PRESS RELEASES

Countryfile puts the focus on hop growing at Hogs Back Brewery

September 2016

The award winning Hogs Back Brewery hop garden is to feature on the BBC’s Countryfile programme.

Presenter Anita Rani visited the garden and brewery in Tongham as part of a programme looking at the hop growing heritage of the Farnham area of Surrey, and the revival of Farnham White Bine hops.

The popular Sunday night show also filmed at the nearby Hampton Estate in Puttenham. One of the last commercial hop growers in the area, the estate is now expanding the acreage devoted to Fuggles hops as the boom in craft beer drives demand.

In Tongham, Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson and hop garden manager Matthew King were both interviewed. Hop historians and locals also came to the brewery to share memories of Farnham’s hop growing heyday on camera, and the day’s filming ended with a celebration of the Hop Harvest organised for members of the Tongham TEA Club, the Hogs Back Brewery’s official members club, named for their flagship beer.

Thompson said: “We were delighted to welcome Anita and the Countryfile team to Tongham just as our second harvest was beginning. The return of Farnham White Bine in the Hogs Back Brewery hop garden is a great example of tradition and innovation working hand-in-hand.

“Growing our own hops improves the sustainability and traceability of our beer, and the direct link between the hop garden has allowed us to learn a lot more about hops, making us better brewers.  It also redefines local brewing as being not just about proximity, but also about really local sourcing and involvement with our famer suppliers.

“No one else is growing Farnham White Bine, and its historical importance to the area, as well as the popular local reception to its reintroduction, is a story we’re sure Countryfile viewers will find fascinating.”

Hogs Back planted the hop garden in 2014, with the first harvest in September 2015. The three varieties of hop grown are:

  • Fuggles: the classic English balanced bittering and aroma hop;
  • Cascade: grown mainly in the USA and famous for its citrus/grapefruit aroma, something which seems to have been retained at Tongham;
  • Farnham White Bine: The ‘lost’ hop variety which was the precursor to Goldings, and which has been revived at Hogs Back Brewery. It has floral, spicy, and earthy flavour characteristics.

Thompson adds: “Terroir is as important to brewing as is to wine-making, and we’re finding the characteristics of our home-grown hops brings something unique to our beers.”

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.

The Countryfile programme will be broadcast at 18.15 on Sunday, 2 October.

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NOTES TO EDITORS

  • 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

Further information:    Ros Shiel: ros@shielporter.com / 07841 694137

John Porter: john@shielporter.com  / 07734 054389

Langley’s brings back a classic with Old Tom Gin

Charter Brands is launching Langley’s Old Tom gin, reviving a classic style that offers the growing army of gin enthusiasts a different flavour profile in cocktails and mixed drinks.

Langley’s Old Tom is Charter Brands’ first new product since the launch three years ago of the acclaimed and multiple award-winning Langley’s No.8 gin. Old Tom is a style originally popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Old Tom offers a more intense yet slightly sweeter taste than a classic London Dry Gin, however, it’s not as sweet as a Dutch Jenever.

Mark Dawkins, co-founder of Charter Brands, said: “We’ve always planned to develop other styles of gin under the Langley’s brand, and our Old Tom has been 12 months in development. The style is a forgotten classic in many ways, but with interest in gin among UK consumers at an all-time high and still growing, the time is right to bring it back with a real focus and strategy behind it.”

He adds: “There are a lot of gin brands using the ‘craft’ terminology, but we feel it’s becoming over-used.  The Langley’s brand is all about classic, timeless and quintessentially English gin products. Old Tom is exactly that – we’ve taken a classic recipe and redeveloped it for the modern era.

“The sweeter flavour profile will appeal to bar professionals looking for a different take on classic gin drinks such as a Collins, as well as giving consumers an alternative to the London Dry style. We’ve had pre-orders already for export markets, as well as interest from some key UK on and off-trade retailers.”

The signature serve for the brand is the Langley’s Old Tom St. Clements; a classic gin & tonic garnished with a half slice of lemon and a half slice of orange.

