Monday, 3 August 2015

First call for the Green Hop Open Day Bus Tour

Roll up folks and book yourself onto the Gadds' Green Hop Brewery Open Day Tour Bus (GGHBODB for short). Every year five East Kent breweries open their doors, on the same day, and invite all (and sundry) to poke around the premises, supp Green Hop Ale and dance in the sunshine. And for those of you that notice this as an ideal opportunity to visit five breweries in a day, we lay on a tour bus from each brewery. Ours starts at Broadstairs Grand Central Station for your convenience.

Since we're brewers, and not especially adept at running buses and ticketing, we've employed Eventbrite to sell bus tickets - buy them here.

And if you fancy touring the Green Hop breweries under your own steam, I'll be wearing the malliot vert and leading the peloton out from our brewery at around midday - do join us!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Gearing Up for Green Hop (part 1)

Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight, that time of year when we all get to drink fantastically fresh beer, brewed with the first rewards of the years hop harvest, kicks off this year with a fantastically fresh event, the Canterbury Hop Pocket Race. The evening of Thursday 24th September will see idiotic teams of fools running, stumbling and falling their way up Canterbury High Street carrying a 76kg hop pocket, in a boneheaded attempt to become the first winners of the East Kent Goldings Cup. Cuts, bruises and abject public humiliation is the best the entrants to this absurd competition can hope for, and the likelihood is that the pain will last until next year.

So put it in your diary and come along armed with squishy fruit and verbal abuse, for the Gadds' Brewers are proud to be taking part.

A pocket of hops and hop dryers
Left to right: Clive, Captain Dog, Speedy & Me

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Beautiful British Bitter

You know us: we like our hops Kentish, and our beer might sometimes, to some metropolitan tastes, seem a little old fashioned. I don't think so, I think we brew timeless beer styles, and I think we do it well. So when The Pub Landlord was looking for someone to brew a Beautiful British Beer we jumped at the chance to prove it.

Beautiful British Beer is a pale copper bitter of the very best tradition - biscuity sweet malts perfectly balanced by spicey, bitter East Kent Golding hops. It's not a brash American IPA, or a clinically produced Bavarian Pilsner, this beer is full of British balance and subtlety, and it's delicious. Mr Murray says:

‘For too long the British public has been beset by inferior ales and lacklustre lagers, it’s about time this Great Nation had a tipple it could be proud of, a shining beacon of hope in an ocean of bargain basement booze. This Beautiful British Beer is made with the finest ingredients and brewed by Kentish brewers handpicked by myself to create the finest drop known to man.’

Get it from our shop, or on-line here.

All Hail to the Ale.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Hop Shoots!

It's been a pretty cool spring so far, and the hops have been reluctant to show themselves too early as a result; the shoots are a week or so late in emerging from the ground. They are here now and, before they get sprayed, we have an opportunity to get into the gardens and pick bagfuls of them for the dinner table.

Hop shoots, you see, are a culinary delicacy, revered in the England of the past, and still vaguely remembered in Belgium and Italy. Picking them is thankless and back breaking and, in the absence of any automation, this makes them extremely expensive and consequently rare.

However, Ross Hukins of Haffenden Farm has invited us over next week to fill our boots, so long as we provide all the labour. I've never eaten Risotto di bruscandoli, or any other hop shoot dish, but I would certainly like to. And I like the idea of my favourite Kentish restaurants offering this very local, very seasonal, and very rare vegetable for one week a year, just to remind us all of where we live, if for no other reason.

So I'm off to Haffenden on Wednesday morning armed with suitable clothing, a sharp knife and some sacks to see what all the fuss is about. I'll even take a small stove, a pan, some butter, a bit of wild garlic and a bottle or two of beer to do a bit of Keith Floyd style in-the-field cooking. Hopefully I'll harvest vast quantities and spend Wednesday evening distributing them to the top Chefs in the area

If you live in East Kent and fancy joining me please drop me a line soonest - the more, the merrier.

Monday, 16 February 2015


Brown ales are often described as having a nutty flavour, despite containing no nuts. Some are even called 'nut brown' ales. The nutty flavour referred to is derived from the use of roasted barley, chocolate malt (which contains no chocolate - confused?) and crystal malts in the recipe. No nuts used.

However, Kent is the agri-home to the Cobnut (a delicious sub-variety of the hazelnut) and it's long been my intention to attempt to get their flavour into a rich brown ale. Harvests in recent years haven't enabled me to get the amount of nuts I needed and last year the story looked the same until we were offered 75kg of 'fines' - a mixture of broken kernels and shells. We took them, and roasted them in the ovens at Thanet College (thanks Craig!) before milling them to a finer crush. Two thirds were mashed with the malt and final third chucked in the fermenter after 4 days. There's an awful lot that can go wrong with this brew but I checked it this morning and it's tasting great, spot on actually: a deep, rich malty base with a rather elegant Kentish Cobnut flavour riding on top.

It can still go wrong, but if it doesn't you'll find Gadds' Cobnut Brown Ale in the Montefiore Arms (and many other of the finest East Kent public houses) from late next week.


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Taste of Kent Awards 2015

Awards get the competitive juices flowing and spur us on to greater achievements in pursuit of them, and that leads to a better pint down the pub, so I'm all for them personally.

Should you feel similarly inclined please vote in the Taste of Kent Awards. I'd direct you to the Best Kentish Beer award and suggest Gadds' Number 3 could be a contender, but that would be rather full of self interest, so I won't.

Seriously though, get on there and vote. Vote for your favourite butcher, your favourite restaurant and your favourite pub. Vote in every catagory, and vote well - it's fun, it helps create a quality-driven competitiveness and you'll get even better beer and food in the future because of it.

And do it now, because the deadline is in 2 days time!