We have always been a bit quirky (some might even say eccentric) so it was only natural that when we set up a brewery back in 2005 it too would be a bit different!
When we took the bold (some might even say mad or foolish) leap into the unknown over ten years ago, we decided to embrace our uniqueness and brew lager at a time when all the other microbreweries were brewing ale.
Rick already had over 10 years brewing experience and a brewing degree under his belt, coupled with many years of practical tasting, when he came to a fork in the road of this career path. Upon completion of an MBA at Oxford Brookes University he was faced with the decision of what to do next….a grown up career, perhaps in the city? Management for a larger brewery or beverage company? Or, what about setting up his own microbrewery and working really crazy hours, even at weekends, for the next five years at least but loving every minute?! And so, whilst most men have a garden shed to retreat to, Rick went one further, found a Cotswold Stone barn and filled it with a brewery. Over the years said barn has been replaced by a large agricultural shed (with 10 acres of paddock), filled with even more kit from across the globe and a growing number of staff.
As one of the first lager microbreweries in the UK our mission was to try and change the nation’s perception of this humble, often misrepresented brew. We were so dedicated to the cause that we concentrated on kegs, something unheard of all those years ago when all the other microbreweries were filling casks with ale. With almost each year that passed we championed a new style of drink, including wheat beer, stout and cider. Cotswold Brew Co was the first microbrewery to introduce seasonal lagers, named, wait for it, after the seasons! Cotswold Summer was so popular that we had to rename it and make sure that summer was available all year long, if only in a glass.
Inspired by the Bavarian Regional breweries the conscious decision to only distribute locally was taken, even if it means turning away trade. Only those lucky people that live in The Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, Bath, Bristol, London and a few places in between are lucky enough to get their hands (and lips) on Cotswold. Forget food miles, it’s all about beer miles for us… This dedication to great drinks extends even to Gin and Vodka. Back in 2010 Emma began the quest to develop a gin and vodka that would represent the Cotswold heritage and ‘The Spirit Of The Cotswolds’ was born.
And so here we are today, the longest surviving lager microbrewery under the same ownership. We’re 100% independent and family owned, so just like our beers we’re additive and preservative free. The range may be larger but the ethos is the same – to make great beer and enjoy ourselves doing it. ‘Proper beer’ surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside on God‘s green earth. What’s not to love!?