Hogs Back Brewery takes CAMRA’s top award with ‘A over T’

The whole brewery team is celebrating after hearing that A over T beer has been crowned CAMRA’s Champion Bottled Beer of Britain 2020.

The latest award adds to a series of prestigious accolades for the 9% ABV bottle conditioned barley wine. Rupert Thompson, Hogs Back Brewery managing director, said: “After a challenging year for everyone, this is a wonderful way to mark the start of the recovery.

“A over T has been a regular finalist and medal winner in CAMRA awards over the years, and since CAMRA has sadly been unable to judge cask ales during the lockdown, we’re delighted that A over T, our ‘cask in a bottle’, is CAMRA’s flagship champion beer this year.

“It’s very fitting that a strong ale wins the accolade after a year in which both brewers and pubs have had to call on our strength and resilience to get through.”       

A over T was awarded the Gold Medal and Champion title following a rigorous judging process involving a panel of beer experts, who tasted bottle-conditioned beers from across the country. The 2020 vintage won the judges’ votes thanks to its rich, complex flavours and wonderful aromas, which give the beer its full name – Aromas over Tongham, after the village near Farnham which is home to the brewery.

We are now planning a celebration brew of A over T, which will be in prime condition when the brewery celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2022 – as long as beer lovers can resist opening it sooner.

Thompson said: “A over T has been a consistent favourite over the years and its loyal drinkers are always keen to try out the newest vintage, with many of them buying a bottle to enjoy straight away, as well as a few more to put away to savour when the beer has matured further in the bottle.”

A over T is brewed in small batches and matured in the brewery cellar, like a fine wine. Made from high quality English malted barley, Kent Goldings hops are added for bitterness and aroma and Bramling Cross to further enhance the character, resulting in complex flavours of sultanas, orange peel and plums. It’s best enjoyed in a wine glass or a brandy balloon, to concentrate its aromas, and is a wonderful match with blue cheese, such as a well-aged Stilton, and with rich desserts.

Among previous awards for A over T are: Gold Medal, International Beer Challenge 2016; Gold Medal, Barley Wine category, CAMRA Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2013; SIBA Champion Barley Wine of Britain 2014; Top 50 Beers of the World, International Beer Challenge 2006; and CAMRA Supreme Champion Winter Ale of Britain 2006.

A over T is available from the online shop and selected retailers. In the Brewery Shop, a case of 12 x 330ml bottle retails at £42.56