Hook Norton real ales are made with four natural ingredients, malted barley, hops, yeast and spring water. Although these ingredients are very simple, in the hands of our skilled Head Brewer, James Clarke, they come together to produce colours, aromas and tastes that make our quality real ale and beers among the most popular in the country.
Hook Norton’s range of draught beers are known as real ale or cask conditioned, which means they are living, breathing beers that undergo a natural secondary fermentation and mature in the container from which it is served in a pub. Many of our beers are also available in bottle conditioned form, where the beer undergoes its secondary fermentation in the bottle instead of the cask.
Most importantly, there are absolutely no additives or E numbers to make it last longer or preserve flavour. Our beer is naturally good.
Wherever possible we believe in supporting the local community and the region in which we live and work. Quality ingredients are vital to our product and if we can buy locally, then we do, working hard to maintain close relationships with local farmers who can supply us with the raw ingredients we need to make the very best beer.
Our water doesn’t travel too far – just 200 feet up from the wells beneath the brewery, giving Hooky beer a flavour all of its own. We also use our own yeast culture and have been using the same strain of yeast for many years!
All the barley and the majority of hops that we use (Fuggles, Goldings and Challenger) are grown in the UK with some even being sourced from Oxfordshire (some Maris Otter and Fuggles.) Every year we visit hop merchants and hop farms to assess the quality of the hops and the aroma. Following an age old system, hops have great traceability – when they arrive at the brewery we can tell the variety, the crop year, the farmer, the field where they were grown and when they were harvested.