When one is retired there is a chance to do all those things you missed whilst working.
A recent one was a visit to the Hogs Back brewery. They opened in 1992 having had the owner perfect the brewing process with the help of local inhabitants (wonder where they get volunteers?). Their story is on the website
Interestingly the old farm buildings used to be home to Hogs. Their shop and exhibition centre have a few of these as models- one even in party dress
The brewery tour is very informative and the guide is a real professional who managed to keep us enthralled for nearly 2 hours.
There were also regular tastings to make sure we understood the difference between beers:-Tea, Little Swine and Nirvana. There was also a Lager Hogstar and a Cider Hazy Hog.
It was very interesting to hear how the brewing processes for these were all so different. Importantly a significant proportion of their hops and malt were sourced quite locally. The community involvement was also strong because when the brewery set up a new hops garden in 2014 local volunteers did the planting.
Some of you will be aware that into the 1950’s there was a “holiday” during July/August that was to go “hopping”. This was when whole families would travel to the country to harvest the hops. (A more social, family and climate friendly option than our typical package holidays).
The trip finished with a brief insight into the challenges for a brewer. Beer is brewed for a certain event and if weather is not hot then there is a lot of stock ” left over”- and beer has a short shelf life. The quantities are also vast, at 216 gallons for a tun ( 980 litres) and this is apparently equivalent to 4 hogsheads of 52.5 gallons (238.7litres). This explains the common name for pubs as the Three Tuns.
At the end of the tour we visited the shop, a real delight with not only local beers but also from across the UK, Europe and beyond.
Here is the link to their range of beers. I was not paid to advertise their beers but would like to support an enterprise which works with its community
And if you were keen to try the various beers on tap they had a well equipped bar
For a summer weekend they also had a very good outside space
The best bit is that I now know what it means to have “Tea”
It also takes Brains to sell Tea to People Like Us and you deserve a Goldstar.
Cheers and enjoy your retirement- sorry could not resist having a Goldstar.