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COMMUNITY

ROCKING THE ALGARVE BY JEFF MORGAN

The craft beer revolution has now reached the Algarve. A project that initially started in 2016, The Algarve Rock Brewery opened for business in February 2018 producing a range of artisan beers.

with further expansion on the horizon the first year has been a good start for this young business. Locally the number of establishments serving Algarve Rock's range of beers is steadily increasing with regular new enquiries too.

A serial entrepreneur not content to grasp retirement, or the quality of beer available locally, Gary Hosmer along with his co-founder and son-in-law, Neil Conchie set about building a micro brewery in Faro. An enormous investment of time and money, the establishment they have built is the largest independent brewery on the Iberian peninsula. Capable of producing 90 thousand litres of beer each month, the entire production line including bottling takes place under one roof.

"We know that it is difficult to make a living in this market, my whole family moved here and we invested in Portugal with the goal to make craft beers that the Algarve and the country can be proud of ".

“One of the greatest challenges small brewers face is restrictions upon production growth due to space and equipment issues. We wanted to ensure that we didn't face this problem down the line so started with this in mind” explains Neil. The most important element when brewing beer is the water. After completing a prolonged series of tests across the region they found that the water in Olhão was the nearest match to water found along the River Trent where for centuries they have been brewing the finest of ales. “The water quality is really excellent, we just have to soften it very slightly, making it really good for beer. Also the quality is consistent and we can analyse the data from the source online.” Apart from good water, quality yeasts and barley from the Lowlands along with Kentish hops from the garden of England are used in their zero chemical beers. Finally staff including a master brewer were recruited, with fifty years of brewing experience between them the team began creating their first craft beers. Algarve Rock began showcasing their product at festivals in Lisbon followed by the Minho, Silves and Alameda Beer festivals where their unique products received positive feedback and the company were able to sign contracts with a distributor. Already exporting to the UK and Italy,

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Offering six standard varieties of beer to satisfy various palettes, available in 33cl bottles or a 30 litre kegs being between 4% and 5% alcohol by volume they are, Rock Solid a red ale, Rock Steady a pale ale, Rock Session an Indian pale ale, Rock Stout and Rock Sharp, a Czech style pilsner lager plus the Piri-Piri Pilsner which has been well received by the Portuguese beer consumers. Experimenting with a number of combinations the guys are launching their latest line to the brand this month, described as an Erdinger Weiss style of beer, “you will have to try it” says Neil. This month you will also be able to try the wares as the Tap Room will be open to the public from 3pm every Friday at The Algarve Rock Brewery 2B, Vale da Venda Industrial Park, Faro. The venue is also available to book for private groups where you can experience tasting the artisan beers and other gastronomic experiences. Locally you can find the range served at The Cheeky Pup and Dano's in Quinta do Lago, The Beer District in Loule, 19th Hole Vilamoura, Maria's at Vale do Lobo and in Faro the tapas bars of Petisqueira 3 em pipa and Alameda Restaurant & Rooftop. If you prefer to drink at home Algarve Rock have an introductory offer exclusively for Tomorrow magazine readers. Delivered direct to your door or sent to someone as a gift, just add the promotion code TALGARVE19 to receive 15% discount on online orders.

+INFO:  www.algarverock.com

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