Hops A-Z; G is for Goldings

Think bacon and eggs. Punch and Judy. John Robertson and Trevor Francis. Some things work so well together.

Once upon a time there was a kindly gentleman by the name of Mr Golding... what do you mean I've done this before? Anyoldhow, sometime in the late 1700's a Mr Golding (who may or may not have been resident in the Malling area of Kent) noticed in his grounds a sub-variety of the Canterbury hop of "extraordinary quality and productiveness". With a smooth, spicy, aroma and soft sweet citrics on the palate, it later proved to be a perfect partner for the earthier, grassy notes of Fuggles. A genre-defining hop pairing was born and, to this day, English bitter is synonymous with the Goldings and Fuggles combo.

And what's in a name? The hop is East Kent Goldings if grown in East Kent. If it's grown in Mid Kent, it's Kent Goldings. If it's grown anywhere else, it's just called Goldings. Or, possibly, 'misguided'.

I'm yet to be convinced by Goldings-only hopped beers. Then again, I haven't tried too many and will and try to seek out one from Shepherd Neame this year. For me, it's the balance between Goldings and Fuggles that is one of England's greatest gifts to brewing. The sweet in-swinger from Fuggles; the back-of-the-net dink from Goldings. I still think there's an even more full-on earthy-citric Fuggles-Golding beer waiting to escape from an English brewhouse and show those new whippersnapper showboating hops how it ought to be done.


  1. And before any Americans start getting sneery, Chinook, one of the "C-hops", is a cross between a Golding variety, Petham Goldings, and Brewer's Gold, which itself had a father than was most likely either Goldings or Fuggles. (See here.)

    Personally I love all-Goldings beers: the all-Goldings Fuller's Vintage Ale 2002 is my favourite of the series so far.

  2. You know, I think the Golding gets a bad rap - i didn't rate it until I started brewing, and then I realised just how aromatic and reliable it can be. Definately gone up in my estimations in he last 18 months.

  3. Im just about to release the imaginatively named Goldings this week. Seek it out Mr Reluctant.