Hogs Back brewery is kick-starting the celebrations for its 30th anniversary in style, by putting its home village in Surrey firmly on the map with the rebrand of its flagship ale as Tongham TEA.
The new name and accompanying stylish visual update for TEA, or Traditional English Ale, reflect Hogs Back’s place at the heart of the community in Tongham and more widely across Surrey. For the first time, the ‘Farm Brewery’ statement is included on bottle labels and pump clip.
The Tongham TEA branding will appear on 500ml bottles, as well as on the new pump clip, glasses and other marketing support in the on-trade. It has a traditional, graphic style, with an illustration of the familiar Hog mascot in front of the brewery, farm buildings and fields.
Hogs Back managing director Rupert Thompson said, “TEA was the first beer brewed by Hogs Back when the brewery opened in 1992 and was originally called Tongham TEA. Returning to this name reflects the strong affection that beer drinkers in our Surrey heartland have for both the beer and the brewery.
“The new TEA design is the deliberate antithesis of the abstract names and designs that currently characterise the craft brewing sector, but TEA is just as much a crafted beer. TEA is a local, natural, fresh beer, proudly from a specific location – everything a traditional English ale should be. The design communicates that simply, emphasising what’s unique about Tongham TEA and now with its own distinctly authentic and individual style.”
Thompson continues: “Our ambition for Tongham TEA is first and foremost to be a local hero, as the flagship of Hogs Back Brewery. Of course, it has a wider following, both nationally and in the export market, but we believe that putting our provenance at the heart of the name only strengthens that appeal.
TEA has become even more rooted in its locality in recent years. Hogs Back now grows the Fuggles hops that give the beer its distinctive flavour and aroma in its own hop garden next to the brewery, highlighted on the neck collar. The new fresh green colour reflects this.
Thompson believes that the Surrey Farm Brewery positioning will appeal to a new generation of craft beer drinkers who appreciate genuine, rural provenance. He says, “Hogs Back is leading the way for brewers in the UK who have been founded on a farming heritage that gives them a deep understanding of the ingredients used in brewing.
“There are other brewers now taking a similar approach in both the US and UK, and we believe there is an appetite among consumers for these farm brewery values of authenticity, provenance and local community.”
Tongham TEA was the first beer out of the brewery gates when Hogs Back was founded in 1992 and quickly became a favourite with local beer drinkers. It has been the brewery’s flagship beer ever since, winning a number of awards over the years including CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain in 2000 and Best Bitter in the London & South East region in 2015.
Tongham TEA is a full-bodied, well-balanced bitter, brewed in small batches using English malt carefully balanced with Fuggles hops. It is gently fermented to leave some of the natural malt sugars, giving a full and satisfying flavour with a long, dry finish.