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.

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