A brewery that started in a Salisbury pub has been presented with an award for the quality of its beers.

The Hop Back Brewery was given the Golden Award by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Hop Back was founded in The Wyndham Arms on Estcourt Road, Salisbury, in 1987.

Demand meant that, by 1991, brewing at The Wyndham Arms had reached full capacity, and to cope with the increase, Hop Back Brewery Limited was formed and a factory unit at Downton leased to become the new brewery.

The business also purchased a second pub in 1991, the Waterloo Arms in Southampton.

Today, Hop Back has nine pubs and its beers are available in many others.

Hop Back was the only brewery in the Wessex region to receive one of the awards, which mark the 50th anniversary of the start of CAMRA’s campaign to support real ale and local pubs.

Only 50 recipients across the whole of the UK have received the award from CAMRA, which was founded in 1971.

John Gilbert, founder and chairman of Hop Back, and colleagues from the brewery were awarded the certificate by Ian Turner, chairman of the Salisbury and South Wiltshire branch of CAMRA, at a celebration at the Wyndham Arms.

“I am really overwhelmed by this award,” said John. “We are very honoured to have got this. Not long after we first started in 1987, CAMRA awarded us the prize for the best new beer in Britain and so this latest award is a recognition of the long relationship between ourselves and CAMRA.”

Ian added: “I started drinking in the Wyndham Arms, then the brewery, in 1988 very shortly after it opened as a Hop Back pub.

"John and his brewing staff have never lost focus and their ales remain traditionally brewed and served.

"It is no surprise that Hop Back ales are available in so many local pubs: from their excellent session ale, GFB, to their flagship and multi award-winning Summer Lightning.

"This award is richly deserved and I am delighted to present it to Hop Back Brewery.”

The Wyndham Arms, which has been run by landlady Lisa Saberton for the past 12 years, has been voted Pub of the Year by members of the Salisbury and South Wiltshire branch of CAMRA four times in the last decade.

Lisa was one of the Hop Back team who received the Golden Award along with brewery director Steve Wright.

The Golden Award certificate reads: “In recognition of being a multiple national award winner and going above and beyond in delivering brewing excellence over the years."

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