A good pint of ale is a British institution, as is the industry that makes it. All over the UK, there are companies – big and small – that still practice the fine art of producing a good mug of beer. Oxfordshire, just as it happens, is home to several such breweries, many of which you can visit for a tour and if there’s time, a quick drink.
Located within walking distance of Hardwick Parks is the Wychwood Brewery. Wychwood is the largest brewer of organic ale in the UK (the beer drinkers among you will certainly be familiar with their Hobgoblin ruby ale) and ships 50,000 barrels of cask ale around the world every year! There has been a brewery in Witney since 1841 – in fact that first brewery was built on the same site where the Wychwood brewery now stands.
Wychwood offers a two-hour brewery tour which guides you through the brewing process of both Wychwood and Breakspear beers – from raw ingredients to finished product.
Hook Norton Brewery
The Hook Norton Brewery is a passionately independent and family run brewery found north of Oxford in the scenic Cotswold hills. The finest remaining example of a Victorian style Tower Brewery in the country, the Hook Norton Brewery is one of only 32 family run brewers left in the UK and combines a handcrafted brewing tradition with a modern approach.
Brewery tours run seven days a week and offer a great opportunity to get an inside look at a manufacturing process using a system that dates back to the 1800s.
The Swan & The Farringdon Brewery
A little different from the other breweries on our list, The Farringdon Brewery is located in what might be the best place for a brewery – inside a pub! The Farringdon Brewery is actually the micro-brewing arm of The Swan free house and can be found just 20 minutes drive (or cab ride) from Hardwick Parks.
Not only does the brewery make beers for the pub itself, but it also offers a brew day experience for small groups. As part of these special events, you’ll be able to get first-hand experience of the brewing process and will even be able to take your beer home with you once its ready.
Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery
Located in the Chiltern Hills area of outstanding natural beauty, the Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery offers a multifaceted brewery tour experience. As a winery, brewery and liquor producer, the Chiltern Hills two hour “behind-the-scenes” tour covers the production process of all three products, from raw ingredients grown on-site, to the finished products which you’ll be able to sample as part of the tour and buy from the well-stocked cellar shop.
As inviting for its location and atmosphere as it is for its beers and wine, Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery is a great way to spend a long summer day.
Located in Witney, Hardwick Parks is just a short walk from the Wychwood Brewery and within driving distance from the rest – we hope you enjoy (responsibly) your visit! Book your next summer break at Hardwick Parks today.