Doing my bit for the Surrey hop-growing industry
I’ve been invited on plenty of brewery visits over the years, but never before has the invite come with the request: “Please bring wellies and a spade.” This, however, was a field trip in a considerably more literal sense than normal: to the two and a half-acre field right opposite the Hogs Back brewery in Tongham, just outside Farnham in Surrey, to witness – and take part in – a historic event: the first planting of the Farnham White Bine hop variety in its native soil since the last bines were grubbed up 85 years ago. This is not just, however, a footnote in Farming Today magazine: this is, according to Hogs Back’s chairman, Rupert Thompson, an important step towards increasing the “localism” aspect of the brewery’s products. Once the new hop ground (the proper Surrey name for what elsewhere are called hop gardens or hop yards) are producing a healthy crop, those hops can then be used to flavour the beer being brewed just yards away: Surrey’s own hop variety, grown in Surrey, to produce Surrey beers.
How India pale ale conquered the world
INDIA pale ale (IPA) had a good claim to be the first global beer, before lager took a grip on the world’s tipplers. Now IPA, an amber, hop-laden brew, high in alcohol, is regaining its global footprint. Arguments rage about the origins and history of IPA. Britain’s territories on the Indian subcontinent were generally too hot for brewing. So a couple of hundred years ago, to keep army officers and officials of the East India Company away from the fearsome local firewater, beer was exported from Britain to take its place. Whether a beer already existed that had the characteristics of IPA or whether it was developed for the purpose is a matter of heated debate among beer historians. What is clear is that hops, which act as a preservative as well as a flavouring, combined with a hefty dose of alcohol for added robustness, ensured that the beer survived the long sea journey to India. Indeed, the months jiggling in a barrel onboard seemed only to improve the flavour. The style caught on at home, as the brew seeped onto the domestic market.
How We Brewed the Beer of the Future
It’s time for the final chapter in the story of our collaboration with Sixpoint to make Hop Tech 431, the beer of the future. First, we found an experimental hop and we designed a brand-new recipe, then we trained a swarm of autonomous robots to do the brewing. Just kidding. Instead, we brewed it the old-school way—by hand—on Sixpoint’s 15-barrel system in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Gizmodo joined brewers Danny Bruckert and Keir Hamilton to take our turn with the mash paddle (which subsequently broke, in a—we claim—entirely unrelated incident).
Stone Brewery Evacuated Due To Wild Fires In San Marcos, CA
Photos and tweets courtesy of Stone: We are officially evacuating our home base. Thanks to everyone for expressing their care and concern. This is the view from the roof of our brewery. Wishing best to friends throughout San Diego County!!! #sanmarcosfire
Reports of the Craft Beer Bubble Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
If you’ve spent any time talking to people in the craft beer community, you’ve heard them bring the subject around to an ominous prospect for the industry: a bubble. The argument goes that an industry with such short pedigree and such rapid growth will invariably collapse under the weight of its own success, resulting in bankrupt businesses, lost jobs, and empty glassware. But is the bubble real? Or is it just a specter brought about by nervous beer-drinkers? First, let’s take a look at the facts.
10 FUNNIEST BREWERY ‘UNDER 21′ REDIRECT PAGES
The idiots that be determined that people under 21 years old shouldn’t be allowed to look at brewery websites because they might get secondhand wasted. Many breweries just have a “tough shit” pop up or redirect to Google. But some take it upon themselves to ease the defeat with entertainment.