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New Kent Food and Drink Product of the Year Finalist: Old Dairy Brewery Green Hop IPA

Old Dairy Brewery is an award-winning 30-barrel independent brewery nestled in Tenterden.

Taproom inside old dairy brewery

Old Dairy Brewery is an award-winning 30-barrel independent brewery nestled in Tenterden. We brew a range of traditional English beers through to exciting craft beers as well seasonal and special beers - available in 500ml bottles, cask, cans and keg.

Our brewing story began in 2010 in a converted dairy on a farm (hence our name). Due to increased demand for our beers we moved to our new larger brewery in 2014, which is now housed in two World War II Nissen huts in Tenterden. The brewery is also home to our Brewery Shop and Taproom, which are now open seven days a week. We supply pubs, restaurants and retail outlets in south-east England and also export to Europe, but we are seeking to grow our export trade into new markets.

Only the finest English malts and hops are used to brew our beers in cask, bottles, keg and can.

A light, copper, medium-bodied traditional IPA with lychee, grapefruit and a floral aroma.

Kent Green Hop Beer is beer made with fresh, or green, Kentish hops – instead of using hops that have been dried as is more traditional in brewing. The beers have a characteristic fresh taste because the hops used contain many of the oils that are normally lost when hops are dried. We make sure the hops are as fresh as can be by using them within 12 hours of being picked.

Kent grows great hops and great hops make great beer.

Hops are the seasoning in beer, the spice that adds the aroma, flavour and bitterness, creating a balance to the sweet, biscuity malt.

They were first used in brewing in the 1500s, replacing gruit, a mixture of local herbs that had previously been used as a bittering agent.

In addition to adding bitterness, a spicy, tangy flavour and heady floral aroma, hops are a natural preservative. Beer was being brewed at home in small batches and went off quickly. The addition of hops allowed it to last.

This enabled brewers to make bigger batches of beer and move brewing out of the domestic kitchen, prompting the start of the commercial brewing industry.

Ripening in early September, the freshly-picked hop flowers, or cones, are full of moisture and must be dried immediately to prevent them from composting.

This drying process is carried out in oast houses/kilns where warm air is allowed to pass up through a bed of freshly-picked cones for up to 12 hours.

Too little drying and the moisture content is dangerously high, too much and all the aromatic, essential oils are lost.

Like other herbs used in cooking, freshly[1]picked green hops impart a distinctly different character to a beer than the usual dried version.

Brewing with green hops can only happen during harvest and it creates a beer with a truly unique flavour and aroma.