This weekend marks the end of an era for Stroud Brewery. On Saturday 29th of December we will call last orders at the bar that has been our home for over 12 years.
Greg Pilley and his partner Jade were working at the Soil Association in Bristol when they made the decision to move to Stroud to raise a family and set up an organic brewery. Greg had a vision to brew delicious beer with integrity – a thriving enterprise that would support the community, the environment and other local businesses. He rented a small unit in Thrupp in 2006 and just two months later, the launching brew, Budding, was awarded Champion Beer of Gloucestershire at the Cotswold Beer Festival and it remains our most popular beer. So popular in fact that the Christmas drinkers have drunk it all and there is none left on the bar for our final weekend!
Stroud Brewery has grown organically over the last 12 years. The brew kit has expanded, the office is bursting with staff jostling for computers and the bar has crept out through Unit 11 to take up every inch of space we could find.
The bar is much loved by our team, our customers and the community. It has developed from a patch of grass on which we put a temporary white event tent with donated sofas, to a large deck under a marquee with festoon lights and a large wood burning stove. But we have outgrown the space, the most common grumble we hear is that it’s too busy and there aren’t enough seats. And just as things were booming, our landlord gave us our notice that they too had outgrown their space and needed Unit 11 back.
The last two and a half years have been a challenge for our team, Greg in particular. The functional needs of a brewery and taproom are unique so we could not easily move to another building. We did look at a number of possibilities which we discounted for various reasons but underlying it all was the fact that Greg strongly wanted to stay in the parish of Brimscombe & Thrupp, where we felt we had become an important hub for the local community.
And so here we are, closing the doors on our happy home at Unit 11, a place that has served us well. It is sad to leave (and it has been a lot of hard work too), but we are leaving at what is probably a good time for us anyway. Our team are very excited to move into the new building. We have worked really hard to ensure the new building will meet the needs of our staff, customers and community. The building is purpose-built for our growing needs and includes many sustainable features that fit well with our ethos. If you are keen to find out more about the new brewery and when the new bar will open, keep your eye out for our monthly Beer-E News. If you have not been receiving it since the GDPR fiasco you can sign up here.
Enough about the new brewery, this weekend is just about remembering all the good times at Unit 11 and celebrating what we have achieved over the last 12 and half years. We are inviting all our customers to come down today from 3pm and tomorrow from 12pm (more details on our website). There will be a stage in the old brewhall featuring lots of live music that will culminate in a DJ set with a late finish on Saturday night. We will have photos from the very first brew through to our very last one at Unit 11. Customers will be invited to share your thoughts and memories of your visits. So come down and have a drink with us to mark what is the end of a wonderful era in the Stroud Brewery story.