Shepherd Neame is once again the official partner for the Faversham Hop Festival, which takes place this weekend (September 1 and 2).
There will be a chance to celebrate this year’s Kent hop harvest with Shepherd Neame’s Green Hop Ale (4.5% ABV), only available during September.
Instead of the usual dried aroma hops, the beer uses fresh, or ‘green’ Kentish hops, within 12 hours of being picked. Freshly-picked green hops retain some of the esters lost during the drying process, creating a beer with a truly unique flavour and aroma.
Green Hop Ale will be served throughout the weekend at the Brewery Bar, next to the Brewery Stage, along with Master Brew, Spitfire Gold, Late Red, Whitstable Bay Blonde Lager and Orchard View Apple Cider.
Shepherd Neame will be hosting special Hop Festival brewery tours at regular intervals throughout the weekend. During the 30-minute guided tour, visitors will be taken around the historic site to learn about the ancient art of brewing, with an opportunity to taste some of the local ingredients used in the beers.
It will conclude in The Old Brewery Store, where visitors can enjoy a free half-pint from the bar. The tours are open to over-18s, with tickets priced £5. Early booking is highly recommended — click here for more details.
The Old Brewery Store is hosting a free exhibition on the history of hops and hop picking in and around Faversham, from 10.30am on both days. Visitors can enjoy browsing hop picking memorabilia and watching archive films of hopping.
Some of the brewery’s vintage vehicles will be on show, and the store’s bar will be open. On Sunday, special guests Lincoln and Leeroy will be making an appearance from 11.30am to 3.30pm. The pair of shire horses — similar in size to those which used to make beer deliveries for the brewery — will be available throughout the day.
A central part of the whole event, of course, is the morning parade through the town, which serves to open the festival. It starts outside the railway station, leaving at 10am on Saturday, and 10.30am on Sunday, and ending at Market Place.
On Sunday, there will be a short hop blessing on the Brewery Stage at 10.45am, before a special service of celebration at 11am at St Mary of Charity Church.
Over the two days, the Brewery Stage will feature a diverse range of performances by local musicians, from rock and pop showband Loose Change to folk group Green Diesel and swing band Goosebumps. Pubs in the town will also be joining in the celebrations, with many hosting live music throughout the weekend, including The Anchor, Railway Hotel, and The Market Inn.
Shepherd Neame has teamed up with Plastic Free Faversham to try and reduce single-use plastic at this year’s event. All beer sold at the Brewery Bar will be served in re-usable plastic cups. An initial surcharge will be added to cover the cost of the cups, but it can then be kept and refilled throughout the weekend.
Brewery Stage programme
10.45-11:30am: Taking Care of Vegas
11.45am-12:40pm: Get Carter
12:55-1:40pm: The Bones
2-3pm: Green Diesel
3.15-4.15pm: Loose Change Showband
10.45-11am: Hop Blessing / Hop Pocket
11.10am-12:10pm: Sur Les Docks
1.45-2.45pm: Steven Cornwell
3.05-4.05pm: Collateral UK