Leith Hill Brewery in Coldharbour - the great Surrey beer tour
PUBLISHED: 14:06 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:47 15 June 2017
The perfect place to stop off for a pint after a long walk or cycle up Leith Hill, The Plough at Coldharbour is also home to its own brewery
The Plough Inn
Coldharbour, Surrey RH5 6HD
Person interviewed: Antoine Josserand, head brewer
Your best-seller? That will be Crooked Furrow, our 3.7% traditional best bitter. It’s the only beer that we brew all year round and we try to have it on tap in the pub (The Plough at Coldharbour, which is home to the microbrewery) every day of the year.
Your personal fave? Smiler’s Happiness! It is brewed with copious amounts of American hops (Cascade and Chinook), and being a hop head this is right up my street. If it was only me, I could probably double the amount of hops again. But then it’s got to be enjoyable to normal people too!
Your most unique? Smiler’s Happiness again! Even though we came up with the recipe for it, it is the pub’s locals who named it in memory of John “Smiler” Steele, a legendary figure in the village.
One you wish was yours… Titanic Plum Porter. I love it when non-traditional (and natural!) beer ingredients are used to produce outstanding beers. It’s very easy to chuck anything in the mash tun or the FV, but most of the time the effect won’t be noticeable or enjoyable. Plum Porter is a great beer and possibly one of my favourite English porters. Now I’ve just checked their website and I see they’re using natural plum flavouring, which makes me want to brew my own plum porter using fresh fruits. When are plums in season again?
What’s next stage for your brewery? I expect we’ll try and launch at least one new beer this year. Probably session strength (well below 4%), pale to golden in colour and, you guessed it, on the hoppy side of things. Something that Leith Hill mountain bikers and ramblers could enjoy a pint or two of this summer without fear of getting lost on their way back. We can’t really expand the brewery for space reasons (what’s the point of good beer if we have no beer garden) but we’ll try and give the place some love so that it’s all shiny again and we can proudly give tours.
Finally, where’s the best place for people to try your beer? The Plough Inn in Coldharbour of course. Best place and only place. And on a sunny day, nothing beats our beer garden. But if you happen to be in Dorking town, the best place for great beers has to be Cobbett’s on West Street (disclaimer: Tim, the owner, is a mate and I work some shifts over there every now and then).
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