Glass of Herts: New River Brewery

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 March 2016

Since its launch in 2015 the New River Brewery has created four different beers

Since its launch in 2015 the New River Brewery has created four different beers


Laura Vickers discovers a brand new brewery in Hoddesdon

The New River Brewery in Hoddesdon launched last year after Enfield residents John Bourdeaux and Jeremy Alter decided to do something about the lack of craft beers in the area. Both men grew up near the New River, which has its source near Ware and has been supplying drinking water to London since the 17th century. Their brewery sits on the riverbank, so naming their new venture was not a challenge. The brewer’s water is even drawn from sources that feed the river in Hertfordshire.

Although they left their jobs in the City only in 2014, Bourdeaux and Alter have already developed a reputation for brewing flavoursome, homegrown beers using simple, traditional recipes. They’re also passionate about the environment, using locally-sourced supplies wherever possible and recycling spent grain into feed for local farm animals.

To date they have developed four regular beers – pale ale London Tap, malty amber ale Riverbed Red, lightly-smoked porter Blind Poet and a fresh citrus and pine needle-packed IPA called Five-Inch Drop (after the New River’s gradient into the capital). These cask beers remain unfiltered and unpasteurised for maximum flavour, and are currently sold at several pubs in the county as well as in London, with plans afoot for bottled beers and brewery tours.

The company’s beer labels feature a wheel with images telling the story of the New River’s journey from its source. It includes symbols for Gauge House in Ware (the house at the centre of the logo), Capel Manor Rose Gardens and a grey heron for the heronry at Dobb’s Weir, Hoddesdon.

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