Hogs Back Brewery has gained accreditation from Cask Marque after passing a rigorous inspection of the beers served at its Brewery Bar, located next to the brewhouse in Tongham, Surrey.
The accreditation carries special significance for Hogs Back as the brewery’s managing director Rupert Thompson was one of the founders of Cask Marque in 1998. Despite championing beer quality for more than 20 years, this is Thompson’s first bar and his first opportunity to apply for Cask Marque accreditation.
The Hogs Back bar opened earlier this year, in an area just outside the brewhouse with a canopy, lighting, sound system and seating for 30 people. Initially created as a summer bar, it has been so popular locally that Hogs Back is planning to keep it open year-round.
All cask beers served in the bar are poured through handpulls rather than direct from the barrel, which is the more usual practice in brewery bars. Beers served include Hogs Back’s flagship ale TEA and Surrey Nirvana in cask, as well as Hogstar Lager, Hog IPA and Little Swine lower strength beer in kegs.
Two decades ago, as brands and brewing director of Oxfordshire brewer Morland, Thompson was part of the small group that founded Cask Marque to address quality concerns. He said, “Since helping to establish Cask Marque in 1998, I’ve been part of the movement to improve the quality of draught beer in pubs and bars. We’re delighted that the Hogs Back bar has passed the Cask Marque inspection, and our plaque is in pride of place at the Brewery Shop entrance.
“There’s no doubt that standards now are higher than they were, meaning more drinkers are enjoying a pint of beer served as it should be – and are therefore more likely to order another. This is good news for drinkers, licensees and brewers, and I’m proud both to have been there at the start, and to continue to work to consistently serve great tasting, high quality cask beer.”
He added, “It’s been wonderful to see local drinkers enjoying our Summer Bar, which we are imaginatively renaming as the Winter Bar as we go into the colder months, equipped with heaters, more canopies and a changing selection of beers which will include Advent Ale closer to Christmas.”
Paul Nunny, Cask Marque co-founder, said, “It gave us particular pleasure to present Hogs Back Brewery with a Cask Marque plaque, given Rupert’s contribution to the scheme’s success.
“The Cask Marque plaque is now recognised by 77% of UK consumers as a guarantee of good beer, and many now use the CaskFinder App when choosing a pub to visit. It’s good to know that the Hogs Back Brewery Bar is now one of them, and part of the World’s Biggest Ale Trail on the app.”
The Hogs Back Bar will be open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings and at weekends and Hogs Back are planning to hold exclusive TEA Club events. For opening hours and details of events, visit the Hogs Back Facebook page.
Notes to editor
Hogs Back Brewery
- 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. Distribution of TEA is currently at an all-time high.
- 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.
- Earlier this year, Hogs Back launched three new keg ales: Little Swine, a 2.8% ABV pale ale that is also now available in 200 Tesco stores in bottles; Unfiltered TEA and Hog IPA. They also launched a new brand design for Hogstar lager, available in keg, bottles and cans.
- Hogs Back’s traditional cloudy cider, Hazy Hog, launched in 2013, won a Bronze medal in the International Cider Challenge earlier this year.
- 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 earlier this year and is planning to build a hop kiln and warehouse, as part of a £700,000 investment also covering hop picking and packing machinery and further brewery developments.
- At 8.5 acres, the new hop garden is nearly three times the size of the previous one and when fully mature will provide 50% of Hogs Back’s hops.
- The new kiln will be used to dry Hogs Back’s hops for around one month a year. For the rest of the year, it will serve as an event space and visitor centre, educating people about the local hop farming industry which Hogs Back is helping to revive.
- Siting the kiln and warehouse close to the hop garden means hops can be dried immediately after picking and will be packed within 24 hours using state-of-the-art vacuum packing technology to capture the hops’ freshness.
- The hop garden is an essential part of Hogs Back’s commitment to brewing sustainably. With the hops grown just yards from the brewhouse, they are brewing beers with the freshest ingredients – ‘from field to firkin in a furlong’.
- Cask Marque is an independent body promoting quality and best practice across the brewing and beer supply chain
- Of around 55,000 outlets selling cask ale, 9,500 are Cask Marque accredited
- Cask Marque’s highly qualified, independent inspectors make over 20,000 pub visits a year, testing beers for their temperature, appearance, aroma and taste
- Cask-conditioned beer is a fresh, live product and should be kept and served at 110 -130C
Issued on behalf of:Hogs Back Brewery
Ros Shiel: email@example.com / 07841 694137
John Porter: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07734 054389