A historic hop farm will soon be home to a new restaurant serving pizza and beer – and offer glamping too.
A brewery with a taproom and brasserie is also set to open in the old oast house at Hukin Hops in St Michaels, near Tenterden.
The business has been going for more than 100 years but now bosses want to open it up to the public – and say the combined offer at the site will be the first of its kind in Kent.
The team secured planning permission in February to transform the existing hop farm in Bugglesden Road.
Ross Hukins, from Hukins Hops, says he is really excited for the opening, with a soft launch set for July.
He told KentOnline they have redeveloped the old oast house after moving into a modern hop processing facility three years ago.
“As part of that we started doing tours and looking at how we could open ourselves up to the public and help them learn more about hops and their importance in local Kentish beers,” he said.
“We decided we wanted a brewery on-site so McCanns Brewery moved into the former oast house.
“The building will also have a brasserie and taproom where people can come on tours, taste the beers and have some food.”
He says there will also be four to five glamping units onsite so people can stay overnight.
“I think the glamping industry is really popular,” he said.
“We will have shepherds huts, hop pickers huts and a converted brick building where people can stay and explore the farm here and see everything we do.
“I am really excited to have the brewery on the hop farm, it is going to be quite unique. It will be beer-focused as well as agricultural-focused.
"Hops play a crucial role today but also historically with the local landscape and community. It is a really important part of our local agricultural history.
“With the number of modern brewers we have in Kent now, with the Kent brewing scene flourishing, this will be a great way of signposting to all the different types of beers they can get locally and how important British hops are in those beers.”
Ross Gandon, manager at McCanns, says the site will be the first of its kind in the county.
He said: “In the restaurant, we will probably start by serving pizzas. You can’t go wrong with a pizza and a beer.
“It will also be a very chilled out atmosphere, we just want people to come along, learn a bit about the beer and enjoy themselves.”
The 43-year-old added, there will be a new English single hop beer launching in time for when they open and once brewing onsite, Hukins Hops will be providng its hops to McCanns.
There is an opportunity on June 11 for residents to have a sneak peek at the development at the farm when it will be open for the national farm open day.
Hukins Hops also offers beer tastings, tours and fresh and dried hop garlands.