Cask Club was first launched by the Faversham-based brewery in March 2019, introducing a new cask ale each month, celebrating modern styles and flavours, with exciting international collaborations. More than 500,000 pints were sold in the first 12 months, and 165 pubs signed up to stock the beers.
The initiative was paused in March this year after pubs temporarily closed in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, but will kick off again this month with green hop ale Oast Dodger (4.5% ABV).
Beer is usually brewed with dried hops, but Oast Dodger will be made using fresh green hops which go from farm to brew house in a matter of hours, giving the beer a delicious aroma and earthy kick. The hops are due to be harvested next week from Parsonage Farm in Boughton under Blean, just a few miles from the brewery.
Head brewer Mike Unsworth said: “Hops are an intrinsic part of Kent’s heritage, and Shepherd Neame is proud to have been based in the heart of hop country for more than 400 years, so a green hop ale seemed the perfect choice for the relaunch of Cask Club. We first brewed Oast Dodger last autumn, and it proved a hit with drinkers, as it is a wonderfully fragrant golden ale that boasts a truly unique flavour. Beer doesn’t come any fresher than this.”
Oast Dodger will also continue Shepherd Neame’s ongoing commitment to support local hop growers. The brewery typically uses around 85% Kentish hops in its ale portfolio, and following shifts in production requirements prompted by the ongoing Covid-19 situation, recently increased local hop usage, purchasing an additional 4,000kg of hops from local growers to meet demand.
Mike said: “We are committed to supporting local businesses, and brewing a green hop ale offers another opportunity for us to support Kentish hop growers at this difficult time.”
Oast Dodger will be in pubs from September 24, coinciding with Cask Ale Week from September 24 to October 4, and the annual Kent Green Hop Fortnight which runs from September 25 to October 11. More than 30 breweries across the county are taking part in this year’s event.
For further information on Shepherd Neame’s Cask Club visit www.sncaskclub.co.uk