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Surrey Hills Brewery in Dorking

May 24, 2014 Comments off

I spent a week in Dorking Surrey rambling in the Surrey Hills, did quite a few walks despite the cracked heels and naturally needed a roborative every now and then in order to keep going. Surrey Hills Brewery’s beers seem to be almost everywhere in the area.

Years ago I used to drive down to Shere, where the brewery used to be located, on Fridays or Saturdays to buy cask ale to take home. Now, having brewed myself for three years and having bought 2-pint containers from Cobbets Real Ale shop and pints from the brewery itself now located at Denbies Vineyard, I can honestly say the beer I was sold from the old location prior to 2010 was always green.

I had the brewery’s beers everywhere I could find them and every single one of them was well conditioned and at proper temperature. One pleasant place to drink was Barley Mow near Horsley:

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All Surrey Hills beers had a very firm bitterness up front, Ranmore having clearly more lemon/citrus than Shere Drop. One day I went for a walk towards Ranmore Common and conveniently the brewery happened to be on the way. Before 11am brewing was in full force, Simon and Duncan were in the middle of mashing but still had time to serve a thirsty pilgrim two pints of beer. A chair was provided and it was very pleasant sitting in the sun and smelling the brewery aromas.

Simon was very puzzled when I told him it would be illegal in Finland for a brewery to sell beer on the location. While I was drinking beer there must’ve been a few customers who came to buy beer, one nice old chap came to chat and said he would like to just stand there all morning and smell the aroma. A happy customer no doubt.

The brewery is behind the Denbies wine shop:

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Some of the spent grain. What a smell. Lovely. I think there were another two at least of these tubs:

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Simon hard at work. I tried to ask on the sly which hops they use but these guys are very secretive. Apparently the hops they use are about 90 per cent English hops and 10 per cent American.

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30 barrel brewery:

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Later that week I walked to Leatherhead along the River Mole:

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and was enjoying a lovely pint of Surrey Hills beer when the brewery owner Ross drove in to deliver a few casks and take away the empties.

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A very nice chap who always has time to have a few words, this time it was about Finnish drinkers and nanny state alcohol laws and exorbitant beer prices.

The weather was nice all week, beer was well conditioned and the walks were invigorating. It was good to see the brewery’s beers in so many pubs and the people who work at the brewery so friendly. Well, who wouldn’t when the views are like this:

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To think about it, a direct train from Gatwick Airport to Dorking takes about 20 minutes and Travelodge charges £30 per night, very good value indeed.

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