05 Sep Craft Beer & Real Ale
In recent years the UK has undergone a craft beer revolution, with improved access to brewing equipment, simpler alcohol licensing laws and a growing awareness of the importance of full-bodied, full-flavoured, citrus-tinged hops all leading to a sea change in the way beer is produced.
These factors all lead to the rise of the microbrewery: Small, independent brewers crafting a variety of beers and ales, all with a focus on quality, flavour and innovation.
The influx of craft beer, as well as the growing influence of American and continental brewing techniques has changed the face of British drinking culture. And Kent is no exception, with a wide array of microbreweries and brewpubs leading the charge for craft beer and real ale. So sit back, pour yourself a pint and check out our guide to Kent’s best craft beer and real ale.
Hop Fuzz – Crafting New and Innovative Flavours
Founded by Daryl Stanford and Martyn Playford in 2011, Hop Fuzz brew a wide and varied range of bitters, stouts, ales and lagers.
The company has a strong green ethos, and rather than selling their by-products like most breweries, they give them away to local farmers, zoos and charitable organisations.
Hop Fuzz were runners-up in the Taste of Kent Awards with their Old American Pale.
What to try:
- Old American Pale
- Goldsmith Citrus Golden Ale
- Yellow Zinger Citrus Session Ale
Mad Cat Brewery – Boutique Faversham Microbrews
Based on Brogdale Farm in Faversham, this microbrewery boasts a wide range of original and innovative beers.
Inspired by the craft beer revolution of recent years, the brew masters at Mad Cat were inspired to explore their creativity and have created a brand much like on of their beers: inventive, cool and full of character.
What to try:
- Mild Disobedience
- Special Relationship
- Pow Wow Session Ale
Canterbury Ales – The Best Beer in the South-East
Established in 2010, Canterbury ales brews a delicious range of award-winning single hop IPAs, Rauchbeers and Golden Ryes based around Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
One of their stouts – Merchant’s Ale – was awarded Best Beer in the South-East by the Society of Independent Brewers.
What to try:
- Merchant’s Ale
- The Miller’s Ale
Four Candles – Britain’s Smallest Brewpub
The smallest brewpub in Britain, and the second smallest pub on the Isle of Thanet, Four Candles produces boutique microbrews.
Their two-and-a-half barrel brewery produces up to ten 9 gallon casks with each brew. Four Candles brews once a week so that there is always an in-house brew on tap.
The Chapel – A Converted Chapel Serving Real Ale and Local Cheese
One of Broadstairs’ best pubs for real ale, The Chapel also offers a great range of local seafood, as well as an unparalleled array of Kentish cheeses.
The Chapel stresses a traditional menu, but the emphasis on fresh local ingredients means their dressed crab and lobster, selection of cheeses and cockles and whelks are a cut above the usual pub grub.
The walls are lined with second hand books, which are available for purchase, making it a lovely spot to settle in for a quiet, relaxed evening.
The pub also hosts an open mic every Thursday, as well as a weekly jazz night on Mondays.