Hi, my name is Ben Hopkinson and I am the founder of Hop King. Having spent the last 3 years working in the London craft beer scene, on both the brewing and the pub side, I found a reoccurring problem…accessibility!
What I mean by accessibility is craft beer is just too confusing; not everyone knows their double IPA from their Berlinerwiesse or their cask from their keg. Craft breweries have exciting and busy branding with even more weird and wonderful names for all of their different beer styles. This is all great for the craft beer warriors who really take an interest, but for the everyday drinker, craft beer can often be confusing and intimidating.
Furthermore, many of the craft beers that I used to drink can very often be too strong, too bitter, or too hoppy for the everyday beer drinker, which is, lest we forget, still the majority of the beer market! In my time running a South East London brewery, our best seller was not our award winning super hoppy 7% beer but our easiest drinking beer – a 3.9% pale ale.
I wanted to create an accessible craft beer, that’s easily drinkable, easily recognizable and easily understandable. So I bought myself a 25 litre Home brewing kit and started brewing! The process of creating the Hop King Pale ale recipe was a slow but fascinating process. I started with the most basic ingredients (one variety of malt and one variety of hops) and slowly started experimenting with different hops, malts and yeasts until I had a delicious beer that was smooth, balanced with a bit more mainstream appeal.
All I needed now was a brewery! Unfortunately I didn’t have a quarter of a million pounds stuck down the back of the sofa, so I decided to get someone to brew the beer for me. I searched all over the UK and even mainland Europe for the right brewing partner but ended up choosing a brewer in the beer heartland of England….Yorkshire. From tea to puddings, they are so proud of the quality of their produce they put their name on it, and this was good enough for me. Hambleton Ales brewed the first 1500 Litres in August 2017 and the response to the beer has been better than we ever imagined.
The beer, however, is just one aspect of Hop King and and my brother, Ludi, and I were busy behind the scenes trying to create the Hop King Lifestyle….