The brewer, founded in 1992, has revealed that a rebranded Hogstar lager and three new beers: Unfiltered TEA, Hog IPA and low ABV blonde beer Little Swine will be unveiled at Craft Beer Rising 2019, which takes place at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, east London, on 21-23 February.
Hogstar, a 4.5% ABV lager brewed with special lager malts and five different UK hops; Unfiltered TEA, an unfiltered version of Hogs Back’s flagship TEA; Hog IPA, a 4.5% ABV light, hoppy ale with a blend of floral and fresh citrus notes; and Little Swine, a new 2.8% ABV dry-hopped aromatic blonde beer, will launch in response to the demands of younger drinkers – who the brewer claims favour keg beers.
However, the new range is also expected to satisfy the long-standing drinkers of Hogs Back’s cask beers – in particular TEA (Traditional English Ale), which enjoyed impressive growth last year despite the overall 6.8% decline in cask sales volume.
New product designs are initially being launched on eye-catching draught fonts before being rolled out to packaged products – such as canned and bottled Hogstar and Hog IPA in cans – later this year. Packs for Little Swine and Unfiltered TEA are yet to be confirmed.
Launch into fast-growing sectors
Hogs Back managing director Rupert Thompson explained that the brewer was delighted with its new keg beer “family”.
“Although we’ve been brewing great keg beers, including Hogstar lager, for some years, we’ve been seen more as a cask brewer, thanks to the success of TEA,” he explained.
“That all changes now as we launch new beers into fast-growing sectors of the market – low ABV, unfiltered and IPA – and present them alongside Hogstar lager.
“We’re confident our keg beers will compete in modern craft beer bars, as well as finding a place in more traditional pubs already stocking Hogs Back’s cask ales, particularly TEA.”
Hogs Back has recently relocated its hop garden and announced plans to build a hop kiln and warehouse, as part of a £700,000 investment at its Tongham village base.
The new 8.5-acre hop garden is almost three times the size of the previous one and, when fully mature, will provide 50% of Hogs Back’s hops.