First ‘community’ beer launched by Tilford brewery

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tilford Brewery Founders: Mark Collins (left) and Paul Griffiths
Tilford Brewery Founders: Mark Collins (left) and Paul Griffiths

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A microbrewery has joined forces with locals from the Farnham Beer Project to create its first community beer.

Tilford Brewery, which is housed in the grounds of the award-winning Red Mist Leisure pub the Duke of Cambridge, in Tilford, Surrey, produced the 4% ABV blonde ale Farnham Prima Donna to show the social side of brewing.

Members of the community group grew the Prima Donna hops in their gardens as part of a step towards re-localising a small part of the food system.

The Farnham Hoppers

Hop-growing group the Farnham Hoppers were at the heart of the project and took charge of growing the hops.

Brewery co-founder Mark Collins said: “After our Rushmoor Ripper (an English-style bitter) won the highly coveted title of ‘Beer of The Year 2017’ at Farnham’s Beerex in April, several Campaign for Real Ale members got in touch with us to ask if we would be interested in supporting their Farnham Hopper’s harvest for 2017.

“With collaboration and community underpinning our core ethos we were of course very keen to help.”

The beer will be sold in seven of Surrey-based Red Mist Leisure’s pubs, including the Red Lion, Odiham, the Exchequer, Crookham, and  the Royal Exchange, Lindford, all in Hampshire; and the Wheatsheaf, Farnham, the Duke of Cambridge, Tilford, the Queens Head, East Clandon, and the Stag on the River, Eashing, all in Surrey.

Red Mist Leisure managing director Mark Robson said: “The brewing scene in the UK is really thriving and we are proud to have Tilford Brewery based in our coach house. 

‘All about community’

“The ethos of both our companies is all about community and this brew is already getting a big thumbs-up from customers.”

Chris Hunt, from the Farnham Hoppers adds, “You could liken this initiative to community gardening in a way – people enjoying stuff in their garden, and hops make a nice crop to grow

“But this is also very much about the community and the social side of it – at the end of summer they come together to pick hops and then in the autumn time we can meet again and drink it collectively.”

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