WHEN Ringwood Brewery brewed their first batch of beer 40 years ago, little did the founder, Peter Austin, know the smell of hops and malt would still be permeating the air around the town four decades later.

Only 100 yards from the site where the brewery first began, a staggering 220 million pints have been brewed in Ringwood and the popularity of the brand has won followers from all over the world.

Ringwood Brewery’s first brewhouse was actually in a former bakery called Minty’s Yard. In 1978, it was just Best Bitter and Fortyniner that were brewed for a handful of local customers. By 1979, Old Thumper was launched and in 1980, the winter XXXX Porter came along.

Over the next six years, the business continued to grow and in 1986, having outgrown Minty’s Yard, the brewery moved to its present site on Christchurch Road. The key principles to the brewery’s success have been to maintain quality and consistency of the beer, to be the beer of choice in the local area and to make sure that their dedicated and loyal customers know how important they are.

Today, Ringwood is able to produce 40,000 barrels of its renowned and distinctive beers and in March, the first brew of their anniversary ale, Seventy Eight, was brewed in celebration of their amazing milestone. Seventy Eight is a light amber ale which is very recognisable as a member of the Ringwood brand family and was first brewed in 2008 for the brewery’s 30th anniversary. It proved so popular at the time that it was only natural to become the tipple of choice for the 40th celebrations.

Some 20,200 tonnes of malt have gone into making the 770,000 brewer’s barrels of beer for the 220 million pints consumed over the last 40 years and the brewery are very much looking to increasing those numbers this year with a whole host of anniversary festivities planned.

For more information about the 40th anniversary, events and how to join in, visit www.ringwoodbrewery.co.uk