Hampshire brewery planning special beer to commemorate Portsmouth Tour de France bid

Hop Art Brewery in Farnham plans to brew a summer beer if Portsmouth wins the bid to host the opening stage of the 2019 Tour de France

(Photo: Quinn Dombrowski/CC2.0)

Farnham-based Hop Art Brewery hope to produce a special cycling-themed beer should Portsmouth host the first stage of the Tour de France in 2019.

The southern city is preparing a bid to host the Grand Depart which has been encouraged by Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme and Hop Art co-founder Tony Scardarella is keen to produce a brew in honour of the event.

A keen cyclist himself, Tony told the Portsmouth News: "I have a passion for the sport, I’ve followed it for years. We could go with a continental beer – a Belgian or French style blonde.

"This is a summer event so that style of beer would work. ‘We would want to make something that’s light and refreshing for people."

While the stage from Portsmouth probably wouldn't travel as far north as Farnham, Tony hopes the race will head up into the South Downs to test the riders with some of Hampshire's hills.

"Everyone, from a racing point of view, want to see hills," he added. "The South Downs offers some lovely opportunities. What you don’t want is a completely flat race."

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.