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Hitchin's new craft beer experience

PUBLISHED: 22:24 21 January 2017 | UPDATED: 22:24 21 January 2017

The Beer Shop joint owners John Gudgin and Ben Hudson

The Beer Shop joint owners John Gudgin and Ben Hudson

Danny Loo Photography 2016

A new Hitchin store for St Albans' Beer Shop has a range of exciting new ideas for ale lovers, Laura Vickers discovers

Inside the new Beer Shop in Hitchin.Inside the new Beer Shop in Hitchin.

A brand new craft beer experience has come to Hitchin, courtesy of the experts at Beer Shop St Albans. The new venture on Hermitage Road, which is around double the size of the St Albans store, isn’t just a bottle shop – although it does stock hundreds of beers from around the world and a large selection of local brews. The new shop also has an intimate tasting room with space for around 30 beer fans to try out a new beer (or two).

It’s this unique drinking space that is really exciting co-owner Ben Hudson about the new shop.

‘As well as choosing bottled beers, we have 10 keg lines customers can buy from, and we’ve created a big cask beer cabinet – something no-one else has really done before – so people can drink straight from the barrel,’ Ben says.

The shop opened in early December after Ben and co-owner John Gudgin completed extensive renovations, giving it an industrial, steel and zinc-focused design and incorporating the brand’s grey and orange colours. The pair hope the location will help them to reach a new audience of beer enthusiasts.

They chose Hitchin ‘because it’s an awesome market town with a lovely vibe – very quirky, with lots of independent businesses’.

This year will see lots of tasting evenings at the shop, but the big news for 2017 is that it will start selling the Beer Shop’s own creations.

‘We’ve wanted to do this for six years,’ Ben explains. ‘And we’ve created a new beer brand all ready to be revealed later this year. After spending three years drinking the best beers in the world – including ones on our doorstep – we thought it was time we ourselves contributed something to the UK’s thriving beer scene.’

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