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As I write this the Olympics are well under way.
We have had the torch through Faversham, a memorable event but it seemed to be over very quickly until we all retired to local hostelries, the torch's progress through Kent was celebrated with our own special beer that was only available in pubs on its route.
The opening ceremony was something to behold although the scene of rural village life appeared to be missing several key elements, I could not spot a hop garden or the traditional village pub overlooking the cricket match on the green.
Several of us have now attended events (a benefit of being in the southern corner of England), ranging from rowing to the hockey in the actual Olympic Park, a great venue and travelling was thankfully easier than we had anticipated.
Now of course we have had our first gold medals as well as the major incident of “non Olympic behaviour” in the badminton, but let us hope the joy of winning medals and the high standards of the sport far outweigh any of the more negative aspects.
So far the other nightmares that were predicted due to the Olympics do not seem to have had the effect anticipated. Suppliers have continued to get the malt and hops to us as well as the bottles, boxes and labels so that we can maintain the brewing and packaging of the beers. The distribution team have had to adjust some of their delivery times due to traffic restrictions in London but are ensuring there is plenty of beer available.
The sun even appears to be trying to come out to enhance the overall event (and hopefully beer sales as people rush to their local pubs). This is of course ideal weather to mature the hop crop in time for September and allow the farmers to harvest the barley in its prime and so supply us with the best ingredients possible.
For us then August is a month when we will continue with the Olympic task of brewing a fine range of beers, enjoy the weather and the sport and look forward to the hop festival which is really just around the corner. So you should be able to enjoy Whitstable Bay for a few more weeks and then keep your eyes open for the limited edition Hop Festival Ale which will hopefully be more widely available this year.
So whatever you are doing this month I hope you will also get a chance to relax and enjoy both the sport and the beer.
Stewart Tricker - Senior Brewer