Social Event - Hogsback Brewery Tour 1 September 2010
The sometimes complex and mysterious nature of real ale became a little bit clearer for 20 members and guests of the West Surrey Members' Network, who enjoyed an informative (and thirst-quenching) tour of the award-winning Hogsback brewery in Tongham on Wednesday 1 September.
Founded in 1992 the brewery's 15 full time and eight part time staff today brews 57,000 pints per week and supply over 1,000 outlets. It's Traditional English Ale (TEA) has become its most popular ale and participants were given the chance to sample this and three other ales during the two hour tour.
During the course of the evening we were also given a thorough grounding in the brewing process, which began with an opportunity to hold and smell the primary ingredients - malted barley, hops and yeast (not forgetting the water!). As the tour progressed we were given an opportunity to see vats of beer at different stages of the production cycle, which we learned takes roughly one week from start to finish. As we wandered round the brewery provided quite generous measures of its four main ales to allow us to sample the products and give us an opportunity to try and pick up on the subtle differences between each.
At its conclusion all agreed it had been a successful social event and several participants took the chance to stock up on various beers in the brewery shop.