Hop King Brewing Company


Well, I guess I was premature after all. “The beers are here” – so blogged Reading’s newest brewery this past weekend…

f688c0_969c982a048d424bacca6a6f715da524I refer to Hop King Brewing Company which actually has been in the works for quite some time and is now offering its first three beers to the trade in 30 liter KeyKegs and 330 ml bottles…

Mr Fueled by Beer has been following Hop King’s progress for more than a year waiting for exactly the kind of announcement that just came out. Colin Dunn, the brewer behind Hop King, spent around three years home brewing and learning the craft. After achieving success distributing his small batch brews through craft bottle shops, and word got around, he decided to turn pro in 2014.

During 2015 Colin built a tiny 2 hL nano-brewery behind his house in east Reading and in September the first brew on his new kit was produced. While Colin was making his leap from home brewer to pro he was interviewed for Craft Beer World; they tell the story better than I can (read it here).

On paper Colin’s three inaugural beers sound great: Sham! Extra Pale Session IPA; Kingpin Red Wheat IPA; and Smokestack Smoked Black Ale all appear to avoid the ‘boring brown beer’ label; you know what I mean, the sort of stuff that IMHO occupies way too many pump handles at our ale pubs. So I hope we’ll soon have an opportunity to taste Hop King at one of Reading’s better craft beer emporiums.

One thing I noticed that is absent in the latest announcement but was mentioned in last year’s interview is cask ale. Since a 200 liter brew length with limited fermentation won’t yield many kegs and bottles perhaps cask must wait until there is greater production capacity. Of course it could simply mean that Colin has decided to follow the examples of those brewers he cited in the interview as his inspirations: BrewDog, Lovibonds and The Kernel – neither of these appear to have suffered through lack of a cask offering. 😉

Follow Hop King’s ongoing story as it unfolds on Facebook or Twitter.


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