Surrey based Hogs Back Brewery is adding to its trophy cabinet after being presented with CAMRA’s Champion Bottled Beer of Britain award by members of its local branch.
The accolade was given to Hogs Back for A over T, its 9% ABV bottle-conditioned barley wine, which was judged the best bottle-conditioned beer in the country after a rigorous judging process by a panel of beer experts. The beer won judges’ votes for its rich, complex flavours and wonderful aromas, which give the beer its full name of Aromas over Tongham, after the village near Farnham where Hogs Back is based.
Rupert Thompson, Hogs Back Brewery managing director, said: “We’re delighted to receive this lovely trophy which will take pride of place at the brewery, for A over T’s many loyal fans to enjoy. It’s a wonderful beer and it’s great to have won CAMRA’s top bottled beer award, after taking a number of medals in previous competitions over the years.
“The award was given to our 2020 vintage of A over T. We’ve now brewed our 2021 vintage, which is in the Brewery Shop now, to buy for Christmas, or to put aside and enjoy during our 30th anniversary year in 2022.” A over T drinkers tend to buy a couple of bottles as a new vintage is released – one to enjoy straight away and one to mature further in the bottle.
Kevin Travers, CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain Competition Coordinator, said: “One of the most rewarding parts of my role is giving trophies to our winning brewers. CAMRA’s competitions schedule has been disrupted by Covid, so we were only able to judge bottled beers rather than the usual cask ale. That makes this presentation to Hogs Back for A over T a ‘one off’ this year, and all the more enjoyable for that.”
A over T is brewed in small batches and matured in the brewery cellar, like a fine wine. Made from high quality English malted barley, Kent Goldings hops are added for bitterness and aroma and Bramling Cross to further enhance the character, resulting in complex flavours of sultanas, orange peel and plums. It’s best enjoyed in a wine glass or a brandy balloon, to concentrate its aromas, and is a wonderful match with blue cheese, such as a well-aged Stilton, and with rich desserts.
Among previous awards for A over T are: Gold Medal, International Beer Challenge 2016; Gold Medal, Barley Wine category, CAMRA Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2013; SIBA Champion Barley Wine of Britain 2014; Top 50 Beers of the World, International Beer Challenge 2006; and CAMRA Supreme Champion Winter Ale of Britain 2006.
A over T is available from the Hogs Back Brewery online shop and selected retailers. In the Brewery Shop, a 330ml bottle is £3.70, and a case of 12 costs £42.56.
Notes to editors
- Hogs Back Brewery was founded in 1992 in Tongham, in the heart of the traditional Surrey hop growing area.
- Its flagship brand TEA, or Traditional English Ale, is one of the leading regional ales in the South East. The first beer brewed by Hogs Back in 1992, TEA has won multiple awards including runner-up in CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain in 2000.
- Other awards include CAMRA’s Champion Bottled Beer of Britain 2020 for its A over T (Aromas over Tongham) 9% ABV bottle conditioned barley wine and a Bronze medal in the International Cider Challenge 2019 for its traditional cloudy cider, Hazy Hog.
- The Hogs Back Brewery range includes a number of award-winning draught, bottled and canned beers, demonstrating its ability to combine brewing expertise and tradition with product innovation to create distinctive, memorable beers.
- Hogs Back planted a hop garden adjacent to its brewery in 2014, growing three hop varieties: Fuggles – used in its flagship TEA; Cascade – used in Hogstar lager; and Farnham White Bine.
- Hogs Back relocated its hop garden in 2019 to occupy an 8.5 acre site next to the brewery. In September 2021, it harvested its largest-ever hop crop, and staged Hop Harvest celebrations over a weekend, attracting 2,500 people.
- As part of its drive to become an ever more sustainable brewer, Hogs Back is aiming to eliminate single use plastic. They have introduced refillable glass Snorters (3.5 pints) and Snifters (1 ¾ pints), and to date have removed 10,000 PETs, earning them Plastic Free Champion status from Surfers Against Sewage.
Press release from Hogs Back Brewery
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