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Gazette - Thusaday, December 20, 2012

It’s all hail to the ale as brewery hits landmark


Competition winners Maria and David Marriott during their
visit to the Cotswold Spring Brewery


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WITH a range including Vixen, Guv'nor, Reveller and Aviator, it's clear names and packaging are important to Cotswold Spring Brewery. But as the Codrington-based beer maker raise a glass to its 1,000th brew, taste is still at the heart of this innovative local firm with blood, sweat and tears going into making every drop. Alexandra Womack took a tour to find out more about the brewery's brand new ale.

THE story of how Cotswold Spring Brewery ever came to be is much like a tale you would hear down the pub.

Two friends sat down with a pint started discussing malting their own beer and how great it would be to create their own varieties from locally-sourced spring water.

But this dream, the brainchild of businessmen Warren Bryant and John Warlock, became a reality in 2005 when Cotswold Spring Water agreed to supply anew beer making facility on its site in Codrington.

"It started off from quite humble beginnings," said managing director Mark Frankcom.

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"There were two directors, a brewer and a manager. It started from nothing and grew from the ground up."

But with master brewer Nik Milo at the helm, recruited from France after years working for leading companies in the industry, it would not belong until the brewery was the toast of the town winning its first award in its first year.

It has gone on to be regarded as a craft brewery and won the Society of Independent Brewers' supreme beer in 2011 and this year scooped two golds and two silvers in the same competition.


"What you get out at the end depends on what you put in," said Mark "You don't get anything for nothing and in some of our beers we have up to seven different grains to make it taste more complex.

"The market for real ale has changed - it is more innovative with younger people drinking it these days.



"We have had to respond to that and give people what they want so last year we went through a big rebranding exercise when we sat down and thought what we like brewing."

Nik said: "Because it is a small brewery you have more freedom to do what you want, within reason, to create recipes.

"Working for a bigger commercial brewery they want a set recipe and you cannot deviate from that

"Here all our beers are my own recipes and I can tweak them."

Under the tag line 'Brewery Purely With Character', the range collection of beers includes Vixen, described as brazenly warm, dark and cosy, a 'buxom' Stunner and firm favourite Codger, branded cantankerously crisp.

Pints are on tap in local pubs including The Swan at Nibley, The Squire in Chipping Sodbury and the New Inn at Westerleigh as well as further afield across Gloucestershire, Bath and Bristol.

And to celebrate a milestone 1,000th brew, an extra strong and flavoursome beer has been created called Walloonatic after a region in Belgium.

The name of the 8.5 per cent ale, which has been made from four different grains, was chosen by a panel of experts after a competition run in pubs stocked by the brewery and on Twitter.

It was the idea of Maria and David Marriott, from Wroughton, who won supplies of the drink for themselves and their local pub the Carter's Rest.

Mark added: "We are still only a team of five, but we are very proud to have reached our 1,000th brew and of all we have achieved."


Chipping Sodbury ale wins UK competition

"Cheers for the best beer in Britain"  Lynne Hutchinson I. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it image626


GLASSES are being raised at a brewery near Chipping Sodbury after one of Its ales took the honours In a national beer competition.

Old Sodbury Mild, produced by the Cotswold Spring Brewery, was named supreme champion at the event organised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

The ale had already been voted the best mild by the judges before scooping the major title and the 2011 crown.

Reaching the final stage was an achievement in itself, with more than 1,400 beers from breweries across the country originally entered for the contest. .

The brewery, based in Codrington, has now been guaranteed a place for its champion ale at the Great British Beer Festival in London in the summer, an event which will be visited by more than 60,000 lovers of real ale.

John Worlock and Warren Bryant set up the brewery just six years ago when they decided they needed a change, recruiting master brewer Nik Milo.

They soon built up a following, as well as winning awards, and last year marked five years in business by winning prizes for three of their beers, including Old Sodbury Mild, which obviously tickled the judges' taste buds.

John said: "I was very surprised that a mild became the supreme champion but mild beers do seem to be experiencing a resurgence.

"The award has come from the industry and for Nik it's a real pat on  the back.

"We work hard to make our beers the best and receiving the award is a bit like getting an Oscar."

Four regular ales are produced, using Cotswold spring water, at Codrington - Olde English Rose, Codrington Codger, Gloucestershire’s Glory and the Codrington Royal.

But during the year a range of seasonal ales and specials are also brewed, including Old Sodbury Mild

John Said between 7,000 and 8,000 pints are currently being sent out a week from the brewery, which was open to anyone who wanted to call in and see the brewing process.

Julian Grocock, chief executive of SIBA, said “The quality of craft beers produced by SIBA brewers improves every year, so our champion awards go to brewers who are truly the best of the best.”

"Cotswold Spring Brewery's skill, passion and dedication to creating great craft beer make it a deserving winner.'"



 - Friday, June 04, 2010 image6291


BREWERY bosses celebrated their fifth anniversary in business by scooping awards for three of their beers.


Cotswold Spring Brewery was started near Chipping Sodbury in 2005 by two friends who decided it was time for a change in their lives.


Within a short time, with their master brewer Nik Milo, they became established in the real ale world after producing several popular tipples.


They also started winning accolades and one of their beers, Honeybear, has struck gold for the third year running in the Wales and West round of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Beer Competition. The seasonal wheat beer was entered in the speciality category and is thought to be the first ale to have achieved such a run of success.


Old Sodbury Mild was also awarded gold and Olde English Rose won a silver award in the class for bitter and pale ale. Earlier this year, Honeybear came second in the national final for the 2009 regional winners. John Worlock said: "We always have four regular beers that we produce throughout the year – Olde English Rose, Codrington Codger, Gloucestershire's Glory and Codrington Best – as well as seasonal ales and specials.


"Gloucestershire's Glory was originally developed to mark the 1,000th anniversary of Gloucestershire in 2007 but it was received so well that it is now a regular."


Other brews include Off The Rails, which is made specially for the Avon Valley Railway at Bitton, Dodington Stout and Old Sodbury Porter.

John added: "We didn't think that Honeybear would win for a third time, having won twice before, but the judging for the SIBA awards is done by blind tasting so it's the flavour that is so important.


"There are a lot of small breweries now and competition is great, so we were really pleased to have won three awards, especially as it's five years since we produced our first beer."

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