A LOVE of good beer has led to a family trio setting up their own micro-brewery in Brockenhurst on a former pig farm.
Based at Setley Ridge Vineyard, the aptly named Pig beer has been created by brothers Tom and Lawrence Baynham together with cousin Harry, who shares the same surname.
Tom said: “As well as a name we also share a love of beer and have been home brewing for years.
“This year we decided to go one step further and set up our own micro-brewery. We were looking for a place when we came across the pig farm which we thought was ideal, having the history of the pigs grazing on the land where we would grow our hops.
“We started setting up the hop plantation early in the year and the crops really took hold well.
“When we got the brewing equipment in it was really exciting seeing it all take shape.”
The result of the trio’s hard work is Simply Session which Tom describes as a ‘light refreshing beer”.
He said: “Although it is pale in colour it is as flavoursome as heavier beers. We’re very proud of the taste which comes from the citra and prima donna hops we grow ourselves.”
Harry is now head brewer at the business while Tom and Lawrence still run their street lighting company Indo which is based in Southampton as well as the micro-brewery.
Tom said: “My brother and I both have manufacturing degrees while Harry has one in aeronautics. What that has given us all is a drive to make stuff well which also applies to our beer.”
One of the priorities of the family trio is to make their brewery as sustainable as possible and to that end they try to limit the amount of water they use and recycle as much as they can.
Tom said: “The beer making process uses a lot of water as hops need large amounts of it to grow well.
“There is also a lot of water used during the rinsing process of all the equipment. We carefully select the cleaning products we use so that we can recycle the water afterwards to water the hops.
“The products we use break down into things that are nutritious for the plants.
“We are also looking at other ways we can be more sustainable in the future.
“At the moment our bottling is outsourced but in the future we hope to bring it in-house.”
One way the boys have held to their sustainability pledge is by reusing old wood to make a mobile bar and office furniture for the brewery.
At the New Forest Show this summer they won the best stand prize in the New Forest Marque area, for their handmade wooden bar and shop.
Pig Beer is on sale at the Rosie Lea farm shop at Setley Ridge and at the café on site.
It is also available to customers at Britannia Thai restaurant and The Wash House in Milford. The Sett in Brockenhurst and The Cliff House in Barton.
New Forest Cider and Shappen Stores in Burley also stock it and there are ambitious future plans ahead, Tom revealed.
He said: “We are in discussions with a couple of retailers and things look promising. We are very proud of our product, it has been extremely satisfying to see a company grow out of what was to us in the beginning just a hobby.”
The boys are also planning to organise brewery tours in the future for their business which is a member of Hampshire Fare and will have a stand at the Lymington Christmas Fair on 29th November.