Hook Norton is my favorite brewery and was the best brewery tour that I have ever had! They have transformed their old maltings into a vistor's centre, tasting area, and museum. The tours begins and ends here. Over the course of two hours, you find out about the history of the brewery, village, their steam engine (which still powers the entire brewing process), and why they still use traditional techniques.
Unlike many other tours, you are likely to see the brewmaster or other brewers at work. At the least, you can see men racking casks, tending horses, unloading grain, cleaning vessels, and (if you are really lucky) having a pint in the on-site pub.
In addition to the wonderful tour, Hook Norton has one of the best slogans in all of brewing - "Where progress is measured in pints" - and the visitors centre is where you can pick up pints/shirts/bags/signs with it.
Okay, let's get the basics out of the way first - this place has more beer to try than any other place in the world! No matter how many beers you have tried, the Delirium Cafe will have HUNDREDS that you have not tried, including every new Belgium beer produced.
While it is not your normal brown cafe, it still have a great atmosphere and is full of people who really enjoy their beer.
If you are going to be in Brussels, then you cannot miss this place!
This is an average lager. Pale colored, weakly flavored, and just a standard pint.
What I find very amusing about this beer is the way that it is portrayed/viewed in different countries. In the UK, Stella is a bar standard - interchangeable with Carlsberg - and is commonly used as a general label when ordering a lager. Yet, in the USA, it is sold as a premium lager.
Unfortunately, you will never see a brewer at work during a Harveys tour because they only offer tours in the evening, but it is a chance to visit a historic Victorian brewery. The traditional tower brewery is one of the few of its kind left in England and is definitely worth a visit.
If you are unfortunate enough to have to pass through when the tours are full or they are not open, there is a shop at the Brewery Gate. It carries the full range plus plenty of Harveys merchandise.
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