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Faversham brewer Shepherd Neame reveals first VR hop garden experience

By Angela Cole

Step into a hop garden – courtesy of Britain’s oldest brewer.

Faversham’s Shepherd Neame has unveiled a world-first: a virtual reality (VR) experience of a hop garden.

Shot in ultra-high-definition, the 360° video was unveiled at Craft Beer Rising in Brick Lane in London.

Parsonage Farm hops in Kent
Parsonage Farm hops in Kent

It features the “godfather” of UK hop growing, Tony Redsell, who takes viewers on a journey, telling the story of British hops and gives them the chance to witness hop-picking and drying first hand. It also includes augmented reality with drawings of Kentish hop varieties and historic photos of hop pickers.

Hop grower Tony Redsell
Hop grower Tony Redsell

The film was shot at Parsonage Farm, near Boughton, the spiritual home to the East Kent Golding variety and just a few miles from Shepherd Neame’s brewery.

Head brewer, Richard Frost, said: “With Kent being one of only two major hop growing regions in the UK, we’re lucky that we regularly visit a hop garden. However, most people won’t have had the opportunity to experience the three week harvest, so this is a chance for them to find out about our most vital ingredient wherever they are in the world.”

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