Swindon’s pubs and bars are the place to go for unique award-winning beers – and they’re all on tap at September Beer Festival.
Fact. Swindon is one of the very best locations in Britain for real ales of all possible hues, aromas and flavours, and it’s mostly thanks to one legendary local brewery. Take it from the experts.
Established in 1843, Swindon-based Arkell’s Brewery is celebrating a bumper summer awards season with 13 accolades coming back to the brewhouse this year alone.
The prestigious brewery has won awards from The International Beer Challenge, Taste of the West, The Great Taste Awards and The Society of Independent Brewers, all celebrating the wide range of craft beers and ales available in Arkell’s hostelries the length and breadth of Swindon, from traditional family inns to upmarket gastropubs and funky music bars.
The International Beer Challenge - which judges beers from 31 countries around the world - awarded Arkell’s the Taste Award for three brews, with a silver for both ‘Moonlight’ (brewed to mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF) and ‘Wiltshire Gold’, and a bronze for ‘Bees Organic’.
Alex Arkell, Head Brewer at Arkell's Brewery said: "We’re absolutely thrilled to have won yet more awards this year from four very prestigious awarding bodies.”
“We’re honoured to have so many different types of our craft beers and ales winning bronze, silver and gold awards. This shows that the brewing process that has been passed down through generations in addition to the innovations that each family member has created are continuing to pay off. We'll always raise a glass to that!"
Arkell’s may be sweeping the international awards but the good news for discerning beer drinkers is that you don’t have to cast the net very wide to savour their golden ales – the local brewers boast no less than 46 pubs in Swindon and its surrounding villages!
Anyone visiting Arkell's Brewery for the first time could be excused for thinking they have walked straight into a time machine. The beer is still brewed in much the same way as it was when John Arkell first made it in 1843 and the brewery buildings seem untouched by the passing years. If you speak to any of the staff about the company it’s clear that everyone is still as fiercely proud of its local and family roots as John Arkell was himself.
But Arkell’s has not achieved its unique position as Swindon's oldest company and one of the oldest traditional breweries still operating in Britain today, simply by standing still. The company has remained true to the principles of loyalty, quality and tradition set down by its founder, but it has also adapted brilliantly to the changing world around it.
Now to commemorate their 175th anniversary, Arkell’s is holding a special Beer Festival at its Kingsdown Brewery in Swindon on Saturday, September 15th. It promises to be a great day for real ale connoisseurs with more than 40 beers on tap, not to mention brewery tours, live music and food stalls. Cheers!
Register for the Arkell's Beer Festival here: