With “Go Sober for October” well and truly behind us and Christmas now less than a month away, if you can’t indulge in December, when can you indulge!?
If you’re anything like us though, you always underestimate the amount of booze you’ll actually need over the festive period, even if you drink sensibly. Whether its pre-Christmas house parties with friends in the weeks before everyone heads off to wherever they celebrate, catch-up drinks with old friends, keeping the in-laws merry and polite or yourself tipsy enough to make conversation with relatives you only see once a year, or having enough alcohol around for when everyone decides to head over to your place for New Years, you can never have too much beer at Christmas time.
If you’re searching for something a little more special than the normal stuff you’ll find in the supermarkets and want to make this Christmas one you’ll truly treasure, Hampshire is home to some sensational breweries you just have to check out, with beer that will blow you away.
Check out our favourite breweries below and visit or contact the breweries to stock up on some fantastic beers this Christmas time. They also make the perfect Christmas gift.
The team over at Tap It Brewing Co. in Southampton are crazy about craft beer. Using only the finest malt, hops and yeast, you can guarantee a beer with a quality, consistency, and freshness that simply can’t be beat. Few beers boast the kind of flavour or aromas that a beer from Tap It Brewing Co. does. Whether you opt for their Interstella IPA, which uses an American hop to give the beer a fantastically fruity, floral, and earthy aroma, the Rogue APA, which features a powerful US hop with notes of grapefruit and pine, or Outlaw DIPA, a uniquely flavoured West Coast-style beer which combines a complex mix of hops from across the globe to pack a real fruity punch, you’ll be blown away by the fantastic flavours and refreshing tastes.
Having started their journey into brewing over five years ago and with years of drinking, *ahem* research, under their belts, the Tap It Brewing Co. team are true beer connoisseurs and their passion for the beverage is clear in each and everything that comes out of their microbrewery.
Make your way over to the microbrewery in Muira Industrial Estate, William Street or visit one of Hampshire’s many fine pubs and eateries like The Bugle, The Boat House Café, and The Docks to try one of their over 13 special beverages.
Head to the Southwick Brewhouse in Fareham to sample their stunning Suthwyk Ales beers, brewed using their own award-winning barley. Try the Liberation, a light and spritzy ale with blackcurrent undertones or the Land of Hop and Glory, a beer released to honour the anniversary of VE Day which was so popular they decided to make it available all year round. A traditional English bitter brewed using Fuggles and Goldings as well as Brewers Gold hops, this brew, with its spicy aroma, combines malts for a full-bodied flavour.
Started by Hampshire farmer Martin Bazeley in 2000, when farming came under pressure due to low milk and cereal prices, Martin looked at the other assets of the farm, one of which was its ability to grow malting barley on the chalky slopes of Portsdown. As the only producers in the county to grow their own barley, Suthwyk Ales not only has a unique story to tell but every pint is packed full of freshness and delicious and unique flavours.
Stocking over 175 beers from all over the British Isles, along with ciders, country wines and gifts, Southwick Brewhouse, situated in the yard at the back of the Golden Lion pub with a history that can be traced back to the early 17th century, is a must-visit for all beer fans and connoisseurs.
An award-winning brewery based in Romsey and home to the BeerX category winner ‘Romsey Gold’, Flack Manor Brewery uses the traditional double-drop method to provide the unique characteristics for which their beer is known.
Supplying bottled beer and quality cask ale to pubs and clubs throughout Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex, Flack Manor Brewery sets itself apart from other breweries in Hampshire with their emphasis on the brewing lifestyle and their concern for genuine ‘provenance’, resulting in ales that are distinctly theirs. Established by successful brewer Nigel Welsh after realising there was a need for a local brewer in Romsey, Flack Manor Brewery’s real ales are well-loved for their distinctively crisp and refreshing taste.
Try Flack’s Double Drop, a classic amber bitter with the full flavour of Maris Otter barley and the bitter citrus aftertones of Sovereign hops, Flack Cracker, a dark ale with a special golden glow and the hint of Christmas spice, Hedge Hop, with its deep biscuit maltiness balanced with exotic fruits and spiciness from Challenger, Pilot, and English new world Cascade hops, and the award-winning Romsey Gold, a crisp and refreshing pale golden ale with a soft mouth feel.
Head to Romsey Industrial Estate to pick up Flack Manor real ale in bottles or polypins at their on-site brewery shop, “The ‘Flak’ Shack”.