Canterbury Green hop festival and the atmosphere of the Bottle Shop

For three days a year Fri-Sun in late September as part of the Canterbury Food and drink fair sometimes called the Euro Fair, there is a green hop festival. Green hops are hops that have been freshly picked and made into beer very quickly. A lot more quickly than usual as the beer usually has time to develop its flavours and can be hopped at various stages, have special ingredients added or put in special barrels.

They had quite a few beers (approx 30) available to try most of which were pale ales due to the short time frame but there was the odd amber, saison, IPA, red and even a stout. Most of the local breweries were represented here, Goody Ales, Westerham, Wantsum, The foundry/Canterbury Brewers, Mad Cat, Caveman, Larkins, Pig and Porter, Gadds, Shepherd Neame. I sampled the porter from Pig and Porter which is Alex of the Bottle shop’s dad. It was quite nice. I drank the red which was very dark from Caveman and reminded me of a Beavertown Smog Rocket. I had a beer from Larkins earlier on but it wasn’t very good and I had the Gadds beer first which was quite nice. Sam had some of the other beers which were ok but were not really his thing which is odd as he likes intense powerfully hopped beers but with American not EKG (East Kent Goldings) as they were calling it. Shelley had some too but was disappointed that they ran out of the one that she wanted to try.

While we were there we met up with some of the brewers from the Canterbury Amateur Brewers Society. They had there own beer brewed with there own hops which was very smooth and had an apple taste to it which was quite bizarre as they didn’t intend that at all. It was a bit like a cross between a beer and a cider. I still intend to meet up with them on Wednesday to see them all but whether that will happen I don’t know. At least I can talk to them about Computer Science being that there interested in Raspberry Pi and writing code for Android.

I also also saw Zoe 2 days running at the Fair who works in the Childrens Trust Charity Shop. She is not feeling too well so hopefully she will be better soon.

On a sidenote about the food me and Shelley had some very nice curried goat from the Seychelles stall and Sam had chilli balls and a chicken wrap. We also got to watch a rather intoxicated lady have a massive argument with what I believe to be her partner. They was no reasoning with her so security escorted them both out. Proper Jeremy Kyle style entertainment.

At the Bottle Shop we were joined by student Sam as we call them to differentiate him from my husband and he had an in depth chat with Shelley about Anthropology as that is what she studied at Kent University. We also chatted to Stephan who was working but since the Bottle Shop now finally have 4 picnic benches outside to sit down on, it wasn’t as much as usual. One of our Bristol friends was there although he comes from Canterbury and was telling Sam and Shelley about his business that he runs with his friend Ashley. Alex the veg man was also there and we had a conversation about books and beards. Andy was there too and joined in our conversations.

As to the beer we had, I have found that since fresh beer is the best you have to keep switching the beer and breweries that you have to follow the trends that the breweries are into at the moment. Also there is a beer for every mood and moment. I said previously that I wasn’t interested in the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout but I drank it and it was actually very nice. Stephan recommended it too. I had Weird Beard Black Perle which is a coffee milk stout at 3.8% which was a very good idea considering the amount of beer we had even though it was spread out over quite a long period of time with food and water. I also did a new thing which was going back to light after you have finished the dark. This is possible if the dark is not that flavourful and there wasn’t any other darks available as they don’t have any coffee IPAs at the moment due to the fast turnover. The beer I shared with my hubby was Kernel IPA Citra and Chinook. He really does excel himself sometimes that Kernel as it was lovely and fruity. I wouldn’t have thought that from the hops especially since there is no Mosaic in it. Sam had another 2 Weird Beard Holy Hoppin’ Hell batch 4 and bought Kernel Export Stout which we haven’t drunk yet and we did overdose ourselves on beer a bit so maybe Monday drink this when Bottle Shop is closed. Shelley had her favourite Pressure Drop Wu Gang chops the tree so 4 over the weekend and Weird Beard Mariana Trench and Brew by Numbers 11/02 Saison amarillo and Orange. She has similar tastes to Lucy possibly because they both smoke.


Bestie time and the re-emergence of Weird Beard

My maid of honour from my wedding last year and one of my best friends came down to visit me this weekend so madness ensues pretty quickly. I went to the Freshers fair, food and drink festival, waitrose and City Space as already described then went home to await her arrival. Sam had been taking a regional sales manager out to lunch which had been made more difficult with the arrival of all the students as you need a classy, quiet place to conduct business but I think they finally got in to the Goods Shed to eat.

