Meet the team: Matthew & the Hops

Without Matthew, we wouldn’t have hops, without hops we wouldn’t have beer! Matthew King was instrumental in establishing our Revival Hop Garden back in 2014 and led on the Big Hop move to the new garden. Him and Rupert have worked together on their joint vision for ‘Field to Firkin in a Furlong’ and making our brewery one of the greenest.

This September, Matthew will be managing the first harvest from the new garden. This will be the biggest to date and we are hoping to do this from our team with the help of a few friends and family. So this is the chance to introduce our hops.

Name: Mattew J. King
Role: Estate Manager & Brew House guru
Previous occupation: Travelling and Logistics Yeoman to H.M. The Queen – The Harbinger who was sent around the world searching for digs suitable for The Sovereign to stay overnight.

Favourite Hogs Back beer: Hop Garden Gold – preferred as a draught – A case does not last too long at home!

Where would be your ideal place to enjoy a drink: 5pm on a hot summer’s afternoon, outside a pub in central London, flicking through a copy of the Evening Standard while observing the early evening bustle of a great City.

Who would you love to enjoy a pint with and why: James Hunt – google him kids!

Matthew King, hop garden manager (left) and Rupert Thompson, managing director, check the progress of hop plants in the Hogs Back Brewery Hop Garden.
Matthew King, hop garden manager (left) and Rupert Thompson, managing director, check the progress of hop plants in the Hogs Back Brewery Hop Garden. (2017)

Fuggles

A classic British hop, widely used in Best Bitters. Creates a lovely earthy aroma and a nice deep body throughout the beer. We use it widely throughout our traditional bottle range and TEA is made with 100% Fuggles. As TEA is our flagship ale, half of our garden is dedicated to Fuggles

Farnham White Bine hops harvested and ready to be picked (2018)

English Cascade

The backbone of our keg range, the floral, citrus notes in Hogstar, Hog IPA and Surrey Nirvana can be attributed to Cascade. The hop gets it’s name from the Cascade mountains on the West Coast of America where the hop tends to grow. We experimented with bringing the variety to these shores and it has taken well to chalky soils of the North Downs. We leave the hop out in the garden for an extra couple of weeks to absorb a little more sunshine before harvesting.

Farnham White Bine

The Farnham White Bine hop was originally developed in the early 1700s just a mile and a half from the current Hogs Back brewery. It was highly prized for its aromas and was the precursor variety to the better-known Kent Goldings. The hop all but disappeared for 150 years before we re-introduced it into the revival garden to much local excitement in 2014. We quickly discovered that it is a very temperamental plant, needing lots of tender loving care, which Matthew was all too happy to provide. For 3 years we brewed Farnham White, a beer exclusively made for Waitrose. That beer was paused following our final harvest from the old garden as we plan something bigger and better from our new garden. In the meantime, White Bine has been used as a bittering hop across our bottled range.

Harvest 2020 is planned to take place from Monday 14th September so take a look at our social media to see live updates from the harvest.