Micro-brewery’s bid to beat the big brands

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Horsham’s Hepworth & Co Brewers has unvieled its answer to the world’s biggest brands in beer.

Saxon Lager and Conqueror Stout were launched at The Lamb Inn, near Horsham, last week.

While the 4.5 per cent Stout boasts a ‘feast of flavour’ from roasted barley, it is the Saxon Lager which suggests a real step forward for this Horsham-based micro brewery.

Brewed to Reinheitsgebot - the German purity standards - Saxon four per cent has been created due to local demand from both new and existing customers.

The full-bodied lager has been launched into a market dominated by brands like Carling and Carlsberg. But director Andy Hepworth is confident customers will love the brewery’s latest creation.

“I’m a great believer in let the beer do the talking,” he told the County Times. “It’s very difficult for a smaller company to break in, but we know that if we can persuade people to taste the beer then we will win.”

Andy, whose beer reaches America and Russia from his base in Nightingale Road, says that after brewing bottled beer for around ten years the introduction of the four per cent Saxon lager is ‘a big big step’ and something which ‘wasn’t even on the agenda a few years ago’.

He said: “If we are competing against the likes of Carling then we have to produce a beer which is drinkable to people who drink the main brands.”

But with some important differences - the use of local ingredients and a brewing technique which takes a little extra time.

“Apart from being a wonderful county to live in, Sussex is a great agricultural county, and we use Sussex-grown ingredients,” he added.

Keeping up the long tradition of brewing in Horsham, Hepworth & Co was opened in 2000 by Andy Hepworth, former Head Brewer of King & Barnes, John Tewson, Paul Webb and Tim Goacher.