Home to thriving breweries and microbreweries, Gloucestershire produces some of the finest ales and lagers in the UK – and, lucky for beer fans, many are keen to share their brewing techniques in behind-the-scenes brewery tours.
From short tours to full-day experiences, learn about brewing methods, how ingredients are selected and, of course, sample some brews too at the best breweries in Gloucestershire.
1. Stroud Brewery
Stroud Brewery has garnered a national reputation for its organic brewery dedicated to producing the best selection of ethical beers using premium ingredients.
The brewery offers hour-and-a-half tours, giving visitors the chance to discover the process behind making the beer. Visitors will explore how the team choose the best raw ingredients, learn some local beer-making trivia, and maybe even hear a mention of the local highwayman!
As you might expect, the tour includes seasonal tasting of the beers, as well as glass to take home.
2. Battledown Brewery
Battledown Brewery is a family-run brewery that has been brewing beer in Cheltenham since 2005, with an ever evolving selection of craft beer, lager and ales.
Battledown hosts a two-hour tour full of education, information, and beer! Beer lovers are welcomed to learn about the brewing process, whilst enjoying a taste of the brewery’s finest beers and a selection of good food. There might even be a quiz to test your knowledge, so make sure you’re listening!
3. Cotswolds Brew Co.
Launched by husband-and-wife Richard and Emma Keene in 2005, Cotswold Brew Co. is located on a 10-acre rural site near Bourton-on-the-Water and specialises in brewing a range of lagers and speciality beers.
Hosting two-hour brewery tours, visitors can get a look behind-the-scenes of the brewhouse, learn lessons on how the beer is brewed, enjoy a generous sampling of the brewery’s top-class produce.
4. Gloucester Brewery
Situated in the historic Gloucester Docks, Gloucester Brewery prides itself on producing high quality real ales, using traditional brewing techniques and locally sourced ingredients.
The popular brewery tours run twice a month and give visitors an in-depth insight into the beer making and distillation process.
Visitors will have the opportunity to meet, and quiz, the team while enjoying a guided walk through the onsite brewery. With tours followed by a buffet and chance to sample Gloucester Brewery beers or the range of Fox’s Kiln gins and vodkas.
5. Bespoke Brewing Co.
Located on the site of a former Victorian brewery in the Forest of Dean, Bespoke Brewing Co. crafts real ale using premium ingredients, while its label design service is perfect for personalised gifts.
Go behind-the-scenes during the three-hour tours which include a talk from the brewer, tastings, and bottomless beer. Learn how the brewery selects their hops and malts for their famous flavours, while sampling some of their famous ales along the way.
6. Hook Norton Brewery
Nestled in the Cotswolds hills, independent and family-owned brewery Hook Norton combines its extensive brewing heritage with a modern approach to create its impressive range of award-winning beers.
Home to a shop, Malthouse Kitchen Café and museum, visitors are encouraged to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the brewery with their own, personal tour guide.
The hour and a half tour will take visitors up and down the five-storey Victorian brewery, discovering how the beer moves through the different levels of the brewing process, finishing with a tutored tasting of the brews in the cellar bar.
7. Clavell and Hind
Situated in Birdlip, between Gloucester and Cheltenham, Clavell and Hind brewery takes its name from infamous highwaymen John Clavell and Captain James Hind, who pillaged the coaching routes of the south west.
Producing beers that are modern in taste but traditional in style, the brewery tours, which last for an hour-and-a-half, offer the chance to learn about how Clavell and Hind brew its beers and include a barbeque and plenty of drinks!
8. Brewhouse and Kitchen Cheltenham
Part of the national chain, Brewhouse and Kitchen in Cheltenham’s aptly-named Brewery Quarter offer visitors a full day brewery experience in the brewpub’s own microbrewery.
The experience day is perfect to be enjoyed on your own or as a bigger group and includes breakfast, lunch, and a lot of beer to sample. At the end of the day visitors even get to choose a five-litre mini keg to take away with them as a memento of the day.