PRESS RELEASES

Enterprise Inns serves up first White Bine beer in a century

December 2015

Hogs Back Brewery Farnham White bitter offers unique ale for January

Hogs Back Brewery has marked the start of the first harvest from its Hop Garden with a special event for customers, the local media, and beer writers. The Surrey brewer’s guests had the opportunity to see the entire process from picking fresh hops right through to enjoying a ‘green hopped’ pint of ale over a picnic lunch in the garden.
The harvest includes the Farnham White Bine variety, a near-extinct hop once highly-prized by brewers for its aroma. Hogs Back Brewery is bringing the White Bine back to its home in the 250th anniversary year of its development by local hop farmer Mr Peckham Williams of nearby Badshot Lea.
As well as picking some of the first hops from the 3.5 acre hop garden adjacent to the brewery, the group spent time at the nearby Hampton Estate, which will be drying the Hogs Back Brewery crop for use in its beers, including flagship ale TEA.
After seeing some of Hampton Estate’s crop of Fuggles hops cut, picked and dried, it was back to the brewery where head brewer Miles Chesterman added whole hops from the Hogs Back garden to a specially-brewed ale. This ‘green hopping’ was a traditional way to celebrate the harvest in hop-growing communities.
Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson also demonstrated a selection of traditional hop-picking equipment, including antique stilts used to reach the highest hop flowers, on loan from the Farnham Museum. Thompson said: “We’re very proud to be reviving the local hop-growing tradition, so it was wonderful to welcome our guests and celebrate traditions such as raising a glass of green hopped ale.
“There has been great interest locally in the hop garden, and we’re collecting many of our friends and neighbours’ memories of Farnham’s hop picking heritage. As we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the Farnham White Bine, we’re also very much looking forward. We’re drawing on Britain’s rich brewing heritage to create innovative styles such as our Hogstar English Lager and Montezuma’s Chocolate Lager, as well as continuing with our traditional ales such as TEA, and the hop garden is central to our approach.”
Tim Hampson, award-winning beer writer and chairman of the Guild of British Beer Writers, said: “It was an excellent event, and I learnt a lot about the process of growing, picking and preparing hops for brewing. There is huge consumer interest in local food and drink, so it’s great to see a British brewer investing in growing British hops for their own beers.”
As well as the Farnham White Bine, Hogs Back Brewery is also harvesting Fuggles, used in TEA, and Cascade, used in Hogstar English Lager. The brewery is expecting a crop of around 30 zentners or 1,500 kilos – enough for 25% of their annual beer production.
Captions to attached images:
Rupert Thompson with vintage hop stilts
Head brewer Miles Chesterton (far right) leads hop picking
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Hogs Back Brewery
• Hogs Back Brewery was founded in 1992 in Tongham, Surrey, in the heart of the traditional Surrey hop growing area, and bought by current owner Rupert Thompson in 2011.
• Its flagship brand TEA, or Traditional English Ale, is the leading independent ale in Surrey and increasing in popularity throughout London and the South East, as well as being sold in leading supermarkets. TEA was recently awarded the Gold medal in the Best Bitter Category for the London and South East Area by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.
• The Hogs Back Brewery range includes a number of award-winning draught and bottled ales. Recent launches include Hogstar English Lager and Montezuma’s Chocolate Lager, both demonstrating Hogs Back Brewery’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. Last year, Hogs Back also launched a traditional cloudy cider, Hazy Hog.
• In 2014 Hogs Back Brewery planted its own hop field on land adjacent to the brewery, bringing the traditional but near-extinct Farnham White Bine hop variety back to its Surrey home.
• Hogs Back Brewery is growing its presence in both the on and off trade. Customers include Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, 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

Beer Sommelier 100th Accreditation

November 2015

The number of Beer Sommeliers has reached the 100 milestone following a handful of recent accreditations by global beer education body the Beer Academy.

Linda Sheehan of Barry Group in Ireland became the 100th Beer Sommelier after passing the final stage of the assessment at the Beer Academy offices in London earlier this month.  Two other candidates, from the UK and Lithuania, successfully completed their Beer Academy accreditation on the same day.

The Beer Sommelier accreditation is the ultimate qualification in beer knowledge. To succeed, candidates must first submit a written application including a portfolio demonstrating their work in promoting beer.

If successful at this stage, they attend an assessment with Beer Academy director of training Alex Barlow, where they are questioned on their portfolio, before being asked to identify a number of beer styles and off flavours, and to recommend beer matches for a range of dishes.

Jerry Avis, chief executive officer of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, which operates the Beer Academy, said: ‘We are delighted to have reached the 100 mark on Beer Sommelier accreditations. Since launching the qualification in 2011, we have seen demand for it grow in tandem with the interest in beer and brewing both in the UK and abroad.

“For beer professionals across the industry, securing this endorsement of their beer knowledge has been of enormous value, opening new opportunities for them to host beer tastings, design beer lists or deliver beer training. Beer Sommelier accreditation is fast becoming a quality marque, used by brewers, operators, educators, publishers and others seeking professionals with beer knowledge.”

Sheehan is currently International Trade Specialist & Exclusive Label Brand Ambassador for Alcohol with Barry Group, a leading independent retail and wholesale company with franchises including Carry Out specialist off-licences. She has worked in the food and drink industry internationally for 14 years.

Sheehan said, “My love of beer guided me to the Beer Academy and I completed four of its training programmes before applying for Beer Sommelier accreditation.

“The world of beer is becoming ever more diverse and dynamic and offers exciting opportunities. I’m keen to engage more people across retail, wholesale, on and off trade channels with beer and this highly-regarded qualification will add huge value to my endeavours.  Becoming the 100th Beer Sommelier makes it an even greater celebration.”

Beer Sommelier accreditation has been achieved by beer professionals in 16 countries, among them brewers, licensees, restaurateurs, writers and marketeers, On passing the accreditation, Beer Sommeliers are presented with a certificate and listed with a biography on the Beer Academy website http://www.beeracademy.co.uk/courses/beer-sommelier/results/