Founded by friends Mark and Paul, Tilford Brewery is the venture of two individuals who share a passion for craft beer and brewing. Having a combined 40+ years’ experience in hospitality, working in pub management, liquor procurement and kitchens, Tilford Brewery was a natural progression for the duo and plans began to develop in late 2015.
A half barrel test kit was purchased in 2015 and they set about experimenting with different ingredients to create various beers; from traditional Belgian dubbels to American pale ales. The success of each brew was measured by the feedback from family and friends, which Paul highlighted as a hugely important factor and one which is mirrored in today’s industry; a customer focused model.
Defining what makes craft beer is rather a subjective topic. It cannot be defined by ingredients or by packaging (as laid out by CAMRA when defining real ale). Many craft beer producers are using ingredients like chillies, coffee grounds and various spices such as coriander alongside hops, malt, barley and yeast to create exciting new flavours. This brings an almost limitless and undefinable culture to the new wave of artisan brewers, something that Mark, a highly skilled and experienced chef, spoke passionately about as ”it brings back the romance and creativity” which became the norm for him after many years of cooking professionally.
Mark’s experience in recipe development and attention to detail has enabled the duo to create some exciting flavours, gaining positive feedback among those who have tasted their initial brews, bringing an exceptional level of quality which you will come to expect from Tilford Brewery in the upcoming months.
From conversation with the duo, there is a clear intention to push the boundaries of what is currently being produced and to maintain a level of innovation which artisan brewing allows. Each beer is intended to be treated as a unique experience for the drinker, produced with exciting ingredients to surprise the pallet and be memorable. It’s the core of their business and one we can look forward to seeing in upcoming brews.
Their ‘challenge the status quo’ ethos is sure to be a success when considering the current market; a multitude of breweries following a model of seasonal beers and traditional values. There has been a dramatic increase in micro brewing in the last three years with over 1,400 operating in the UK alone. This figure means it’s all the more important to differentiate your product if you are to stand out amongst the competition.
The break through producers of recent times, namely Brew Dog, Wild Beer and Siren Brewery are choosing to pursue a different path, one where innovation and experiment are at the forefront of their decision making; the result of which is turning heads and injecting innovation, creativity and new passion into an industry steeped in history.
The brewery is located in the beautiful countryside of Tilford, here at The Duke of Cambridge in our very own coach house. Mark has completely renovated the coach house with help from friends, and brewing experts from Fullers and Sharps. You get a real sense of a labour of love and dedication to the venture, something that only adds to the romance of the Tilford Brewery.
Their first commercial brew was completed in January and the beer is a testament to their brewing ability. They have used fresh ingredients to ensure a flavourful beer which gives it a distinct, rich flavour with notes reminiscent of a porter, but with a colour of traditional English ales and a floral palette of IPA’s.
Their first beer, Rushmoor Ripper is available at here at The Duke of Cambridge and at our sister pub The Wheatsheaf in Farnham.