Hops have been grown on Castle Farm for over 290 years… so you could say we are experts! For decoration in pubs, marquees and homes, through to sleep pillows and beautiful plants for your garden – hops are versatile, cost effective and not to mention, beautiful! Enjoy having a look around…
Everyone knows that hops are used in beer, but have you ever slept on a hop pillow, drunk hop tea, eaten hop shoots or cooked hop biscuits? Have you admired garlands of dried hop bines strung along old beams in pubs or barns? Have you looked for a way to decorate a wedding marquee with rustic charm or to fill that gap between the kitchen units and the ceiling? Explore the versatility of hops!
Hops add the crucial bittering and aromatic elements that help distinguish one brew of beer from another, but they have herbal, culinary and decorative uses too, as well as being attractive climbing plants for the garden.
Old maps from 1720 show hop gardens at Castle Farm in the same area where they remain now – the best soil on the farm. Being a traditional Kentish crop, hops were always a speciality here and each September gangs of pickers would descend from London to camp in our hopper huts and enjoy a working family holiday. In those days the hops were grown purely for brewing but, for the past 25 years, The Hop Shop has been developing diverse uses for hops – exploring their versatility to the full!
We love see these beautiful Kentish bines being used for decoration – in homes, wedding marquees, pubs and TV or film sets – and have perfected the drying process in order to give our customers beautiful green, bushy bines at any time of year – dispatched out nationwide by mail order.
Our team at the farm, have also developed a range of wonderful Natural Sleep products using the soporific properties of hops and lavender.
From December to March (the dormant season for hops) we also sell hop plants for you to grow in your own garden.