Craft beer and skateboarding: a match made in heaven?
We recently spent a few days in London with Ben and Ludi Hopkinson, the brothers behind the Hop King craft beer brand, discussing hops, brewing beer and skateboarding, in that order.
Officially launched in July of 2017, the Hop King Pale Ale recipe was created by Ben, the elder of the two Hopkinson brothers, who had already embarked on a career in the then nascent micro-brewing world after leaving University.
Experiments with home-brewing and time working alongside a start up brewery owned by a friend informed the final recipe, which aimed to create a craft beer suited to the tastes of both the traditional lager drinker, and to those fond of the hoppier, more distinctive flavour of craft beers.
As Ben explains, early experiments with brewing and insights gained from his time at the Penge-based Late Knights Brewery led to an interest in creating a a product that straddled both the craft beer and mainstream lager markets.
“I had done the occasional brew during my time at Late Knights Brewery so I understood the process, but in terms of learning my craft: that was really a process of trial and error, brewing at home. I figured it out through reading books, speaking to people in the industry, and brewing over and over again. If you get it wrong then you end up pouring away 25L of beer that you’ve just cocked up, which is pretty painful. It forces you to learn quickly.”