Stroud Brewery are brewery based in Thrupp, on the edge of Stroud. Founded by Greg Pilley in 2006, they produce organic beers with a mindful attitude to sustainability, environmental impact and the community around them.
Greg launched the brewery with his Budding Ale, aptly named for Edwin Budding, the inventor of the lawnmower who occupied the same industrial site 2 centuries before. This pale ale with grassy bitterness remains their most popular beer to this day.
Since their launch 13 years ago, Stroud Brewery has held a clear vision to become something great within the beer industry, as well as in the local community.
This has led to their very recent expansion into a new purpose built premises, with enough space to grow long-term goal to become a nationally recognised organic brewery.
We were invited to the press opening of their new larger brewery, experiencing all of their beer first hand. I was rather preoccupied with trying the aforementioned beers, that pictures weren't my main concern - so the images in this article are courtesy of Stroud Brewery themselves.
Their current range is all organic and vegan, stretching from lager to dark stout, with plenty of pale ale in between.
As a bonus, almost all of their product names are puns and wordplay, which is definitely something we can get behind at Cotswold Eats.
Budding is their original 4.5% pale ale that is characterful and complex, with aromatic floral notes, a little bit of sweet malt and balanced grassy bitterness. On a similar note, they have O.P.A. (Organic Pale Ale), which is their 4% golden session bitter with hints of apple, as well as Hop Drop, their 4.5% pale ale with intense flavours from post-boil additions of extra hops.
Then there is their Alederflower, a delicately balanced 4.9% pale ale, brewed with organic elderflower. As well as S’Wheat, a 4.3% American-style wheat beer, gently hopped for a rounded citrus finish.
For those who prefer lager over ale, they have their award-winning Organic Lager. Brewed as a traditional cold, five-week fermentation, it is a crisp and refreshing 4.9% beer in a classic pilsner style.
They have their Tom Long Amber Bitter. A 3.8% bitter with caramel and spice flavours, balanced by fruity citrus from orange peel and coriander seed. They have also teamed up with Friends of the Earth and Toast Ale to create a 'Flour Power' amber ale launching in March, created using unsold organic bread from Hobbs House Bakery.
Then for their darkest and maltiest beers, my personal favourite style, they have Schwarzwälder and Dubbel Bond. Schwarzwälder is a 5% cherry stout conditioned on sour cherries and molasses - it is rich and sweet, with dark roasted malts and hint of bitter chocolate. Dubbel Bond is their new collaboration with Good Chemistry Brewing in Bristol. A 6.2% dark beer, it is ruby coloured with plenty of malt aromas, with the classic biscuit, coffee and chocolate flavours that are great in a dark brew.
Most of the range is available to buy in bottles and cans to drink at home, but their O.P.A. and Dubbel Bond are only available in keg and/or cask, so you will have to try these in their on-site taproom or at pubs across the Cotswolds.
As a brewery they have always kept a desire to be part of the community they’re in, with a view that enjoying beer with conversation is best. In both their old premises and their new, they achieved this with their taproom dubbed Stroud Brewery Bar, with bench seating and a family atmosphere.
The taproom has become a firm favourite amongst the people of Stroud, with a permanent ‘resident’ that is further enhancing the beer experience; Vélo Bakery & Pizzeria.
Vélo are serving up deliciously authentic sourdough pizza, featuring organic and locally sourced ingredients, that pair brilliantly with the Stroud Brewery beer on offer and help make the taproom a great place to be with friends, family or strangers.
As well as the taproom, Stroud Brewery have taken their friendly ideals and have created their harvest celebration ale; Brewer's Garden. The hops are grown, nurtured and picked by the community, with some of the final beer gifted back to the pickers for their efforts.
From their delicious organic beer to their sustainable practices to their drive to be a truly valuable part of the wider community, we can see why Stroud Brewery were voted into your Top 10 Producers for 2018.
Put simply, Stroud Brewery are all about creating quality beer with quality ethos.