Surrey based Hogs Back Brewery is celebrating after its A over T beer was crowned CAMRA Champion Bottled Beer of Britain 2020.
The latest award adds to a series of prestigious accolades for the 9% ABV bottle conditioned barley wine. Rupert Thompson, Hogs Back Brewery managing director, said: “After a challenging year for everyone, this is a wonderful way to mark the start of the recovery.
“A over T has been a regular finalist and medal winner in CAMRA awards over the years, and since CAMRA has sadly been unable to judge cask ales during the lockdown, we’re delighted that A over T, our ‘cask in a bottle’, is flying the flag as a CAMRA champion beer this year.
“It’s very fitting that a strong ale wins the accolade after a year in which both brewers and pubs have had to call on our strength and resilience to get through.”
A over T was awarded the Gold Medal and Champion title following a rigorous judging process involving a panel of beer experts, who tasted bottle-conditioned beers from across the country. The 2020 vintage won the judges’ votes thanks to its rich, complex flavours and wonderful aromas, which give the beer its full name – Aromas over Tongham, after the village near Farnham which is home to the brewery.
Hogs Back now plans a celebration brew of A over T, which will be in prime condition when the brewery celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2022 – as long as beer lovers can resist opening it sooner.
Thompson said: “A over T has been a consistent favourite over the years and its loyal drinkers are always keen to try out the newest vintage, with many of them buying a bottle to enjoy straight away, as well as a few more to put away to savour when the beer has matured further in the bottle.”
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 £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.
- 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’s traditional cloudy cider, Hazy Hog, launched in 2013, won a Bronze medal in the International Cider Challenge in 2019.
- Hogs Back planted a hop garden adjacent to its brewery in 2014, growing three hop varieties: Fuggles – used in its flagship TEA ale; Cascade – used in Hogstar lager; and Farnham White Bine.
- Hogs Back relocated its hop garden in 2019 and completed its first commercial harvest of this site in September 2020.
- While pubs were closed during lockdown, Hogs Back sold its beers through supermarkets and direct to customers, offering Drive Through and Click & Collect options at the brewery, or delivering direct to homes. Details on all options can be viewed on the website.
Press release from Hogs Back Brewery
Issued by: ShielPorter Communications
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