Set up in 2012 by a true collaboration of drinks industry experts, Hobo Beer & Co is owned and run by Scott Collins of MEATliquor, Stuart Ekins and Richard Herbert of CASK Liquid Marketing; David Page of Fulham Shore and The Thinking Drinkers – Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham. Together these men created their flagship Hobo Czech Craft Lager and four years later, in 2016, unveiled their Hobo East Coast Cyder, both named after the Hobo code of secret symbols used as a surreptitious means of communication by hobos who rode the rails, principally during the Great Depression in 1930s America.
Brewed in the Northern Bohemian town of Zatec, a town renowned for its Saaz hop, Hobo is a traditional lager conditioned beer made using a double decoction mash and three stages of Saaz hopping in copper kettles. After 14 days of open fermentation the beer rests in horizontal lagering tanks in carved out rock cellars that remain constantly chilly. As the guys say, time equals taste, so Hobo Czech Craft Lager is left to mellow as long as possible. Adding beauty to the story, the brewery itself is found within the walls of Zatec castle, situated there since 1801. After being abandoned for years it was finally brought back to life in 1989 with some modern brewing equipment leading it gently into the 21st century.
East Coast Cyder is created closer to home, in collaboration with Aspall, the family-owned cider maker who has been harvesting the apple orchards of East Anglia since the 1720s. Hobo’s cyder uses culinary apples such as Gala, Braeburn, Cox, Russet and Bramley to produce a light and racy cider characteristic of England’s east coast.