As a newbie to living sustainably and trying the switch of products, I had not given much thought into alcohol and how I would find a tasty alternative to some of the booze we drink at home even though it is very little and on a rare occasion.
As most of you know I do like a gin however, when Mr N brings home some beer or we are out and about on a sunny day a nice cooling pint is in order. I knew very little about beer brewing until I went to the newly opened Stroud Brewery. It’s purpose apart from making delicious beer is to support the environment as well as the community and its local businesses.
The brainchild behind this unique brewery is Greg Pilley who even when started did not envision it growing into the amazing site it is today.
Starting with their first brew of pale ale ‘Budding’ named after the man who invented the lawnmower because their first little brewery just yards from the now bigger brewery you see today was on the site where this invention was created. After Greg had researched what the locals liked, it was this personable name and the feature flavours from Amarillo hops which made this an award-winning favourite.
Greg wanted to give Stroud back their brewery and at the time of starting his venture in 2008, Gloucestershire only had 12 breweries. Today there are 45 and even though people are opting to drink less and have a healthier lifestyle it is really about quality over quantity.
It was important to Greg that everything fitted nicely together for his vision, he wanted to use and work with businesses who had the same ethos, so the brewery teamed up with Warminster Maltings, one of two maltings in the UK that use the traditional floor method for their barley grown here in the Cotswolds.
Following the first recession in 2008 pubs were struggling and we saw more and more go out of business, however, this did not affect the young reinvented Stroud Brewery. Pubs wanted real ales and quality craft beers produced locally as the community seemed to pull together to shop local and support local businesses. By 2009 Greg and his small team moved into bigger things with funding from crowd fundraising and an EU grant Stroud Brewery where able to move from making 5 barrels to 20 and start to brew different things, alongside a community space for events and visitors.
Offering a wide range of cask, keg, bottles or cans the best way to showcase these are to share them with the public in their fantastic new Taproom or as the locals call it ‘The Stroud Brewery Bar’ This space is the perfect place for the community to hold events, enjoy live music and have fresh sourdough pizza from Vélo Bakery and Pizzeria. Sharing the vision with Stroud Brewery, Vélo Pizza hand makes pizzas to order using local sources organic ingredients to complement the organic ales from the brewery.
Next up on the list was Tom Long a bitter not to my tastes personally but much more enjoyable when teamed the small cashew nut, mushroom and wild garlic canapé.
Following our tour and tasting we heard from a panel of experts their views on sustainability, organic produce and going forward in the future. For now, Stroud Brewery hopes to continue their success and grow.
For us, we now have a new understanding and enjoyment of organic beer. Also, a great new place to visit with friends and family for pizza and beer, I must say I am tempted with their hostings of Stroud Film Festival and the breweries version of Bingo! Any excuse to get my hands on a bottle of their Organic Lager or Budding.
The Taproom is open Monday, Tuesday and Sundays 11am – 5pm with Wednesday to Saturday 11am – 11pm. It is kid and dog-friendly but unfortunately for the kiddywinks only until 8pm. For tours, it is best to book through their website: https://www.stroudbrewery.co.uk