We decided to go to Tamago as it has nice Japanese food but as its too small we decided that we didn’t wish to wait and went to Supernoodles instead. They have a new menu with new food and drink. They also have a loyalty card now. I tried there bubble tea which is the nicest one I have had. It was a Honey Dew (melon) milk tea with Mango (juice) juicy balls which is not the usual semolina. They have big portions and since I was not feeling very hungry after the free Dominoes, coffee etc that I had during the day I had a quarter crispy duck and my husband had the original formation which is seaweed, prawn toast, spring rolls and spare ribs with sweet chilli and satay sauce but its not the usual kind. There quite authentic at Supernoodles and if you can’t eat all your meal you can take it away in a foam box costing 50 p. Its good value and its popular with students. Sam felt rather full so cancelled his Thai yellow curry which was fine but Shelley had Seaweed and Soft Shell crab which is quite nice when in season but a bit too salty out of season which is now due to the batter they use.

Then we went to the Bottle shop and Lucy was on. I had seen her at the Freshers Fair, signed up for the Real Ale and Cider Society to get 10% off but had not paid the membership fee yet so couldn’t get the discount yet. I was surprised that Lucy was on 2 days running and I apologised for my drunken behaviour the previous day. Other societies also get the discount like the History society but just signing up to receive email is not sufficient.

We got to talk to a girl called Laura who studies botany and was telling us about the properties of Lavender and Hops which was very interesting. She was with other guys that we see there quite a lot.

As to beers we had Tool Likeweisse which is a weisse style beer that I had cold and was possibly a mistake as initially it was just sour but the flavour profile developed as it got warmer and it was quite nice later. I also had Pressure Drop Wu Gang chops the tree which is a strange name for a beer and the bottle label has chinese willow pattern on it, in its characteristic blue. It really does taste like sausages as Drew said. It is a foraged herb hefeweisse and is unique in its tastes. Shelley liked it as well which is good as she is usually a Fosters drinker. I have tried to educate her over years and its gradually happening now she can afford to come down here after paying her car off.

At home I had a Black Isle Red Kite because I was still feeling up to drinking much and that’s a good reliable beer that is cheap and I like it. Sam had Weird Beard Hit the lights a mixed up IPA as he once again forgot that he doesn’t like that and I didn’t remind him of the fact. I did however say that they have Brooklyn Black Chocolate stout in again and in March as we were starting our journey it wasn’t very good but it might be different this batch. I’m not a fan of Brooklyn Brewery based on the the beers I have tried so far (lager, stout, saison) but there maybe one I like as they have quite a selection although it is quite expensive as Drew has been promoting them on Facebook. I will wait to see what Alex says about the Sorachi Ace as he took one home for his dad.

Shelley had the ever reliable Mariana Trench as Lucy was helping her choose and was going to have the Black Isle Blonde but had the Pressure Drop instead. I think the brew by numbers IPA 0507 motueka and pacific jade was hers too as I don’t like motueka. At home Sam had Weird Beard Fade to Black as he likes that to finish with a darker beer. He also had the Kernel Black IPA.

Poser student hehe

On Wednesday Christchurch uni had there freshers Fair from 10 am – 3 pm but I didn’t manage to go as I was being the good housewife that I am cleaning, tidying and doing the shopping. On Thursday after my tasks I went to Kent Uni where I am an alumni to sample the delights of another year of Freshers Fair. I went too late to get anything decent and just got lots of pens but I did meet up with my friend Sam. Then we met a new friend called Jack and had drinks at Origins which is the Darwin bar. I had already had a Whispering Bob that I got from Alex as his dad makes it, at the Bottle Shop because I know there is terrible beer at the Uni and it was a nice sunny day plus when your pretending to be something your not its OK to start drinking before 5 pm wearing a Pokemon t-shirt and looking a bit like a charmander with a red jacket and designer jeans to go with the evolution of Charmander just minus the tail.

This is where it went at bit downhill as I had 2 Desperadoes which are tequila beers and then I drank Sam’s because he was triple parked with Pepsi and a Jack Harkness which is Captains Morgan’s rum and Jack Daniels. These rules apply only when your a student and he was taking too long being distracted by his new girlfriend Grace on there first date. He had previously had water, just like I had. There was also a Relentless in the mix somewhere. We listened to nice music on the jukebox kindly paid for by Sam and Jack as they wished to educate there fellow freshers in a different style of music. Had a bit of karaoke to Hotel California and got a girl to join in with us. This resulted in the staff handing out adverts for there karaoke night. On the subject of Grace after we had chatted for a bit me and Jack decided to give them some time alone and I educated him a bit about beer and Canterbury since he was drinking Budweiser and also liked Kronenburg and Corona. He had the Black Isle Red Kite on my recommendation and I had the Tool Snowball. Jack liked his beer and got to meet Lucy. I was trying the new Tool beers as there most likely going to be on the tasting next week but I was rather drunk so can’t rely on what I thought of it. It was quite nice but I need to have when I’m more sober.

