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11th January 2018

Showdown for Hogs Back Brewery

Hogs Back Brewery MD in the hop garden

Farnham brewer Hogs Back Brewery is set to reach an estimated 1.6 million TV viewers when it appears on BBC One Daytime series, The Farmers’ Country Showdown, later this month.

The episode featuring Hogs Back Brewery will be screened mid-afternoon on 18 January. It includes an interview with Hogs Back MD Rupert Thompson, where he talks about the brewery, and in particular its hop garden, as well as footage of the Farnham Food Festival, where Thompson gave a talk on hops.

The programme, which also features local gamekeeper and butcher Jack Smallman, was filmed in September, around the time of Hogs Back’s third annual hop harvest.

Thompson said, “We were delighted to welcome The Farmers’ Country Showdown team to the brewery. The hop garden, which we planted in 2014, is a great example of brewing tradition and innovation working hand-in-hand, and an excellent fit for the series, which looks at a wide range of farmers and producers.

“Growing our own hops, including the Farnham White Bine, a traditional local variety which we have revived, is a great story and we’re always happy to tell it. We look forward to seeing the final programme later this month and hope viewers enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed the filming.”

The Farmers’ Country Showdown celebrates the hard-working, devoted farmers who are the backbone of the rural economy. It illustrates the changing face of farming as well as the traditional ways of working the land they live on. It first screened in 2017 and a second series of 20 x 45-minute programmes started on 2 January this year.

Notes to editors

The Farmers’ Country Showdown is produced by Sidney Street Productions, a production company founded in January 2016 by former MasterChef Creative Director, Karen Ross with Endemol Shine UK. It specialises in producing food, factual and lifestyle formats, including the Mary Berry Everyday series for BBC Two.

Hogs Back Brewery

  • Hogs Back Brewery was founded in 1992 in Tongham, Surrey, in the heart of the traditional Surrey hop growing area.
  • 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 harvested four varieties in its hop garden in September 2017: Fuggles, used in their flagship TEA, or Traditional English Ale; Farnham White Bine; English Cascade, used in Hogstar English Craft Lager; and a newer dwarf variety, Pioneer, used in its 2017 Home Harvest Ale. Hogs Back sources the majority of it hops from within 5 miles of the brewery.
  • The Hogs Back hop garden and hop harvest were also featured on BBC’s Countryfile programme in October 2016. The hop garden initiative has won accolades including the British Beer & Pub Association’s Grain-to-Glass Award 2015 recognising the brewer’s commitment to sustainability and local community engagement, and the Society of Independent Brewers’ Business Innovation Award 2016.
  • 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 25 years ago, 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, with TEA now sold in more 1000 supermarkets in the South East and beyond, including branches of Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons and Co-op.
  • The Hogs Back Brewery range includes a number of award-winning draught and bottled beers. Launches over recent years include Hogstar English Craft Lager, Montezuma’s Chocolate Lager and London’s Outback pale ale, all demonstrating Hogs Back’s ability to combine brewing expertise and tradition with product innovation to create distinctive, memorable beers. In 2013, Hogs Back also launched a traditional cloudy cider, Hazy Hog.
  • Hogs Back Brewery achieved volume growth of 22% over the last year and is expanding its presence in both the on and off trade.  Stockists in the on-trade include EI Group, Mitchells & Butlers, Greene King, Youngs, as well as independent pubs and bars, and in the off-trade Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons and Co-op.

Issued on behalf of:    Hogs Back Brewery

Further information:    Ros Shiel: / 07841 694137

John Porter: / 07734 054389