Left to right: Stewart Tricker, of Shepherd Neame; Jill Sargent, of Produced in Kent; Robert Hudd, from Wealdon Hops, on behalf of Tim Day; and Richard Thomas, of BTF

Tim Day, of GM Day and Sons, East Peckham, has been named Kent’s best hop grower at the Taste of Kent Awards with the Progress variety.

Tim was chosen from the Kent growers who entered the Kent Hop Competition, organised by the Weald of Kent Ploughing Match and sponsored by BTF Partnership and Shepherd Neame.

Hop growing in Kent is seeing a revival, thanks to the interest in microbrewing and craft beers, and Kent is famous for its hop growing heritage.

While there is now a smaller number of growers in the county, they grow hops to a very high standard, which are in demand from brewers across the world.

Head judge, Stuart Highwood, said: “This year was a very good show with a very high standard of hops, as it has been such a good growing year. Despite some growers being affected by high winds in August, which caused some damage to the crop, the hop cone sizes were variable, which is good for brewing.

“The continental flavours preferred for the modern craft beers are increasingly popular, and hop growers should be looking forwards, as brewers are looking for more interesting varieties of hops to use in beer making. That said, the variety Progress, which Tim has won with, is a traditional Fuggle-type hop used in making bitter.”

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