While the labelling reflects the heritage of its style, Langley’s Old Tom comes in the brand’s distinctive bottle, to create consistency. Old Tom is available at 40% ABV for the UK market as well as in a 47% Export Strength, with an RSP of £25 for the 40%. Like Langley’s No. 8, Langley’s Old Tom is distributed in the UK by Hi-Spirits, and will be available from October.

For more information, contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email info@hi-spirits.com or see www.hi-spirits.com.

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Trial new dishes to make the most of the Lunch market, says Lynx Purchasing

September 2016

Operators need to be ready to try new dishes and menu styles to compete in the booming lunchtime market, say Lynx Purchasing.

The buying specialist is at the Lunch! 2016 show in London on 21 and 22 September to help operators looking to source new products and find new suppliers.

Lynx Purchasing managing director Rachel Dobson says, “from baguettes to burritos, consumers expect to be offered a wide choice in the lunchtime market. Whether it’s eat-in or take away, operators need to be ready with everything from healthy options to tempting treats.

“The market is growing, with industry analyst Horizons estimating that the 3.5 billion lunch meals sold last year will grow 5.6% by 2018. However, in the wake of the Brexit vote it’s clear that increased supply chain costs will filter through to operators, while consumers will be looking for the best possible value when eating out-of-home.

“We work openly with hospitality and catering operators to match them with the best suppliers and get the best possible prices on food and drink, as well as a whole range of essential products and services.

“Our job is to help operators buy better and save you time and money, year after year. The price we give is the price we get, because 100% of the savings we negotiate are passed on. We’re looking forward to meeting potential new customers at Lunch! and discuss how we help them make the most of the profitable, but very competitive, lunchtime market.”

Lynx Purchasing is on Strand M524 at Lunch! For more information on Lynx Purchasing, visit www.lynxpurchasing.co.uk  email savings@lynxpurchasing.co.uk or call 01325 377 845

Hi-Spirits Shakes Up London Cocktail Week

September 2016

Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Langley’s Gin will all have a high profile during London Cocktail Week 2016, with unique drinks and a diverse offer from distributor Hi-Spirits.

This year’s celebration of the capital’s thriving cocktail culture, running from 3 – 9 October, promises to be the biggest and most vibrant yet.

The Southern Comfort Chicken Stop will be popping up in Spitalfields, welcoming dedicated cocktail lovers with a selection of Southern Comfort cocktails and Southern Fried Chicken.  The New Orleans inspired pop-up will mark the first stop on the Southern Chicken Trail. Customers will be encouraged to continue on the trail and explore some of London’s best chicken shops, with Southern Comfort and Fried Chicken pairings on offer at all stops.

The acclaimed Buffalo Bourbon Empire pop-up bar also returns for 2016. Located this year at Hackney House, the Buffalo Bourbon Empire will spotlight six exclusive bourbon cocktails created by leading London venues – The Vaults of Milroy’s, Barbecoa, Basement Sate, Blessings, MASH, and Four Sisters.

Award-winning whiskeys from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky will also be on offer, including the first chance for UK aficionados to sample the 2016 release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection whiskeys.

For those interested in learning more about the heritage and culture of bourbon, the Buffalo Bourbon Empire will host a series of masterclasses throughout the week. These include sessions with Drew Mayville, the Buffalo Trace master blender, and Nicola Olianas, global brand ambassador for Antica Formula, who will explore the classic cocktail combination of vermouth and bourbon. Tickets can be booked online at www.Buffalotrace.co.uk/bourbonempire

London Cocktail Week will also feature £5 cocktails made with Langley’s No.8 Gin, the award-winning super-premium English gin brand. The exclusive cocktails will be available at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, 214 Bermondsey, Arabica, Bermondsey Yard, Merchants House and Village East.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “London has always been one of the world’s great cocktail cities, and London Cocktail Week has reinvented the capital’s party spirit. We’re delighted that Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace and Langley’s will be at the heart of the celebrations, and as always, our team is expecting a very busy week.”

