St Albans breweries make it into Good Beer Guide

PUBLISHED: 15:57 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:57 19 September 2017

Mediocria Firma, a beer from the Foragers Brewery at The Verulam Arms. Photo: FORAGERS BREWERY

Mediocria Firma, a beer from the Foragers Brewery at The Verulam Arms. Photo: FORAGERS BREWERY

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Two breweries in St Albans have debuted in the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide 2018.

White Hart Tap in St AlbansWhite Hart Tap in St Albans

Forager’s Brewery at The Verulam Arms and the White Hart Tap Brewery have both made it into the ale almanac.

The Forager’s Richard Osmond said: “We’re really proud that the brewery is being included in the Good Beer Guide. What we’re doing is quite unusual, so it’s good to hear people appreciate our eccentricity.

“It has also been hard work to get to the position we’re in now. We started by only brewing the occasional cask of ale and offering it alongside other well-known ales, but we’ve now reached the point where all the cask ales on the bar are from our brewery, and cover a range of styles and flavours.”

The Forager’s four core beers are Mediocria Firma (four per cent), Grindecobbe (five per cent), Saint Cloak (4.8 per cent), and Slingshot (four per cent).

The Foragers at the Verulam Arms co-founders Gerald Waldeck and George Fredenham. Photo: DANNY LOOThe Foragers at the Verulam Arms co-founders Gerald Waldeck and George Fredenham. Photo: DANNY LOO

Each brew has a wild ingredient, ranging from wild mushrooms to sweet woodruff.

“We were worried about taking the plunge into only offering our own brews - worried that without recognisable big name ales like London Pride or Timothy Taylor on offer customers would be put off.

“But the opposite happened. Sales of our real ales skyrocketed. So we’re all very excited that our customers have given us the seal of approval. It’s great they are adventurous enough to try new beers, but even better is the fact they come back for more!”

The White Hart Tap Brewery started a couple of years ago, and specialise in modern, hoppy beers - two of which will be at the St Albans beer festival.

Landlord Stephen McConnell says he is pleased to win a place in the Guide.

“I’m very passionate about beers. We’re very small scale, more of a nano-brewery, and tend to do more bespoke beers.

“We try and do modern, progressive beers, but we’re limited with equipment. We’re trying to develop the technique, so there’s some consistency.”

Entry into the Good Beer Guide is based entirely on personal recommendations by local members of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

These recommendations are then rigorously reviewed by CAMRA branches and editors.

In total, there are 20 breweries and 12 pubs from Herts in the 2018 Guide.

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