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A harvest of 'green hop' beers will celebrate the new crop from Kent's historic orchards

Added: Sunday, September 23rd 2012

Green Hop Beers – the beery equivalent of Beaujolais Nouveau – will hit British tastebuds this week. Twenty breweries in Kent will showcase beers made with “green hops” next weekend at the Canterbury Food & Drink Festival. The hops will be used in special brews within 12 hours of being picked. Green hops replace conventional hops that are dried in heated oast houses and then packed into special sacks known as “pockets” or “pokes”.

Ed Wray at Old Dairy Brewery on Rawlinson Farm, Rolvenden, who has brewed a bottle-conditioned Fresh Hop beer for the event, says: “We use fresh, undried hops straight from the bine and we throw a pokeful into the copper at the end of the boil, yielding an uncommon bright fresh flavour and aroma.” He says it’s a unique opportunity to highlight Kent’s historic role as a major hop-growing region.

Brewers who are participating in the event, which range from micros to the major Kent independent Shepherd Neame, believe green hops impart a special fresh aroma and flavour to beer. They retain essential oils that are lost during the conventional drying process.

The beers – draught and bottled -- will be unveiled this week in a dedicated marquee at the Canterbury festival. They will remain on sale while stocks last, expected to be the middle of October. Beers available will include an IPA and even a Kentish version of Saison, the Belgian farmhouse beer style.

The Canterbury festival (www.canterbury.co.uk/canterburyfoodfestival) runs from 28 to 30 September, 10am-5pm each day. The festival is at Dane John gardens, close to Canterbury East rail station:

For more information about Green Hop beers and participating breweries, visit www.kentgreenhopbeer.com.

hop picking