Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Shepherd Neame hops in 1947

Unsurprisingly for a brewery located in hop country, Shepherd Neame had their own hop gardens. In most brews these made up the majority of the hops. In the table below they’re the ones described as Kent.

As you can see, they were using quite a lot of old hops – some were three seasons old. At any one period there was little variation in the hopping. All the beers received the same hops, Mild or Bitter.

There was one exception, however. That was SS Stout, which also contained a quantity of hopulon, which I assume is some sort of hop concentrate. It’s a bit odd that a Kent brewery surrounded by hop fields should use a concentrate. Especially as this was almost certainly imported.

Shepherd Neame hops in 1947
Beer Style OG hop 1 hop 2 hop 3 hop 4
MB Mild 1027.1 English 1943 Kent 1945 Kent 1946
LDA Pale Ale 1027.1 English 1943 Kent 1945 Kent 1946
AK Pale Ale 1027.1 Kent 1944 Kent 1944 Kent 1946
BB Pale Ale 1031.3 Kent 1944 Kent 1944 Kent 1946
BA Pale Ale 1034.3 Kent 1944 Kent 1944 Kent 1946
SS Stout 1027.1 English 1943 Kent 1945 Kent 1946 hopulon
1947 Shepherd Neame brewing book, held at the brewery.


StuartP said...

Good grief - a 'stout' with OG 1027.
What a dreadful line-up of low-gravity beers. They must only have lasted a couple of weeks.

qq said...


"According to a Whitbread brewing record, 1 lb hopulon is the equivalent of 7 lbs of hops. "

Perhaps getting hops was difficult after the war so they had to resort to extract, but only in the lowest-priority beers?

Anonymous said...

But I'd rather drink that 1.027 Stout than an alcohol free Punk IPA any day of the week - I mean it's not that likely you'll get pissed on either

A Brew Rat said...

A product named Hopulon sparked my curiosity. A Google search found in mentioned in a 1945 Federal Register posted regulations on wartime restrictions for American breweries. I suspect it is an American product.


My search also came across a 1904 technical journal on American brewing that was pretty interested. I like that the table of contents was also provided in German.


Ron Pattinson said...

A Brew Rat,

I'd assumed that hopulon was imported from the US. But it's good to have it confirmed.

Large amounts of hop products were imported in the later war year:

1944 209,152 oz
1945 967,061 oz
1946 3,558,892 oz
1947 1,424,748 oz
1948 0 oz

Thanks for the links.

Ron Pattinson said...


depends on the brewery. Some used hop products in all their beers. But, yes, it was all to do with the availability of hops.

Anonymous said...

I assume a hop garden is just an idyllic sounding name for a hop farm? Or is there something special about a garden?

Ron Pattinson said...


hop garden is just what they called them in Kent. While elsewhere they were called hp yard. I think I've got that the right way around.

Unknown said...

Traditionally you didn't pay tax on a 'garden' but you did on a farm. Or did I just dream that?