Craft beers: Review and guides

Thomas Hardy’s Ale… is Back!

Written by EFW Staff

When the Thomas Hardy’s Ale was born

In 1968 the brewery Elridge Pope in Dorchester (England) gave birth to the best beer in the world. An exclusive product made of numerated and limited bottles, which contain a precious barley wine, make rest in wood barrels. It is not a random beer but the result of a unique work and a careful ripening; the chosen name is really important: the Thomas Hardy’s Ale beer as the famous writer that lived between the 1840 and 1928, which portrait stands in the label.
The famous writer was a friend of the Popes, who in 1870 helped the Elridges to run the brewery with the same name where, years later, the production of this beer started.

What Thomas Hardy’s Ale is


The Thomas Hardy’s Ale is a Pale Ale with an intense colour and a strong thickness given to the caramelization, which occurs during the boiling phase; after the fermentation, this beer rests for three months in wood barrel at room temperature for half of the months; for the last period it rests at lower temperatures to allow the yeasts to depose on the bottom. During the fermentation period, yeasts are added.
The result is an unpasteurized and unfiltered beer, type Barley Wine, and its alcoholic volume is around the 11%.

The end and the rebirth of the Thomas Hardy’s Ale

The Thomas Hardy’s Ale has become the main product of the O’Hanlon Brewery, after a long production by Elridge Pope, ended in 1999 because of high production costs for a limited quantity of product.
The production starts again in 2003, required out loud by Barley Wine lovers, that is so appreciated that it is even the subject of interesting tastings.
Its return is triumphal and in 2006 it even won the prize of the Best beer in the world during the International Beer Challenge of London. The high production costs and the long ripening period were serious problems for the brewery, which was forced to close in 2008.


Thomas Hardy’s Ale is back!

The brew’s world, however, has never forgiven this rare pearl and in 2012 two Italians, the Vecchiato brothers, bought the brand and the recipe, trying to build a team able to produce this amazing historical beer. After four years of careful work and study, finally the last September 2016, the Thomas Hardy’s Ale made its triumphal came back during the Milan Beer Week. The new Thomas Hardy’s Beer has all the unique characteristics that make it extraordinary: the production in the English territory, the limited production and its unique taste.


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EFW Staff