To celebrate the 2005 hop harvest, Westerham Brewery has brewed a new best bitter with undried Green Hops from the National Trust’s hop garden at Scotney Castle. The 4.3% Little Scotney Bitter is a mid golden coloured ale with fresh hop flavours from the 5kg of green Target hops added at the end of the boil.

At the brewery’s recent open evening over 100 Beer Club members and visitors tried the beer for the first time. The firkin of Little Scotney Bitter was the first to be finished that evening. The remaining 40 firkins of the green hop harvest ale will be delivered to Westerham’s regular customers in the week commencing 3 October. A royalty payment from the sale of each pint will be paid to the National Trust to support the hop enterprise at Little Scotney Farm.

Ian Strang is the tenant farmer at Little Scotney Farm. His Target hops have a superb aroma. Over the last year the hops have been used in the brewery’s Little Scotney Ale which is available from National Trust outlets in the south-east. Such is the success of this bottled beer that over 17,000 bottles have been brewed over the last 8 months. Little Scotney Ale is now available direct from the brewery. Once again, proceeds from the sale of the beer have been used to support hop growing at the last hop garden in Lamberhurst parish.

Westerham Brewery is committed to supporting hop growing in Kent. From the 2005 hop growing season all our English aroma hops will be sourced from just two hop gardens in Kent: Ian Strang’s Little Scotney hops from Lamberhurst and Bill Calcutt’s Finchcocks hops from Goudhurst. Both farms are adjacent to each other and were both owned by the Hussey family who gave Scotney Castle to the National Trust in 1970 in apt fulfilment of the family motto: Vix ea nostra voco (‘I scarcely call these things our own’).