Hogs Back Brewery is building a new hop kiln on the brewery site at Manor Farm in Tongham, Surrey. The project is believed to be the first traditional style kiln to be constructed in the county for over 100 years.
The kiln will cost £350,000, taking total investment in the brewery and hop garden over the last 12 months to £700,000. It will be operational ahead of Hogs Back’s harvest in September.
Being built on the site occupied for many years by an original kiln within Manor Farm, the kiln will be used to dry hops for around one month and then serve as an event space and visitor centre for the rest of the year.
Hogs Back is also investing in state-of-the-art vacuum packing technology to capture the hops’ freshness, with the aim of having them packed within 24 hours of picking. Once packed, hops will be stored in optimum conditions in a new warehouse, to be housed in a converted barn on the farm.
“A £700,000 investment, at a time of some uncertainty in the beer market, speaks volumes for our long-term commitment to brewing in Surrey,” said Rupert Thompson, managing director of Hogs Back Brewery.
Hogs Back’s new hop garden occupies 8.5 acres of prime farmland on Manor Farm, and work started last autumn to prepare it for the 2019 growing season.