Traditionally grown in the counties of Kent and Hereford, UK hops are typically seeded varieties preferred by brewers and best suited for real ale or beer. Lagers use a different seedless hop grown in other European countries. When brewing beer, it’s hops that add the all-important bitterness and aroma to the recipe.

Kent is known for two particularly famous breweries, the now closed Whitbread Fremlins, and Faversham based Shepherds Neame. Both used hops grown on their own farms, and while Whitbread closed its brewery in the 1990s, Shepherd Neame has been brewing continuously since 1698, longer than any other brewery in Britain.

Before we started Essentially Hops, the hops grown on our farm were supplied for brewing with most going to Bass Charrington and Truman Beers. Now that we specialise in growing hops for decoration we sell less for brewing purposes, but we do have a limited supply of plump unpressed dried hop cones that we “liberate” from the kiln at hop picking before they get pressed into hop pockets. Dry hopping with loose hops gives more flavour and aroma to your final beer. We sell these plump, unpressed hop cones in small 100g bags or by the kilogram.

Brewing your own beer

If you’ve ever thought of brewing your own beer, what’s holding you back? A great hobby that can be enjoyed solo or as part of a group, making beer is a rewarding activity that is guaranteed to provide a sense of achievement.

Growing hops at home provides the opportunity to brew beer using your very own product. We sell a wide variety of bare-root hop plants which you can grow at home, each with their own flavours, aromas, and characteristics. Read our 5 steps to planting your own hops and buy all you need to grow hops yourself.

Benefits of brewing your own beer

There are a number of benefits to brewing your own beer:

  • It’s a fun activity
  • Homebrewed beer can cost less than store bought alternatives
  • The vitamin B in homebrewed beer can help to prevent hangovers
  • Homemade beer makes a great gift
  • It can be a great social activity

Top hop plants for brewing beer

As previously mentioned, we sell a number of hop plants which you can grow into your very own bines ready for brewing. Here are some of our favourites:

Challenger

A bittering and aroma hop, the Challenger has a medium to large cone with a moderate to compact density and is perfect for brewing lagers and bitters. Challenger hops are used in Bass Bitter.

Prima Donna

A dwarf variety of hop, Prima Donna thrives in a hedgerow system and grows to between two and three metres in height. Prima Donna hops are ideal for brewing light bitters, plus pale and blonde ales.

Golden Tassels

Golden Tassels is an ornamental dwarf hop which provides a great flavour and aroma to all types of ales and lagers. This plant will grow to around two metres tall.

Find out more about hops on our Inspiration page.

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