Hogs Back Brewery has added to its growing trophy cabinet after winning the prestigious Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Business Innovation Award for 2016.
The accolade was presented to Surrey–based Hogs Back in recognition of its investment in its hop garden, adjacent to the brewery in Tongham.
The first hops were harvested in September 2015, with Hogs Back later launching Farnham White, a seasonal ale made with the historic Farnham White Bine hop variety, which Hogs Back has revived.
Hogs Back managing director Rupert Thompson collected the trophy at the annual SIBA Business & Industry Awards, held at the BeerX event in Sheffield on 17 March. The judges commented that they were impressed by Hogs Back’s “bold approach to growing their own hops to supply the brewery, which not only makes good financial and business sense, but shows a real commitment to sustainability and British brewing heritage - values which seem core to their business.”
Thompson said, “We are delighted that SIBA has singled us out for an award that specifically recognises innovation. With more than 1,400 breweries in the UK, competition for space on the bar, supermarket shelf and convenience store fridge has never been fiercer.
“For a small brewer like Hogs Back, innovation is key, and the Hop Garden is just part of a programme that has also seen the launch of new beers and packaging formats.”
He added, “This award is a tribute to everyone who has been involved in the development of the hop garden, from our hop manager Matthew King and head brewer Miles Chesterman right through to our friends and neighbours in Tongham who pitched in to help with the harvest.”