Smell the Hops, Taste the Beer
This week on the blog we’re handing over to Eddie Gadd of Gadd’s The Ramsgate Brewery to find out more about brewing in East Kent and a very special event coming up that celebrates The Green Hop….take a read below and we challenge you not to want a fresh, zesty ale after reading!
It’s Green Hop season and here at Gadds’ we’re all very excited about this year’s hop crop and the green hop ale it has produced. So much so, that we are having a whole day festival celebrating this very special/unique brew on Saturday 8 October. As part of an East Kent collaboration, five breweries (GADDS’, Wantsum, Goody’s, The Foundry and Canterbury Ales) will be opening their doors to the public for tours, music, food and Kent Green Hop beers. We call it the East Kent Green Hop Brewers’ Open Day and the public are invited to come along and dance with Morris Men, eat, drink and have great fun. You can just visit one brewery and stay the day, or buy a bus ticket here and visit all five. It’s tremendous, healthy Kentish fun (or fun of Kent), and here at GADDS’ you’ll singing along with our brewery Ukulele band, Gaddzukes!
Thanet – the perfect place to brew beer
Out here on the Thanet coast is the perfect place (in all the world) to brew English Ales. This is because, out here, in east Kent, is an ideal place to grow the quintessential English hop variety known as the Golding. Goldings are the classiest, most balanced of hop varieties – delicate floral aromas of lightly sweet lemon and honey, in perfect resonance – and they grow far better in east Kent than they do anywhere else in the world. The cool, saline filled sea breeze, the gentle sunshine and the free-draining, loamy soils of the area suit this variety perfectly and result in better quality, and better quantity, harvests than anywhere else. So much so that “East Kent Goldings”, as they are known, have a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) preventing growers from outside the area from muscling in on the great reputation of these hops. No other variety of hop has this – we ought to be justly proud that the most elegant, classy hops in the world are grown on our doorstep.
What is Green Hop Ale (GHA)?
The proximity and quality of our local hops opens up a world of opportunities, one of which is GHA. Hops are preserved for use throughout the year by drying but, as with herbs and cooking, using freshly picked, undried (or green) hops allows us to make a beer of exceptional difference: fresh, zesty and aromatic, in a way no other beer can be. So come the harvest in early September we Kentish brewers, and brewers of Kent, slip off early morning to the hop gardens before the school run begins, returning a little later with muddy boots and sacks full of gorgeous, freshly picked and bright green hops for the days brew. The beer is released a week later and all over Kent the pubs fill up with locals and visitors alike, thirsty for a taste of the season’s harvest. It’s a wonderful life!
Here in Thanet, you can still drink casked GHA in the Montefiore Arms, our very own pub. And because drinkers love it so much, we bottle it too, so that you can drink it all year round!
Monthly Brewery Tours
If you can’t make the Green Hop Open Day this year don’t fret; we run Brewery Open days every first Saturday of the month from 11am to 1pm. Come along and learn how top quality beer is made, taste the malts and sniff the hops, hear the tales and the myths, and taste the beer with the brewers who make it. Book your tickets here. Remember, the best hops in the world are growing on your doorstep, and some of the best beer in the world is served in the pub round the corner, enjoy it!