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Pubs offering free beers to celebrate Cask Ale Week and what new brews to try for Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight


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Things may not be quite the same this year, but thankfully Mother Nature continues undeterred when it comes to the harvest.

This weekend, the county's hop fields gear up as usual for Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight, which this year runs from Friday, September 25 to Sunday, October 11.

Parsonage Farm at Boughton under Blean
Parsonage Farm at Boughton under Blean

The fortnight celebrates beers made with hops which are so freshly-picked, they're still green.

It is also a chance to taste the newly-released beers produced by more than 30 of Kent’s finest brewers.

The usual bus tours to venues are off, but there's a list of the breweries taking part on the website at kentgreenhopbeer.com

But there's more good news for fans of a drink or two, as Cask Ale Week also starts on Thursday, September 24 - and six pubs in the county are offering two pints for the price of one on popular cask ale Doom Bar to mark the occasion.

The pubs from the Stonegate Pub Company taking part are the Prince Of Wales in Chatham; Queen Street Tap in Deal; the Goose in Gravesend; the Bull in Barming, Maidstone, The Goose in Ramsgate and The Gatehouse in Tonbridge.

The Bull at Barming is one of the pubs offering the deal for Cask Ale Week Picture: Joel Chant UNP
The Bull at Barming is one of the pubs offering the deal for Cask Ale Week Picture: Joel Chant UNP

To receive a two-for-one voucher, customers must register on the Great UK Pubs website, selecting their local pub to get a voucher by email.

You can also register for a competition to win a two-night staycation in Rock, Cornwall, for two, and a meal at Paul Ainsworth’s pub, The Mariners.

Cask Ale Week runs until Sunday, October 4 and is organised by Cask Marque to celebrate the beverage as a unique pub favourite and pubs that serve great quality cask ale.

Alan Armstrong from Stonegate Pub Company said: “Cask Ale Week is the perfect time for our teams and customers to celebrate the Great British Pub with the quintessential pub favourite, cask ale. All of our pubs are Cask Marque accredited, as we believe that the perfect pint is as much to do with the perfect serve, as it is to do with the ale."

To sign up go to greatukpubs.co.uk

Also celebrating the occasions is Shepherd Neame, which launched its Cask Club range of experimental, innovative ales last year and kicks off again with green hop ale Oast Dodger (4.5% ABV), harvested from Parsonage Farm in Boughton under Blean, just a few miles from the brewery.

Shepherd Neame head brewer Mike Unsworth
Shepherd Neame head brewer Mike Unsworth

Head brewer Mike Unsworth said: “Hops are an intrinsic part of Kent’s heritage, and Shepherd Neame is proud to have been based in the heart of hop country for more than 400 years, so a green hop ale seemed the perfect choice for the relaunch of Cask Club. We first brewed Oast Dodger last autumn, and it proved a hit with drinkers, as it is a wonderfully fragrant golden ale that boasts a truly unique flavour. Beer doesn’t come any fresher than this.”

Oast Dodger will be in pubs from Thursday, September 24, coinciding with both Cask Ale Week and the Green Hop Fortnight.

For more food and drink news across Kent click here.

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