Hogs Back Brewery to put Tongham TEA in cans
August 2023
New pack format for flagship ale boosts brewer’s sustainability goals

Surrey based Hogs Back brewery is putting its flagship beer Tongham TEA, or Traditional English Ale, into cans as the latest step in its ongoing drive to brew more sustainably, while also broadening the brand’s appeal.

Tongham TEA is a 4.2% ABV, full-bodied bitter. It was the first beer brewed by Hogs Back when the brewery opened in 1992 and has since won awards and garnered a strong following across the south east. Originally called TEA, the ‘Tongham’ was added last year, alongside a ‘Farm Brewery’ statement, as part of a pack redesign to emphasise the beer’s provenance and deep-seated Surrey roots.

The 440ml cans echo the imagery on bottles and pump clips, with a graphic illustration of the familiar hog mascot in front of the brewery, farm buildings and fields. They will initially be sold as single cans, with an RRP of £2.20, and Hogs Back is in the process of developing a plastic-free multi-pack.

The decision to put Tongham TEA in cans is part of Hogs Back’s continuing drive to become a more sustainable brewer: a batch of beer in cans weighs 13 times less than the same batch in bottles. The energy saving throughout the distribution chain will have a major impact on the brewer’s carbon footprint.

Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson said: “We are constantly striving to become a more sustainable brewer and moving our biggest-selling beer into cans is one of many measures we’ve taken to reduce our carbon footprint, most notably growing our own hops next to the brewery – meaning we incur food yards to add them to the brew, rather than food miles!

“The strong Tongham TEA brand imagery introduced last year looks great on the cans and we’re confident they will appeal to a broader consumer base, particularly craft beer drinkers who are used to buying their beers in cans.”

Hogs Back’s mission to brew more sustainably has led it to remove single use plastic wherever possible, introducing refillable glass Snorters and Snifters for customers in its bar and for take home sales. To date they have removed 12,000 PETs from the supply chain, earning them Plastic Free Champion status from Surfers Against Sewage.

Tongham TEA is a full-bodied, well-balanced bitter, brewed in small batches using English malt carefully balanced with Fuggles hops – including some grown in the Hogs Back hop garden.  It is gently fermented to leave some of the natural malt sugars, giving a full and satisfying flavour with a long, dry finish. Tongham TEA has won a number of awards over the years, including runner up in CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain in 2000 and Best Bitter in the London & South East region in 2015.