For more information, please contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email enquiries@hi-spirits.com or see www.hi-spirits.com. The full Hi-Spirits portfolio is online at www.hi-spirits.com/portfolio.

Lynx Purchasing launches new branding

September 2016

Hospitality and catering buying specialist Lynx Purchasing has launched new branding as the business gears up for an expansion drive.

The revamped marketing approach will reinforce Lynx Purchasing’s key strengths, emphasising the openness and trust that are at the heart of Lynx’s relationship with its customers in its target sectors, which include hotels, restaurants, cafés, pubs & bars and care homes.

With increased import costs as a result of the post-Brexit fall in sterling starting to filter through the supply chain, and operators competing hard for customer spend, Lynx is highlighting the savings it can deliver on food and drink purchases, and well as a wide range of other essential products and services.

A redesigned company logo, along with updated marketing messages, will appear on all of Lynx’s communications with the hospitality and catering sector, including its website, social media, printed material and trade exhibitions.

Rachel Dobson, managing director of Lynx Purchasing, says, “We operate in a very competitive market and it’s important that our key message to customers is clear – not all purchasing companies are the same, and with Lynx Purchasing what you see is what you get.

“Our job is to help operators buy better and save time and money, year after year, with 100% of the savings we negotiate passed on. We have a proven track record of successful partnerships with leading operators in the hospitality and catering sector, and as we enter a period of greater price instability, our new marketing and branding messages will help us reach even more of the operators who can benefit from our support.”

For more information on Lynx Purchasing, visit www.lynxpurchasing.co.uk  email savings@lynxpurchasing.co.uk or call 01325 377 845

Second healthy hop harvest expected at Hogs Back Brewery

August 2016

Hogs Back Brewery is preparing for its second hop harvest this September, with expectations of a healthy crop thanks to favourable weather and skilful tending of the hop plants in the 3.5 acre garden, adjacent to the Brewery in Tongham, Surrey.

The 2016 harvest is expected to be between 40-50 zentners, or 2,000–2,500 kilos, which is more than double last year’s crop.

Hogs Back has continued to cultivate the same three hops it grew for its first harvest in 2015. These are the popular British varieties Fuggles and Cascade, along with Farnham White Bine, a local variety that was once prized for its aroma, but which had been ‘extinct’ until last year’s revival.

Hogs Back has used Farnham White Bine to create a single hop beer, Farnham White, which was initially available as a limited edition cask ale, and has now been launched as a bottled ale exclusive to Waitrose.

Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson said, “We’re looking forward to our second harvest. Last year, we left a lot of hops on the bine rather than picking them, in order to create stronger plants, so we’re hoping to literally reap the rewards this time with a yield of excellent quality hops.

“We doubled the number of strings to support the hop plants from two to four this year, and we’ve also been blessed with more hop-friendly weather with warmth, rain and sunshine at the right points in the growing cycle.

“The hop garden is a huge investment for us and we’re in it for the long term, learning and improving as we go. We’re delighted with the beers we produced from our own hops last season and excited about the potential that the hop garden gives us to create unique beers in the future. It also makes us a little more resilient than other brewers to the global hop shortage, particularly as we expand our plantings in future years to use more of our own hops in our beers, rather than buying in.”

He added, “Consumer interest in the hop garden has been bigger than we expected; 250 people came to our harvest party last year. In a crowded beer market, being the only UK brewer to grow our own hops gives us a point of difference that resonates with a growing number of consumers who are interested in sustainability and environmental issues.”

Hogs Back planted the hop garden in 2014, with the first harvest in September 2015. The initiative has already won accolades from the industry, with the British Beer & Pub Association’s Grain-to-Glass Award 2015 recognising the brewer’s commitment to sustainability and local community engagement and, earlier this year, the Society of Independent Brewers’ Business Innovation Award.

*The zentner is a traditional agricultural measurement of about 50 kilos, still used to measure hop harvests. 

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NOTES TO EDITORS

  • 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.
  • 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.