Hops have been grown in Kent for nearly 500 years and are associated with good luck and prosperity. The proliferation of Hop culture from Flanders began only a few miles from Essentially Hops, in the village of Westbere near Canterbury in 1520. This successful planting was preceded by nearly 100 years of fierce resistance to hopped beer and hop production.During the reign of Henry Vl, hop production and the use there of were forbidden, written evidence hints at the scorn leveled at the hop. In 1426 information was laid against a person at Maidstone in Kent for ‘putting into beer an unwholesome weed called a hoppe’.

 

 

Hops in beer were banned in Norwich in 1471 and Shrewsbury in 1519, hops were even blamed for inciting the rabble of Jack Cade’s rebellion in 1450. Like all good things sense prevailed and thanks to the expertise of the Flemish and the Yeoman of Kent, fine beers and the glory of the hops themselves can be enjoyed today. Hops originated from Egypt in the first century AD as a salad plant with medicinal properties. Hops began being cultivated in the Low Countries (Flanders) from the 13th century, to brew beer (as opposed to Ale which is made from malt without hops).

 

 

 

The 19th century was the golden age for the hop industry in the UK and reached a peak in 1878 when 77,000 acres of land in Kent was under cultivation to grow hops, indeed beer made up one third of the value of all exports at that time. Tastes were changing and the increased popularity of Pale Ale combined with the import of foreign hops led to a reduction to about 32,000 acres by 1909. During WW1 the Government put a tax on beer and production fell further. In 1932, the Hops Marketing Board was established to regulate both the supply and the price of Hops in the UK and this led to a growth from 11,000 acres to 20,000 acres by 1968. The HMB was disbanded in 1982 and production has fallen continuously in the face of a migration from Beer to Lager, imports from the US and Europe, improved plant genetic advances in processing & beer manufacture.

 

 

Today, there are less than 1,000 acres of hops grown in Kent compared to 3,000 acres in 2003 and 70,000 acres in the 1950s. We are delighted to be one of the few hop farms left in the county of Kent. 2015 marks our 25th anniversary of trading as Essentially Hops and our 61st year of growing hops as a family on the farm.

 

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Dried Hop Bunch

£20.00

These dried hop bunches were harvested and dried in Autumn 2020.  They are carefully stored to preserve their colour and aroma. Bunches are perfect for smaller spaces or for using in your floral craft projects and arrangements.

Bunches from the 2019 harvest are now on sale for clearance here but their colour will not be as good as new season dried bunches and they will be more delicate.

Decorated Hop Garland Natural

£125.00

Made to order by our florist, this dried hop garland is arranged on an easy to handle length of rope, approximately 120cm/4 feet long and decorated with natural dried flowers (flowers will vary according to availability).

Decorated Hop Garland Red

£160.00

Made to order by our florist, this dried hop garland is arranged on an easy to handle length of rope, approximately 120cm/4 feet long and decorated with dried red flowers (flowers will vary according to availability).

Dried Hop Garland

£37.50

These dried hop garlands were harvested and kiln dried in Autumn 2020 and are approx. 2.5-3m in length. They are carefully stored to preserve their colour and aroma. All of our hops are grown on our farm here in Bekesbourne.

Please read more below about how to hang them and about what to expect if you have never had dried hops before.

Dried hop garlands harvested in 2019 are still available here and are now on sale.

Out Of Stock

Fresh Hop Bunches

Fresh Hop Bunches are a great way to hang hops in your home and enjoy their gorgeous aroma and colour, especially if you don’t have space for a hop garland.

We have now come to the end of delivery for this years fresh hops. If you would like to be notified about the availability of hops next year leave your email below or sign up to our mailing list.

Sale!

Dried Hop Bunch (SALE)

£20.00 £11.50

These dried hop bunches are on sale for clearance as they are from our 2019 harvest. Their colour will not be as good as new season dried bunches and they will be more delicate. Bunches are perfect for smaller spaces or for using in your own arrangements.

Please note that refunds/returns are not available on sale items.