After a two-year break due to the pandemic, Faversham’s popular annual Hop Festival returns at the start of September (Saturday 3 and Sunday 4) – and principal sponsor Shepherd Neame is leading the celebrations.
Festival-goers will be able to enjoy Shepherd Neame’s limited edition green hop ale Oast Dodger (4.5%ABV), brewed specially to coincide with the event.
Beer is usually brewed with dried hops, but green hop ales are made using fresh green hops which go from bine to beer in a matter of hours. Shepherd Neame Senior Brewer and Quality Manager Stewart Tricker, Technical Brewer Danielle Whelan and Shift Brewer Scott Wilkins travelled the short distance from the Faversham brewery to Parsonage Farm, Boughton-under-Blean last week to select and help pick the first hops of the year with farmer Antony Rudgard-Redsell.
Stewart said: “We are blessed here at Shepherd Neame to have so many wonderful hops growing right on our doorstep, in the heart of England’s hop county. This year’s Oast Dodger has been generously hopped with Fuggles, a truly local hop, originally grown in Brenchley near Tunbridge Wells. Fuggles gives delicate minty, grassy and floral aromas, which are especially prominent when used as a green hop in brewing.
“Beer really doesn’t come any fresher than this. The end result is a fragrant golden ale that boasts a truly unique flavour and aroma. I’m sure it will go down a storm at this year’s Hop Festival.”
ENJOY LIVE LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT
Live music will once again play an integral part of this year’s Hop Festival and the Shepherd Neame Brewery Stage in Court Street will feature a varied and diverse range of acts over both days.
Popular Elvis tribute act Taking Care of Vegas will be appearing on Saturday, when Creek will headline, while Sunday’s line-up features Faversham rockers Under the Wood, before Blighty top the bill.
Many of the town’s pubs will also be hosting live music, including Green Diesel playing at the Albion Taverna, Dune Acoustic at the Limes, The Chillbillies at the Market Inn, Hullabaloo at the Anchor Inn, and both an Elvis and Abba Tribute on offer at the Railway Hotel. For the full line up, visit: www.shepherdneame.co.uk/hop-festival-line
Popular local comedian Adam Morrison will take to the stage in Shepherd Neame’s events venue The Old Brewery Store. Doors open at 7.30pm, with the performance from 8pm to 9.30pm. Tickets can be purchased at www.jokepit.com. The final live act of this year’s festival is six-piece party band GrooveZoo, who will be performing from 8pm to 10pm on Sunday evening. For more information and tickets, visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/groovezoo-live-at-the-old-brewery-store-tickets-395245829917/
ENJOY SHEPHERD NEAME’S AWARD-WINNING LOCAL BEERS AND CIDER
Throughout the weekend Shepherd Neame’s friendly team will be manning the Brewery Bar, located next to the Brewery Stage in Court Street, and the Visitor Centre bar will also be open on both days, with a wide selection of its award-winning ale, lager and cider on offer, including: Oast Dodger (4.5% ABV); Late Red (4.5% ABV); Whitstable Bay Pale Ale (3.9%ABV); Master Brew (3.7% ABV); Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale (4.8%ABV); Spitfire Lager (4% ABV); Singha Premium Thai Lager (5%ABV) and Orchard View Apple Cider (4.5% ABV).
Shepherd Neame will once again champion the use of re-usable plastic pint glasses to help reduce single-use plastic, with all beer sold in the Brewery Bar and Visitor Centre bar served in re-usable keep cups. An initial surcharge of £1 will be added to cover the cost of the cups, which can be kept and refilled throughout the weekend. 50% of the surcharge will be split between Shepherd Neame’s Charity of the Year Kent Wildlife Trust and its Ukraine fundraising initiative.
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT BRITAIN’S OLDEST BREWER WITH SPECIAL FAMILY TOURS
Shepherd Neame will be hosting special Hop Festival brewery tours throughout the weekend. Its award-winning tours offer the opportunity to explore the historic Faversham brewery site, learning about the ancient art of brewing and tasting some of the local ingredients used in the beers.
Tours are usually not open to under 18s, but for the first time this year, family tours will be running at 11am on Saturday and Sunday. For just £30, two adults and up to four children are invited to discover the secrets of the brewery, ending in The Old Brewery Store with a pint for the adults and soft drink for the children. There will also be regular Hop Festival tours for adults only at 12 noon on both days. Priced £20 per person, the 80 minute tour ends with a tutored tasting of six beers. Mini Hop Festival tours, again for adults only, are also on offer at 2pm and 3pm both days, with a 45 minute tour of the brewery followed by a tasting of three beers.
Early booking is highly recommended. Visit www.shepherdneame.co.uk/hop-festival-tours.
ENJOY A SPECIAL PARADE THROUGHOUT THE TOWN
A number of the brewery’s historic vehicles will feature in the morning parades through the town, which traditionally open each day of the festival. These will include three vintage vehicles from its collection along with the Bear Island Toyota FJ Cruiser and Whitstable Bay-themed VW camper van.
The parade starts outside Faversham railway station, leaving at 11.30am on Saturday and 10.30am on Sunday, and ends at Market Place. On Sunday there will be a short Hop Blessing ceremony on the Brewery Stage at 10.45am, followed by a special service of celebration at 11am at St Mary of Charity Church.
For more information visit www.favershamhopfestival.org
About Shepherd Neame
Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager and premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.
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Press release from Shepherd Neame.