Spotlight on: Local Brews
With a new brewery opening every two days in the UK we now have over 10,000 beers to choose from, but some of the best are still brewed here on our doorstep…
Stroud Brewery: One of the UK’s few fully organic breweries, Stroud Brewery has developed a loyal following for its commitment to using local organic ingredients and its commitment to the local community. The first brew was Budding, produced in 2006, which is still the best-selling beer. It is so-named because the brewery is on the site where the first lawnmowers, invented by Edwin Budding in 1830, were manufactured.
Cheers: put your prejudices about canned ales aside and try one of the Stroud Brewery cans – the Alederflower ale is a pale ale subtly infused with elderflower
Gloucester Brewery: operating out of Gloucester Docks, this young brewery is creating new world craft beers that appeal to a young market. Always keen to push the boundary, the beers range from sour beers to barrel aged beers to crisp aromatic pale ales.
Cheers: the multi award-winning Gloucester Gold is a crisp and fruity yet bitter golden ale with aromas of luscious tropical fruit
Corinium Ales: this micro brewery in the heart of Cirencester focuses on classic and contemporary ales. Inspiration comes from the craft ales of the USA, with their pungent aromas and mesmerising hoppiness.
Cheers: the Centurion Stout was winner of the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards Food & Drink Product of the Year 2013. It is a light-bodied stout with toasty chocolate undertones, a great match for shellfish, mature cheese and even chocolate cake.
Hillside Brewery: based in the Forest of Dean, this small brewery is firmly at the heart of the community and environment. Running on solar power with a ground source heat pump, the beers are made in small batches using traditional methods.
Cheers: Pinnacle is a pale ale that’s a great session beer for any occasion. Crisp and zesty, it is an appealing pale golden colour with refreshing lemon and orange flavours.
Ragged Stone Cider: this range of naturally fermented ciders and perries has picked up an astonishing 18 awards. Made from the fruit of the Bromesberrow Estate’s traditional orchards and harvested organically, each brew is fermented naturally to develop a full-bodied character.
Cheers: the Pearmagne is a very special occasion drink – a sparkling perry made in small batches.
Beard & Sabre: determined to put Gloucestershire on the cider-drinking map once again, this small team based in Cirencester is at the fore-front of the craft cider revolution. Their ciders are all 100% traditionally pressed apple juice and include a range of contemporary fruit ciders alongside the dry and medium favourites.
Cheers: the traditionally pressed, dry cider, Apple Smuggler, is a multi-award winner, crafted from vintage cider apples.
Days Cottage: only old varieties of heritage fruit are used for these ciders and perries, which are fermented and matured in oak barrels. No sprays, chemicals or artificial fertilisers are used on the fruit trees, and the ciders and perries themselves are free from any hidden nasties.
Cheers: the Medium sparkling cider has a delicious liveliness that’s both refreshing and thirst-quenching. Easy to over-indulge!