Hogs Back Brewery has launched a unique seasonal ale made with the three varieties of hop grown at the brewery’s own hop garden.
Home Harvest Ale has been brewed with Fuggles and English Cascade hops harvested from the garden at the brewery in Tongham, Surrey, as well as the classic Farnham White Bine variety, grown exclusively by Hogs Back. The hops were picked on 21 and 22 September, dried just three miles away in Puttenham, and then returned and used in the brew on 27 September.
Fuggles were added at the beginning of the boil for bittering, with Farnham White Bine and English Cascade added at the end for aroma. The result is a 4.0% ABV amber cask ale brewed in the traditional Hogs Back house style, while having its own distinctive character, with a great balance between sweetness and bitterness and a light hop aroma.
Rupert Thompson, owner of Hogs Back Brewery, said, “We think Home Harvest Ale is a first for British brewing; a beer made with three varieties of hops grown just 100 yards from the brewhouse. It makes us a genuinely local brewer in far more than just name.
“Both Fuggles and White Bine, which is part of the Goldings family, are classic English ale hops, while Cascade is a more aromatic hop from North America that is starting to be grown in the UK with very encouraging results.
“This year marked our second harvest and we’re delighted with the quality of the hops. It will be interesting to see if Farnham-grown Fuggles and Cascade develop a different character over the years, which would support the idea that hops respond to micro climates and soil in the same way as grapes – what the French call the influence of ‘terroir’.
“Home Harvest Ale isn’t a highly-hopped US-style beer, it’s a classic, well-balanced British ale, and we‘re sure that beer lovers from Surrey and well beyond will be raising a glass to celebrate the harvest.”
Hogs Back Brewery and its successful revival of the Farnham White Bine were featured on BBC Countryfile at the start of October. The programme is available on iPlayer until 2 November at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/
Notes to editors:
- A clip from Countryfile featuring the Hogs Back Brewery and its part in Surrey’s hop revival can be viewed online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
- Hogs Back Brewery was founded in 1992 in Tongham, Surrey, in the heart of the traditional Surrey hop growing area.
- Its flagship brand TEA, or Traditional English Ale, is the leading independent ale in Surrey and increasing in popularity elsewhere. According to CGA Brand Index figures for the year to September 2015, TEA was the third biggest craft beer brand in volume growth terms in the on-trade, behind Brewdog Punk IPA and Goose Island IPA, and saw the biggest growth of any cask ale brand.
- The Hogs Back Brewery range includes a number of award-winning draught and bottled beers. Recent launches include Hogstar English Craft Lager and Montezuma’s Chocolate Lager, both demonstrating Hogs Back’s ability to combine brewing expertise and tradition with product innovation to create distinctive, memorable beers. Hogstar won a Gold award at the Society of Independent Brewers’ National Keg Beer Competition 2015. In 2013, Hogs Back also launched a traditional cloudy cider, Hazy Hog.
- In September 2015 Hogs Back Brewery harvested the first hops from its own hop garden on a 3.5 acre plot adjacent to the brewery, bringing the traditional but near-extinct Farnham White Bine hop variety back to its Surrey home. Once fully mature, the hop garden will provide 25% of the brewery’s hop requirements.
- Hogs Back Brewery is growing its presence in both the on and off trade. Customers include Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Lidl, Majestic Wine, JD Wetherspoon, Mitchells & Butlers, Greene King and Spirit Pub Company.
Issued on behalf of: Hogs Back Brewery