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Winners of Produced in Kent's Taste of Kent Awards revealed

A Maidstone brewery which opened its own smokehouse earlier this year has won a prestigious gong for its beer.

Reliant Robin, by Rockin Robin Brewery, scooped the Beer of the Year prize at Produced in Kent's fifteenth Taste of Kent Awards last night.

It comes after owners Robin and Michelle Gordon opened the Rockin Robin Smokery in Staplehurst in January and relaunched Rockin Robin on the Green in Barming two months earlier.

Rockin Robin on the Green, 1, Heath Road, Barming..Robin and Michelle are the new owners..Picture: Steve Crispe. (7642716)
Rockin Robin on the Green, 1, Heath Road, Barming..Robin and Michelle are the new owners..Picture: Steve Crispe. (7642716)

The glitzy black-tie dinner at the Kent Event Centre in Detling celebrates the county's tastiest food and drink products, best producers, growers, restaurants, pubs and shops.

Other big winners on the night included The Small Holding in Kildown which claimed the gong for Kent Restuarant of the Year, and Café Nucleus in Chatham which won the first ever Kent Coffee Shop or Tea Room of the Year.

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent said: “This year we are celebrating our fifteenth awards and we are giving more awards as our range of winning categories has increased in recognition of Kent’s booming, vibrant and of course tasty food and drink sector.

"Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists, it is a fantastic achievement to have reached this stage, as the number of nominations and standards have been very high.

"Once again, we are delighted to see many new names making our finalist lists from across the county.

"Incredibly, we have seen 25% more businesses nominated and 40% more votes cast overall than last year.

"The people of Kent have chosen the flavours, products, produce and venues they have enjoyed the most over the last 12 months.

The winners at the 2019 Taste of Kent Awards (7642954)
The winners at the 2019 Taste of Kent Awards (7642954)

"For the winners, these awards are the ultimate accolade from their customers and confirmation of their food and drink excellence."

A full list of winners in each category is as follows.

Hop Grower of the Year, Sponsored by BTF Partnership and Lupofresh

Hukins Hops of Tenterden

Garden of England Champions Top Fruit, sponsored by BTF Partnership

Jazz apples - Grown by Chris Levett, Baretilt Farm, Cranbrook and Concorde Pear - Grown by J L Baxter, Coxheath

Kent Beer of the Year, sponsored by Eurostar International

Reliant Robin by Rockin Robin Brewery, Maidstone

The Garden of England Champion tastiest soft fruit and cherry, sponsored by the Kent County Agricultural Society

Cherries – Class 60 winner Brian Piper, Filmers Farm, Loose, Nr Maidstone with the variety Carmen.

Strawberries – Class 70 winner John Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm, Rochester with the strawberry variety Magnum.

Farmer John Myatt at Mockbeggar Farm
Farmer John Myatt at Mockbeggar Farm

Raspberries – Class 80 winner Total World Fruit with the Raspberry variety Ovation.

Blackberries – Class 90 John Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm, Rochester with the Blackberry variety Incentive.

Kent Cider or Perry of the Year, sponsored by Wilkins Kennedy

High Diver, Kentish Pip, Bekesbourne

Kent Food Product Classes Awards, sponsored by Shepherd Neame

Ambient - Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil blended with Garden Mint – Kentish Oils Bridge

Bakery and confectionery - Apple Fruit Crisps – Nim’s Fruit Crisps Sittingbourne

Dairy Class - Farmhouse Butter – Plurenden Manor Farm High Halden

Prepared food - Boerewors Farmers Sausage – North Downs Real Food Lenham

Specialist Drinks - Pineapple, Beetroot & Parsnip Edible Tea - Nim’s fruit crisps Sittingbourne

Farm Diversification Award, sponsored by South East Farmer

Dudda’s Tun Cider, Doddington

Chapel Down's Kit's Coty vineyard (7643167)
Chapel Down's Kit's Coty vineyard (7643167)

Kent Wine of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual

Kits Coty Chardonnay, Chapel Down, Tenterden

Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Opies

Barham Village Store, Barham

Kent Restaurant of the Year – Sponsored by Thomson, Snell & Passmore

The Small Holding, Kilndown

Kent Butchers Shop of the Year

S.W.Doughty, Doddington

Kent Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Insight6

Precious Porkers, Collier Street

Kent Tastiest Juice of the Year, sponsored by AC Goatham & Son

Red Love Apple Juice, Biddenden Vineyards

Kent Dining Pub or Bistro of the Year – Sponsored by University of Kent

The Butcher’s Block, Burham

Kent Coffee Shop or Tea Room of the Year – Sponsored by Barretts of Canterbury

Café Nucleus, Chatham

Cafe Nucleus, High Street, Chatham
Cafe Nucleus, High Street, Chatham

Kent Countryside Award – Sponsored jointly by Kent Downs AONB and High Weald AONB

Large Farm - GL Boulden & Sons with Romney Marsh Wools and Romney Marsh Shepherd Huts, Aldington

Small Farm - Homestead Beef, Church Hougham near Dover

Food product: Sponsored by HSBC

Farmhouse Butter, Plurenden Manor Farm, High Halden

Excellence Award for Customer Service 2019: Sponsored by Insight6

The Butcher’s Block, Burham

Ms Durling added: “The brand-new category coffee shop/tea room received the most votes for any new category ever and we also had a record number of fruit juice votes this year.

"Also, for the first time ever a low alcohol beer Gadds’ No. 11 and Vegan Perks from Faversham is the first vegan business to have reached the finals, reflecting current trends, tastes and choices consumers are now making."

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