Organic September is always a busy month for the Stroud Brewery team. But we took it to another level this year with a calendar full of tap takeovers, community hop picking and brewing, festivals, new beer launches and meet the brewer events. Here is a little bit about what we have been up to.
The month began with our annual Hop Picking Day, one of our favourite days of the year. Our Community Hop Club arrived with fresh hop bines that they had grown in gardens and allotments around Stroud. We drank beer, listened to live music and picked the cones off the hops, gathering around 60kg of green hop cones to create our ever-popular Brewer’s Garden.
It’s a fantastic, fun family event. If you are interested in getting involved next year please sign up to our monthly newsletters to find out more.
Watershed is a hub of culture in the heart of Bristol. They champion local, sustainable food and drink and to celebrate Organic September invited us to takeover their 5 cask lines. For the showcase we took our ever popular Budding pale ale, Tom Long amber bitter and OPA organic pale ale on cask. We also took a cask of our award winning Hop Drop pale ale and a “Mystery Brew” for Watershed customers to try (this was later revealed as our new collaboration brew, Melba x Toast). It was great fun meeting customers, giving out samples and talking about the benefits for people and planet of drinking organic beer.
Our biggest adventure in Organic September was when we loaded up a 30’ trailer with beer and headed off down the M4 to Battersea Park in London for the weekend to run the bar at the brand new GO! Organic Festival. We showcased 25 different organic beers from breweries all over the UK, including a huge range of our very own Stroud Brewery beers, which were extremely well received by the discerning customers attending the festival.
We used the platform of our organic beer festival to launch our new beer ‘Melba x Toast’, a collaboration brew with Toast Ale. Our MD, Greg Pilley, ran beer masterclasses over the weekend, an opportunity for people to find out more about Stroud Brewery and the organic brewing process. We showcased six of our organic beers during the masterclasses. Beers were paired with delicious organic produce; cheese from Godminster in Somerset, organic charcuterie from Peelham Farm and chocolate brownies. The pairings complemented the subtle flavours in the beer and were a massive hit. GO! Organic was a fantastic event to be part of, it was amazing to meet so many people who are passionate about organic produce.
Mid September meant a visit to Wales for the annual Abergavenny Food Festival, a mecca for foodies, chefs and food writers. We were thrilled to get through the tough selection process to be invited to attend this event. The whole town became one big celebration of food, with every street lined with fantastic food and drink stalls. Stroud Brewery gained a lot of new fans over the course of the festival, with the stand out hits being Schwarzwälder, our cherry stout and new collaboration brew with Toast Ale, ‘Melba x Toast‘.
As part of Cheltenham and Gloucester Beer Week, Brewerism Brewery Tours organised an event at The Strand pub celebrating women’s contribution to beer through the ages. The two guest speakers for this year were Nicci Peet, a photographer whose latest project is women in the beer industry, and Sam Burke, who has founded her own brewery Burke’s Beers in the Cotswolds. Our Production Manager, Chloe Brooks, went along to represent Stroud Brewery for the meet the brewer portion of the evening, also there were Lucy from Corinium Ales and Sarah from The Hop Shed. Chloe said “Always great fun to meet new people, discuss our beers, and of course sample some!”
Our brewer, Richard Taylor, took part in a ‘Meet the Brewer’ and tasting session at Cheltenham’s newest bottle shop, Bath Road Beers.
Somewhere in between all that we are proud to have been certified as a B Corp company, joining a global community of companies who are reinventing business by believing in more than just the bottom line. More details on that coming soon.
Well even writing about all that is exhausting. I would love to say that October is going to be a peaceful month of recuperation but I would be lying. We begin the long move in to our new brewery this month!