Peter Austin was the pioneer of the microbrewery. Born in Edmonson, north London, Peter’s family was closely involved in the brewing industry and he grew up holding brewing jobs at Friary, Holroyd and Healy in Guilford, Morrells in Oxford and Hull Brewery. In 1978, Peter established the Ringwood Brewery in a former bakery and when his Strong Ale “Old Thumper” won the Champion Beer of Britain award in 1988, it put Ringwood and microbrewing on the map. He went on to help set up some 40 new breweries in Britain over 10 years, but his biggest impact was undoubtedly in the U.S., where 74 breweries were built using his brewing system.
What is a Hopback?
A Hopback is a sealed chamber that is inserted in between the brewing kettle and counter-flow wort chiller. Hops are added to the chamber, the hot wort from the kettle is run through it, and then immediately cooled in the wort chiller before entering the fermentation chamber. This helps retain the maximum hop aroma compounds.
Originally published in our Micro Brew News' Trivia Time, Prost Brewing Company edition.