What was hop farming? - Introduction
Hops, the ingredient that adds bitterness to beer, have been grown in Kent since the 16th century. In Victorian times it was the biggest industry in the county. Every September the plants were ready to be picked and casual workers from Kent, London, Sussex and East Anglia would come to Kent to work in the hop gardens for 6 weeks. Once the hops were picked, they were dried out in oast houses and sold to the breweries.