Embark on a journey through time and taste with Hook Norton Brewery
Known for producing top-quality beers using only the finest ingredients and a combination of modern technology and time-honoured techniques since 1849. Our team had the privilege of not only tasting the delicious lunch menu at Malthouse Kitchen but also embarking on a guided tour of the brewery to learn about its history.
Last May, our team had the privilege of reviewing the excellent breakfast offering at the Malthouse Kitchen within Hook Norton Brewery. Imagine our delight when we were recently invited back to not only taste the lunch menu but also to embark on a guided tour of the brewery and learn about the history of this iconic building.
The brewery, established in 1849, is known for producing top-quality beers using only the finest ingredients and a combination of modern technology and time-honoured techniques.
As we sat down to enjoy our lunch, we started with three appetising starters – Homemade Soup with Warm Crusty Bread, Warm Quiche with Dressed Salad & Chutney, and Loaded Nachos. The soup was rich and hearty, a perfect choice for the cold weather. The quiche was bursting with flavour and beautifully crafted. The loaded nachos, with stacks of tortilla and jalapenos combined with melted cheese and BBQ pulled pork was a delicious combination.
For the main course, we ordered Draymans Dinner, Malthouse Burger, and Steak & Hooky Pie. The Draymans Dinner, a classic pub meal, was prepared to perfection. The hand-carved beer and honey gammon was juicy and flavourful, and the homemade slaw, pickled onion, cornichon, red onion marmalade, and crusty roll made this meal well-rounded. The Malthouse Burger, made with local beef, was juicy and delicious, with mustard cheddar, barbecue sauce, and beer- battered onion rings created a mouth-watering combination. The Steak & Hooky Pie was a beautifully crafted pie that was very satisfying, with handmade shortcrust pastry, wholegrain mustard mash, and braised red cabbage, combined with seasonal vegetables and gravy.
For dessert, we had Stout Brownie & Ice Cream, Chocolate Honeycomb Cheesecake, and a Scone with Clotted Cream & Strawberry Jam. The Stout Brownie & Ice Cream was a decadent dessert perfect for chocolate lovers. The Chocolate Honeycomb Cheesecake was an exceptional and delightful treat with its unique texture. The scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam was a great example of this classic British dessert.
Following the meal, we met Peter, our tour guide, in the Brewery Museum to start our tour.
Prior to the tour, we visited the stables to meet the three magnificent shire horses in permanent residence, Brigadier, Nelson and Lady Grey. Lady Grey still maintains traditions by delivering beer by dray to the Pear Tree pub in the village on a weekly basis.
The tour began with a visit to the brewery’s copper vessels, where the brewing process starts. The wort, the sweet liquid extracted from the malt, is boiled with hops to create the beer.
Peter explained the different types of hops used in the brewing process and their impact on the beer’s flavour. We then went to the Mash Tun Room, where the malt is mixed with hot water to create the wort, which is then transferred to the copper vessels for boiling with hops.
In the Fermentation Room, yeast is added to the beer to start the fermentation process. Peter explained the different types of yeast used in the brewing process and their impact on the beer’s flavour.
After the tour, we were invited to enjoy a drink in the taproom, where we sampled some of Hook Norton Brewery’s finest ales and beers. This was a great place to relax and unwind, surrounded by the historic charm of the brewery.
In conclusion, a tour of Hook Norton Brewery provides a fascinating journey through time and taste. The friendly staff and charming Victorian buildings make for a memorable and enjoyable experience even better when combined with lunch at the Malthouse Kitchen.