Life Returns to Canterbury

Every September the population of Canterbury doubled as the latest influx of students both foreign and local return to start there university/ college courses at either University of Kent, Christchurch University or University of Creative arts. The college is Canterbury College. They line the streets and as my husband recently complained take all the pizza, cereal and alcohol so that he doesn’t have what he wants available any more. However I don’t know why he is complaining as they pay him rent every month or not as the case maybe. All 17 of them currently but the property empire is always ripe for expansion.

It is very noticeable when there not here as Canterbury is relatively quiet although there is also the french school groups or asian tourists that seem to be ever present. I have learnt never to go shopping at the weekend in town whenever possible. Its fair better at Asda which takes them a while to find and during the week.

The other thing that happens every year as well as Freshers Fair at both Kent and Christchurch where I go to get lots of freebies as you always need more stationary and you get other interesting things like a screen cleaner/keyboard cleaner thank you Samaritans; is the Food and Drink Fair at the Dane John Gardens. Here you can get lots of food and drink samples from local artisans as well as stocking your larder/fridge with local produce that is only easily obtainable once a year. It runs from Friday-Sunday but its always best to go on Friday as they have lots of stock and there is not too many crowds.

I also went to Waitrose on Friday to get my daily free hot drink and buy a piece of cake but there was only the sport pages available so I got the Waitrose weekender instead. Then I went to CitySpace which is a Christian charity that is open Mondays and Thursdays – Saturdays. It provides space for people to relax from the hustle and bustle with a free drink and biscuits as well as the opportunity to chat, pray or do arts and crafts. Artisans can also sell there items as well as advertise another charity initiatives. I did a Macmillian coffee morning there earlier in the year and there have been one at both Kent and Christchurch on Friday.

I have been trying to get to another church initiative at St Mary Bredin Church which is a popular church with uni people but mornings are never good for me so Thursday Breakfast Club will remain unattended. I did go there once but it was the the day they sold out so I didn’t get any breakfast which I was looking forward to as first time is free. I had a Subway instead and investigated the cinema as Odeon are doing 40% off at the moment but the times just haven’t worked for me. Its a shame as there is lots of movies that I have wanted to see but the weather has been rather nice and I don’t wish to go when it has been invaded by french teenagers wishing to watch Sextape purely because it looks like the most unlikely film that they will be allowed to watch.

Canterbury Food and Drink Festival (containing green hop festival)

I will be visiting this awesome festival like usual and will even be able to report on what is available on here.

Fashion Retail Today

This Friday The Host will be handing out leaflets and business cards at the Canterbury Food festival.  There will be live music from 12 and there is sure to be a lot of great food so please come and join us!

More importantly we will be taking lots of photos to put on our blog so come and get snapped.


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The Friar’s Favourite: Franziskaner – Hefe Weissbier

In my early days of drinking craft beer I drunk a lot of this. Not so much now. Its more Brewdog.


20140924_192547I seem to have gone Weissbier crazy these past few reviews.  If the truth be told I just can’t get enough of their creamy refreshing ways.  Next up: Franziskaner Weissbier…

Look at the label: that Franciscan monk looks suitably pleased with himself – and he should do: as far as he’s concerned he’s got God on his side and he gets to drink this lovely beer.

Out it came and into the glass, a slightly muted orangey colour with plently of hefe haze.  As with all beers containing wheat, Franziskaner had a huge dollop of fluffy snow-white head.

On the nose there was quite an assertive minerals and grain theme with a soothing back-up of spice and banana*

Before the taste there was the vigorous carbonation – typical of Weissbier style, which slowly dissipates to reveal a nice up-front spiciness, followed by smooth banana creaminess and then a really nice…

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Beer Mac and Cheese

An essential american classic redone.

Head Over Beers

It’s fall and finally time to indulge in some of your favorite comfort foods that you’ve been missing out on all summer. I’ve been cooking outdoors for the last few months and I have to admit I am excited to get back in the kitchen. Beer Mac and Cheese from A Spicy Perspective is the perfect dish to welcome your taste buds to fall. If you like this recipe, I highly recommend visiting A Spicy Perspective for more mouthwatering recipes.

Photo Courtesy of Photo Courtesy of


  • 1 pound DeLallo macaroni noodles
  • 12 ounce bottled beer (IPA)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 pound shredded cheddar, off the block (not pre-shredded)
  • 1 cup crumbled bacon


  1. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
  2. Once boiling, cook the macaroni according to package instructions.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, pour a bottle of beer in a second large pot. (Choose…

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