Pig Beer brewed in the New Forest
As you know I love to support small businesses and have been itching to catch up with the founders of Pig Beer for some time, two brothers, Tom and Lawrence Baynham together with their cousin Harry decided to set up their own micro-brewery after many years of home brewing. Last week I went to visit the brewery to find out a little bit more about the trio and the new beer being produced on our doorstep.
Harry tells me the search began for premises about 18 months ago and the former pig farm seemed perfect. Tom moved into the old grounds keepers cottage a beautiful listed property in the grounds. The farm and butchery that had originally been an open fronted tin roof barn has become the new brewery.
Unfortunately lockdown halted brewing because essential equipment - namely a steam generator needed commissioning works but with only two people in Britain able to do this vital piece of work, production has only just commenced.
You can see the hops growing from the brewery they are carefully manicured by the sheep who were sleeping underneath the trees when I visited, they are allowed in to munch once the vines are established.
The first beer produced was ‘Simply Session’ now renamed ‘Session’ it has proved to be very popular with local establishments. Rachel Rabbetts owner of the recently transformed (The Hobbler) now Rosie Lea House took on a 'free of tie' tenancy and has Pig Beer it on draft as their house beer. (Note to self must pay a visit there too).
With so many events cancelled because of Covid 19 the team are thankful for the continued collaboration with Cloud Nine Glamping in Wimborne they have created a special edition beer for the event 'Cloud Nine IPA'. I took one home to sample on our boat (top picture).
The trio are keen to make the brewery as sustainable as possible and have devised a water storage system by burying a twenty thousand litre tank under the car park for the waste water created during the brewing process, it is then used for watering the hops.
The hops being grown are 'Prima Donna' an old english variety known for their citrus/floral character perfect for the craft beers produced in the brewery, harvest takes place late September\October then they need to be dried, tested for moisture content and frozen for future use.
Some building work is still ongoing at the brewery but it is mostly for much needed storage, in the future the brewery hopes to offer tours and there is also potential for a bar in the grounds creating a small but perfect event space.
Hopefully in the not to distant future you will be able to enter the rural barn into the brightly painted shop area kitted out with scaffold board fixtures and view the space age looking brewery equipment whilst the boys tell you their beer story themselves.
In the meantime, Pig Beer can be purchased online or if you are local or visiting the New Forest pop in and say hi and buy a few bottles.