Scorching temperatures in July and August left fields parched, but the late summer rain brought some welcome respite.
Shepherd Neame head brewer David Holmes said: “We have been monitoring the growth of the hop cones, which are the female part of the plant used to add bitterness and flavour to beer. Thanks to the recent rain we expect to see the cones flourish, resulting in a high-quality harvest.”?Hop picking runs for around six weeks from the end of August and Shepherd Neame says the first ales with the new harvest could be brewed by the end of September.
Holmes added: “All we need is a dry September while the hops are being picked. We’re not expecting a bumper harvest like last year – it will be a case of quality rather than quantity.”