It turns out that the final brewery tour at Unit 11 wasn’t on the October 4th after all. Because when two River Cottage chefs say they are driving up from Dorset to come and have a look around and find out more about you, you naturally say yes and put the kettle on.
We first met Steven Lamb at The River Cottage Food Fair in May. Steven has been a key member of the River Cottage team for over a decade; appearing on the TV series, teaching at the Cookery School and writing the ‘River Cottage Curing & Smoking Handbook’ and the new ‘River Cottage Cheese & Dairy Handbook’. He enjoyed trying our organic beers when hosting the Meadow Stage with guests including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Geetie and Guy Singh-Watson and Tom Kerridge. Following the sunny weekend I think it’s fair to say that Stroud Brewery had a new fan in Steven. A few weeks later Steven contacted us to say that he was excited to come across a company using organic products and sharing a similar ethos and that he’d like to come and see us with his mate Tim Maddams. Tim is another River Cottage stalwart. Having lead the team at River Cottage Axminster for four years he then went on to teach at the River Cottage Cookery School, also appearing on TV series and writing the ‘River Cottage Game Handbook’ and collaborating on ‘River Cottage A to Z’. Two very interesting guys who are passionate about the great British countryside, quality produce and food provenance – our sort of people!
Steven and Tim picked a really exciting week to pop up. Not only were we able to give them the last brewery tour at Unit 11, but we were able to take them on the first tour of our new brewery, which is currently under construction a stone’s throw from our current site. Dressed in hard hats, high-vis and safety boots, Greg Pilley, Stroud Brewery MD, gave the Stroud Brewery team and our visitors a tour of all three floors of the amazing new Stroud Brewery building, overlooking the Stroudwater canal. Steven and Tim discussed plans for the new kitchen and advised Greg on pizza ovens that could also be used for slow roasting and curing.
The afternoon ended with some delicious wood-fired pizzas prepared by Marc from Velo Bakery and there may have been a bit of beer tasting. The new IPA straight from the tank was a particular favourite.
We were delighted that Steven and Tim took the time to come up and see us. We are really looking forward to 2019 and all the potential adventures that it may bring…