Saturday 14 September 2013

A visit to Hook Norton brewery

On Monday night I went to Hook Norton brewery, founded in 1849. I's an impressive sight, there's something special about Victorian tower breweries.

They still have a steam engine, though it's only used on special occasions now:

Here's the bigger of their mash tuns...

....and look at that lovely underback:

Their big copper came from Flowers:

Their smaller copper is actually made of copper and is an open cauldron with an internal caladria:

Open fermenters as you'd expect:

There's a  copper cooler up in the roof. Much as I love old breweries I'm glad it's no longer in use. Being a microbiologist it just fills me the horror thinking how easy it would be for beer cooling in a shallow open tray to pick up infection.

I was blown away by another old bit of equipment in the brewery though. I'm used to seeing old mills in breweries, and the mill currently in use at Hook Norton is 100 years old, but it had never occurred to me that I might see mill stones in a brewery:

Don't know when it was last used but I suspect it was a long time ago.

Hook Norton run regular tours and if ever  you're up that way I can  highly recommend a visit.


  1. I would love to visit Hook Norton. Thirty odd years ago, whilst on a cycling and camping holiday in the Cotswolds, I cycled up to the brewery, but they weren't doing tours back then. The Pear Tree pub, just down the road, partially made up for it with some excellent beer and a decent ploughman's lunch!

  2. It's funny how things change, they're doing tours twice a day now.