The quintessential English hop, Goldings is a group of related clones that harvest at different times such as Cobbs, Amos’ Early Bird, Eastwell, Mathon, East Kent and historical clones such as Bramling, Canterbury, Rodmersham and Petham. However Whitbread Golding Variety (WGV, see below) is at best a relative of this group and Styrian Goldings is a European synonym for Fuggle. East Kent Goldings (EKG) have been sold as such since 1838 and are the only hop to have a Protected Designation of Origin like Jersey Royal potatoes. To qualify for the designation they must be grown in a designated area of East Kent and conform to a standard chemical “fingerprint”. The terroir of East Kent is particularly suited to hop growing, with brick clay over chalk and cold, salt-laden winds off the North Sea.”Kent Goldings” come from elsewhere in Kent.
Goldings are used for bittering and late hopping,particularly in combination with Fuggle. They are known for a smooth, sweet bitterness with spicy and earthy aromas. Typically they have 4–9.5% alpha acids, 0.4–0.8% total oils and negligible farnesene.The family is first reported in the 1750s as the Farnham Whitebine of Surrey which gave rise to the Canterbury Whitebine, one of which was selected by a Mr Golding in the 1790s. Goldings are tall, low yielding and susceptible to powdery mildew, downy mildew and Verticillium wilt – much of the research at Wye College has been driven by the need to improve these traits.