Hooky gold....

As Cotswold locals we like to think we know a fair bit about the area but recently we took the opportunity to explore a lesser known corner of the region. The launch of the main house at Tyne Hill gave us the excuse to sample the amber nectar at the nearby (its just 4 miles away) Hook Norton Brewery What an amazing place! Not only is it an iconic Victorian building (think Adams family) but ownership of the brewery has been in the same family for 5 generations since 1849: theyre very proud of their heritage and it shows. Made from all natural ingredients, locally sourced where possible and using time honoured methods, the end result is something to be proud of.There truly is something for everyone here. If you take the tour as we did, youll be fascinated to see that much of the original equipment is still used today: indeed they still fire up the original steam engine which used to power the whole brewery on the first Saturday of every month and like many fine old gentlemen, it still has much to offer and remains capable of doing a great job reassuring to know that in the event of a black-out, the beer could still flow.The tour lasts around an hour and a half, during which time youll learn all there is to know about the process in a very up close and hands-on way. The master brewers office is like a living museum and has a view to die for no wonder happiness is measured in pints!The tour culminates in the original maltings which now houses the visitor centre and local museum, as well as the obligatory gift shop and caf. Its here where the tasting takes place, all included in the tour fee and exceptional value for money regrettably on this occasion nominated driver status had fallen to me but next time Ill know better. My companions shared a hearty pork pie with pickles which proved the ideal accompaniment to the delicious ales.Other highlights include the shire horses which are still used on fine days to deliver beer to the local pubs in the village every Thursday & Friday at noon. They also take a late morning tour of the village on the first Saturday of the month.

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