My name is Tim and I make beer for a living. This tends to get a pretty positive response from people and for good reason. I get to practice a craft (brewing) that I value deeply with the result being something that many people really enjoy.
That’s the thing about beer. Unlike medicine or vegetables, the people who consume it tend to enjoy doing so. It really does make people happy and I take great satisfaction from that.
The new Brewhouse at the Wild Boar has been operational for nearly three months now and things are going well. After installation, we got straight down to brewing and the bar has been serving two ales made on the premises virtually uninterrupted throughout the summer. By all accounts, the offerings that have been made have also been well received and all parties are looking forward to continually developing the service and the beers on offer.
As for the beers, the idea at the Wild Boar was to have an ever-present house ale complemented by a seasonally variant, slightly more experimental offering. Mad Pig Ale, the former, is a 4.0%ABV cask bitter designed to be enjoyed on its own or with food. It can be characterized by its dry body and subtle hop additions that add intrigue to an easy-drinking, session beer.
As for the seasonal, the summer saw the launch of Hogshead 54, a 5.5% Imperial Pale Ale. Not one for the faint hearted, this beer takes a retrospective look at the brewing traditions of the 18th and 19th Centuries when this peerless style was exported all over the British Empire to satisfy the cravings of thirsty colonialists. Characterized by its strength and high hopping levels, Hogshead is named after the barrels that were used to transport the ales to India and elsewhere. In these 54 gallon vessels, the strong, hoppy beer would mature on the voyage and result in the magical elixir that one would consume at the other end of the journey.
While Hogshead has been a great success,with the autumn approaching it is time to start thinking about what will come next.
At the heart of this project was the desire to add to the value of what is already happening at the Wild Boar. For me, the Wild Boar is about balancing luxury, tradition and the potential of the beautiful surroundings to provide a unique package. With this in mind, the concept for the next seasonal is to produce a dark porter using malt smoked in the Wild Boar’s onsite smokehouse. The ideal accompaniment to rich, savoury dishes, this beer will be perfect as the weather begins to cool and the nights start to darken.
With provenance and setting at its core, the Brewhouse at the Wild Boar promises to be a long-term, positive addition to what is already a brilliant destination. Beer is very simple. We make it because people like to drink it. If we focus on exactly why that is, we shouldn’t go too far wrong.
- Written by +Tina Taylor