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Thread: In the Hop Garden

  1. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    Two very impressive 3½-storey buildings here, set at a right angle, each with two very large square 'kilns' at the far end.
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    They both look like ginormous oasts, but are actually the maltings for the former Close Brewery of Kenward & Court at Hadlow (now converted to flats).
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    Although used for a different (if related) purpose, they must have been constructed by one of the many oasthouse-builders in the district.
    Have you noticed that nobody cares about about oasts.?

  2. #232
    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by london calling View Post
    Have you noticed that nobody cares about about oasts.?
    Yes.

  3. #233
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    Default Status report

    Some of you will be pleased to know that my keeping-busy-during-the-lockdown experiment to look at one beer-related story in more detail than previously done here (or almost anywhere else, so far as I know) was already coming to an end.

    With two of the last six aspects planned (i.e. the former Guinness hop farms at Bodiam and the Hadlow maltings) already covered, I hope that forbearance will be shown by those who may wish to avert their eyes for the last four items in order that the 'narrative arc' may be completed.

    However, I think the idea of looking at some facet of the history of beer or pubs in more detail is a good one, so why doesn't somebody else give it a go? Breweries and brewing? Malt and maltings? Pub architecture and architects? Listed pubs? Community pubs? Pub rock? Pub signs? Beer bottle labels? Beer mats? The possibilities are almost endless.

  4. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    Two very impressive 3½-storey buildings here, set at a right angle, each with two very large square 'kilns' at the far end.
    Attachment 2375 Attachment 2376 Attachment 2377 Attachment 2378
    They both look like ginormous oasts, but are actually the maltings for the former Close Brewery of Kenward & Court at Hadlow (now converted to flats).
    Attachment 2379 Attachment 2381 Attachment 2380
    Although used for a different (if related) purpose, they must have been constructed by one of the many oasthouse-builders in the district.
    Serious buildings. I don't think that there are any working maltings in Kent now.
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    Yes.
    I should have thought about the fact that it keeps you busy .Continue for posterity if nothing else. cheers

  6. #236
    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default Whitbread Hop Farm

    The best-known hop production facility in the country must be the former Whitbread Hop Farm at Beltring, with four iconic Victorian oasts (known as Bells 1 to 4) each with five kilns. These were actually built by a local farmer, Mr E.A. White, before they were sold to the brewery in 1920. Whitbread later added another five-kiln oast (Bell 5) of a more modern integral design and also purchased several nearby farms with their traditional buildings.

    Now a tourist attraction of sorts, it is difficult to appreciate the scale of the site and take photographs unless you pay for entry, and it is currently closed for the pandemic anyway. However, there is plenty of material about it on the internet, including here: Oast House Archive.

    We did walk past the back of the farm last week to see what could be seen of the former hop gardens.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sadly just featureless plains like this, with no indication of their proud history...

  7. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    The best-known hop production facility in the country must be the former Whitbread Hop Farm at Beltring, with four iconic Victorian oasts (known as Bells 1 to 4) each with five kilns. These were actually built by a local farmer, Mr E.A. White, before they were sold to the brewery in 1920. Whitbread later added another five-kiln oast (Bell 5) of a more modern integral design and also purchased several nearby farms with their traditional buildings.

    Now a tourist attraction of sorts, it is difficult to appreciate the scale of the site and take photographs unless you pay for entry, and it is currently closed for the pandemic anyway. However, there is plenty of material about it on the internet, including here: Oast House Archive.

    We did walk past the back of the farm last week to see what could be seen of the former hop gardens.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	2382
    Sadly just featureless plains like this, with no indication of their proud history...
    Yes, I met, several years ago a hop grower who had the contract to look after a relic/demonstration hop garden. The (then?) owners weren't really interested, so that project didn't last.
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

  8. #238
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    Default Just weird...

    Having mentioned the largest and most impressive group of oasts in the country (and probably, with little or no exaggeration, the world), it must be worth a look at the oddest before I finish.
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    I was reminded of that when we walked past this minor oddity a couple of weeks ago, featuring a strange-looking circular shallow-pitched roof with the cowl missing. As building styles can be very local, this could mean that what we were looking for might be somewhere nearby.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    With bit of assistance from the Oast House Archive site and Google Maps / Street View, we tracked down this 'bottle neck' kiln and cowl - one of the strangest buildings in Britain.

  9. #239
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    Default Reaching for the stars!

    An important milestone in the hop-growing year is when the bines first reach the wirework trellis.
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    This hop garden is showing even and vigorous growth at the end of May, way ahead of anything else we've seen in this very dry spring, so the micro-climate must be ideal here.
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    Another view taken on the same same day at another farm a couple of miles away, with only the strongest bines in this parched hop garden just touching the wires (with most others well behind).

  10. #240
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    Default A little bit of history (for me at least)

    For my last post on this thread for the time being, this oast is of special interest to me since it's the only one I've worked in, albeit just for one September and many decades ago...
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    Long since converted, of course, but a very valued experienced for a (then) young beer drinker.

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