Nick Carr on September 28, 2016 1 Comment History of East Kent Goldings Hops have a long history in Britain and one of the first places they were established was Kent. During the Hundred Years War (1336-1453) Flemish farmers fled their homeland seeking to escape the fighting. Many ended their journey in Southeastern England in the region of Kent. It is generally believed that these farmers introduced the first hops to the area and by the mid 1500s hop cultivation was well established. The Golding hop varieties all are descendants of an ancestral Old Golding, which was a descendant of the semi-wild Canterbury Whitebine. The Old Golding variety came about much like English Fuggles; an accidental discovery in someone’s garden. Buy East Kent Goldings on Amazon In this case, it was a Mr. Golding, (there seems no hard evidence of his first name) who lived in West Kent. According to William Marshall’s book The Rural Economy of the Southern Countries, “(1790) Mr. Golding of the Malling quarter of the district; who observing, in his grounds, a hill of extraordinary quality and productiveness, marked it, propagated from it, and furnished his neighbours with cuttings, from its produce.” Martyn Cornell, in his post, “Will the real Mr Golding please step forward” makes a convincing argument for the discovery of this hop variety being close to 1775 if, as the above statement suggests, Mr. Golding was “furnishing his neighbours with cuttings” in 1790. He also puts forward a few possible “Mr. Golding” candidates in the post. Definitely worth a read. So, Goldings were probably being grown in East Kent possibly even before 1790, but it was not until 1838 that it was sold as “East Kent produce.” A name given to distinguish it from the, thought to be, lower quality hops grown near Maidstone in Mid-Kent. East Kent Goldings have long been celebrated, held up as one of the quintessential English hop varieties. Terroir plays a major role in making Goldings from East Kent special among Golding varieties. Genetically all the Golding variants are the same, it is terroir — the natural environment — that makes hops grown in East Kent different and higher prized than those grown elsewhere, such as Kent Goldings grown in mid-Kent, and UK Goldings grown in other parts of England (note that Styrian Goldings are not a true Golding, they come from Fuggles). The terroir of East Kent is unique in several ways. The soil is a layer of brick-earth over a deposit of chalk. The brick-earth provides rich and loamy soil while the chalk makes the soil’s pH 6.5-7.0; ideal for hop plants. Also, the Thames Estuary ensures a cold salty wind, affecting both the seasonal and varietal characteristics of a hop. In 2013, East Kent Golding hops were given protected designation of origin. This means that any hop using the name East Kent Golding must have been grown and processed within the relatively small area of East Kent. How to Grow & Brew Golding Hops If you plan on growing hops in your backyard, we would make a few recommendations to help you in your endeavors. Before you choose the variety you want to grow, it is a good idea to talk to other local growers or possibly someone at your local homebrew supply store. They may be able to point you toward varieties that grow well in your area. Acid Composition Breakdown Alpha Acid: 5-8% Beta Acid: 1.9-3.0% Co-Humulone: 26-32% Oil Composition Breakdown Total Oils: 0.4 – 0.8mL / 100g Myrcene Oil: 20-26% (of total) Humulene Oil: 38-48% (of total) Caryophyllene Oil: 12-16% (of total) Franesene Oil: < 1% (of total) B-Pinene Oil: < 0.30% (of total) Linalool Oil: < 0.60% (of total) Geraniol Oil: < 0.15% (of total) Golding is a commercial variety widely available with no restrictions, making it easy for the home gardener to buy and grow. But the Goldings you grow will not be East Kent Goldings, they’ll be (insert your hometown here) Goldings. There will probably be little noticeable difference unless you’re a Golding hop connoisseur and have spent a lot of time discovering the nuances that come with terroir. Goldings need more care than other varieties. They are one of the oldest hop varieties and they have little tolerance for many diseases and pests. But if you make the effort and care for them you’ll have a crop of something very close the premier English hop. General Characteristics: Climate — Grow best in mild, moist climates. Growth — Somewhat Vigorous; light green leaves. Yield — Low. Cones — Large; long and oval; Loose, and deep green; small amounts of pale yellow lupulin. Maturity — Early to Mid Season, but can extend into late season. Susceptible To — Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew, Hop Mosaic Virus, and Verticillium Wilt, hop aphid, spotted spider mite. Resistant To — n/a? Ease Of Harvest — Poor – the loose cones require more care when handling. Storage — Fair to Good; maintains 65% to 80% of alpha acid content after being stored at 68oF for 6 months. Sensory Description: East Kent Goldings is described as having a delicately smooth aroma and flavor; lightly floral with hints of lavender, lemon thyme, and possible apricot. It can be earthy and spicy with a honey sweetness often described as marmalade-like. Use: East Kent Goldings is most often used as an aroma addition. But it was once one of the main variety used in the first IPAs, so it does have potential as a bittering hop; especially if seeking to replicate those first early India Pale Ales. It also performs admirably in the role of dry hopping, where its subtle but complex character can come to full light. Can Substitute With/For These Hops: These are general substitutions and are not perfect East Kent Golding clones in any respect. Each hop variety is unique in some way, so do not expect the exact same beer you’d get using East Kent Golding hops. Obviously this goes the other direction too, using East Kent Golding as a sub for one of the below listed hops. U.K. Golding First Gold Whitbread Golding Progress U.S. Golding Common Beer Styles Using East Kent Golding Hops: Pale Ales English Bitters English Milds English IPA English Brown Ales English Barleywine Stouts & Porters Saisons Christmas Ales Golden Ales Belgian Triple Belgian Golden/Blonde Irish Red Scottish Ales Commercial Examples: To help you gain a better idea of what this hop variety smells and tastes like, I would recommend you sample as many of these as you can. This will also give you a better idea of what to expect and how to use it within your own recipes. Uses Only East Kent Goldings: Nitro Coffee Stout, Imperial Stout, Black & Brew, Maple Pecan Porter, and Ruby Mild from Boston Beer Company Canterbury Stout, Street Light, Christmas Pudding Ale, and Itzamna from The Foundry Brew Pub Golden Best Bitter from Hop Back Brewing Company AK 1911 from Old Dairy Brewing Company Hardy Brown Ale from Moody’s Ales Combines East Kent Goldings With Other Varieties: Brooklyn Local 2 from Brooklyn Brewing Company — Uses East Kent Goldings, Perle & Aurora. Rogers from Little Creatures Brewing Company — Uses East Kent Goldings, Cascade & Stella. Stout Porter from Anspach & Hobday Brewing Company — Uses East Kent Goldings & Cascade. Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewing Company — Uses East Kent Goldings, Galena & Fuggles. Jumping Cow from Lake Placid Brewing Company — Uses East Kent Goldings & Mosaic. Elmers from Flying Monk Brewery — Uses East Kent Goldings & Nelson Sauvignon.