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight brewers are rushing around like crazy to grab those fresh hops and make them into beer.

Be sure to join us at Canterbury Food & Drink Festival from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th September and in the county’s pubs between 27th Sept and 11th Oct for your chance to drink this year’s Kent Green Hop Beers!

Old Dairy does it again

It was the first to brew a Kent Green Hop Beer last year and for the second year running the first brew has been carried out by Old Dairy of Rolvenden, near Cranbrook.

They completed their first KGHB on 30th August using locally sourced Phoenix hops. Brewer David Berry said, “We’re really pushing the boat out this year and are producing six brews. Four of these will be standard pale ales at 4% ABV, but all will be using a different hop,”


He added: “We’ve also brewed two of our regular beers with green hops. Copper Top is now Copper Hopper and our Wild Hop Ale (which isn’t really part of the Fortnight as it features a hop from Sussex) is called Wet & Wild.”

Old Dairy’s three single hopped KGHBs will feature Admiral, Challenger and Target respectively.

Fastest brew

Old Dairy may be first but Kent Brewery in Birling (north west of Maidstone) are claiming to be fastest. Their Twitter feed says they managed to get their hops into the copper in just 2.5 hours from bine to brew!

New faces

Mad Cat Peter shovelling fresh green hops!

Mad Cat Peter shovelling fresh green hops!

New to Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight is Mad Cat Brewery in Faversham. It has thrown itself into the spirit of the Fortnight and is making two brews, Mad Cat Autumn Sun and Mad Cat Autumn Moon. (NB Only Autumn Sun will be available at the launch. Autumn Moon will is to be released the following week.)

Autumn Sun has been named for the colour of the beer and will feature Fuggles hops.

Mad Cat got its hops from Redsell’s Farm which is just four miles away from the brewery.

If you’ve just popped by the website don’t forget to sign up to get Kent Green Hop News by email so you’re up to date with all this year’s happenings.

Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight 2013 is sponsored by Simply Hops


Media release to monthly titles

Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight: 28th September – 12th Oct 2012

Garden of England’s ‘beerjolais’ ambition: From hop bine to brewery in less than 12 hours!

Step aside Beaujolais nouveau, the English are launching a beer event to capture the unique flavours of the first, fresh hops of the harvest and they hope it will become as popular as the seasonal wine run from France.

The county famed for its hops, historically picked by a seasonal influx of Londoners, is holding the first ever Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight, beginning in late September.

More than 20 of the county’s breweries are making their own versions of the ale which features fresh hops used within 12 hours of being picked.

These ‘green’ hops give the beer a characteristic light and fresh flavour because they retain oils usually driven out by the traditional drying process used to preserve them for use long after they have been harvested.

“We only make green hop beers once a year, at the tail end of summer, and there’s something about their flavours that seems to capture the last of the sunshine just as autumn puts a chill in the air,” says Martin Guy of Canterbury Ales.

He adds, “They are truly unique brews because you literally can’t make the same beer twice – which is one of the reasons behind the Fortnight. We thought if all the breweries in Kent made one it would give more people a chance to taste these beers rather than keeping them just for ourselves!”

As if the excitement of a unique, only-brewed-once-a-year drink wasn’t enough the process of making Kent Green Hop Beer is also rather dramatic. Brewers pumped with adrenaline undertake a mad dash between hop garden and brewery so the green hops they use are as fresh as can be.

“Although we allow ourselves up to twelve hours between picking and brewing I prefer to get them into the beer much quicker. I’ve done it in less than four hours before now,” says Eddie Gadd of The Ramsgate Brewery, one of the event’s founders.

“It makes me as excited as a little kid on Christmas Eve. I like to get to the hop farm early, pick a few hop flowers to rub so I can see and smell the oils, which are the key ingredient of green hop beer, and then help myself to a dozen sacks to brew with.”

After the hops are collected there is a race back to the brewery to add them to the beer, brewing of which will already be underway. Each brewer’s recipe is different but what doesn’t alter is the need to get the fresh hops into the beer as soon after picking as possible, hence the need for speed.

Some add the sacks of flower heads to the beer at the boiling stage filling the air with the aroma of fresh hops – an intense herbal fragrance that has been compared to a giant, hoppy essential oil burner – others may add them later in the brew creating an entirely different flavour. Whatever the methods they get an enormous kick out of brewing with green hops.

“It’s the highlight of the year and feels like a celebration of hops,” says Eddie.

“Brewers sometimes take them for granted and drinkers don’t always realise that it’s these little flowers that make the flavour of their beer,” he adds.

The first ever Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight will be launched at Canterbury Food and Drink Festival (on 28/29/30 September) and the brewers hope the launch venue will contribute to ongoing efforts to raise beer’s image from a generic tasting beverage drunk only in pints, to something sophisticated to be matched with food or savoured for its flavours if consumed separately from a meal.

They compare the difference between green hop beer and traditional recipe brews with cooking with fresh herbs rather than dried ones. The comparison echoes the essence of the beer and is one of the reasons brewers want to make the most of the connection with food.

“We think launching at the festival has the potential of awakening beer-curiosity among food lovers,” says Martin, “but we want as many people as possible to have a chance to try Kent Green Hop Beers so they will also be available at pubs throughout the county.

“The best way to be sure of getting to try some is to come to Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight because you won’t find them outside of the county. Even the few that are bottled usually sell out in a couple of days.”

  •  The first-ever Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight takes place from 28 September to 12 October 2012 starting at the Canterbury Food & Drink Festival and continuing at selected pubs throughout Kent – while stocks last. For more information visit www.kentgreenhopbeer.com


For further information, image requests or to arrange an interview contact Kent Green Hop Beer PR Manager, Sophie Atherton on: 07946 112 025 or e-mail her at: sophieatherton@btinternet.com

Hop farm, Kent