04/09/2017 - Celebrating all things Hops in Faversham!
This weekend was the ever popular Hop Festival in Faversham! Now in it's 27th year, the Faversham Hop Festival is wonderful culmination of live music, parades, food and of course - drink, it is it's own genre of event somewhere between a folk festival and food fair.
Hops are of course a main ingredient in beer (and our gin!) so it is only fitting that the festival takes place in Faversham, home to the Shepherd Neame, Britains oldest brewery. Hops have always been a big part of Kents agricultural industy, thanks to the climate, which is drier and warmer than the rest of the country. The first Kentish Hop garden was said to have been set up over 500 years ago near Canterbury. The industry reached it's peak in the 19thC with 77,000 acres of Kent being used to grow hops. Today, due to international competition and increased farming diversity, only 3000 acres of Kent farmland is used for Hops.
However we still love them! When experimenting with gin recipes, we knew that Kent hops had to be one of the botanicals! We use locally gorwn hops in both our Kent Dry Gin and our 602. As you can see from the pictures, the Hop festival drew huge crowds, event the police got in the spirit!