Tuesday, 29 December 2015


We've set ourselves a little holiday challenge:

To brew a mid-strength, Californian-style pale ale to be served on keg. It must be juicy, rather than crisp, with a snappy, clean hop smack and an underlying roundness. 
(This might sound easy, and I know a few who would find it so, but it isn't, not for me anyway....)

Juicy: chilled, carbonated beer tends towards the crisp, so the malt bill will have to counter this, and there are hop varieties that will help.

Snappy: the hops will have to be as fresh as possible, which in itself is a challenge these days as demand is super high for some varieties.

Clean: we've chosen hop varieties carefully, to avoid the dank and the savoury, and we'll ferment on the cool side.

Hop smack: less is more - it's easy to chuck in ever increasing amounts of hops in a bid to make a bigger impression, but it doesn't work, it's more nuanced than that. Timing and technique is critical.

Underlying roundness: bitterness is balance-crucial in this; the perfect level is incalculable, there's no formula but experience.

So we're blending a little crystal malt with Marris Otter Pale in the mash tun, and first wort hopping with Cascade. Two late additions of Cascade and EKG precede a cool primary fermentation and two dry hop stages using Centennials. That's it.

It ought to good to drink by the 13th January - let's see how close to the bulls eye we get.

Thursday, 17 December 2015


Bubbles are great: they're ball shaped and they're playful (what's not to love?). And the bubbles produced when nitrogen comes out of a beer solution are particularly beautiful, and playful. These bubbles are smaller than our usual carbon dioxide bubbles, and they're more evenly sized, and both these attributes help to create a wonderfully dense and creamy head on a beer, and a silky, luxuriant mouthfeel. Add those ingredients to the vanilla and molasses flavours in a chilled pint of Black Pearl and you have a delicious and seductive pint of beer.

Remember the dancing man advert?

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Green Hop Export

We're a parochial brewery, our beer rarely leaving east Kent. That's partly because we enjoy great sales here in our heartland, partly because I have strong feelings about cask beer supply chains and partly because we don't actually know how to sell beer anywhere else. And maybe we're a little lazy too.

I want to change this a little. I want to send beer to London, and to the North. Beer that takes a little piece of Kent with it and tells people about the place where it's brewed. So I'm developing a small range of beers suitable for kegging and sending off to distributors, who know how to distribute. This is the first in the range, and I rather like it.

Obvs. I'll keep some here, mainly for myself, and sell it through the best pub in the world 2015. And I'll 'launch' it on Saturday 10th October at the brewery, for my birthday.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Green Hop Beer

The summer may well be over but down here, in deepest Kent, the garden remains green, awash with around 50 different Kent Green Hop beers from 27 different breweries. These sappy-fresh brews are available in pubs throughout the county and sell ridiculously quickly.

This weekend sees the departure of the East Kent Green Hop Open Day Magic Green Bus Tour, so if you're stuck in London book a ticket, jump on a train and come down to the country/seaside to find some peace, and recharge the batteries. Where else can you get to visit five different breweries in a day, and supp Green Hop ales in each one?

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