2023 is a special year for Arkell’s Brewery, which is celebrating 180 years of continuous brewing at the original site founded by John Arkell. To celebrate this milestone, the family-owned brewery has created an ale trail to encourage drinkers to visit as many Arkell’s pubs as they can, which can be found across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.
The ale trail will be hosted on Cask Marque’s CaskFinder app, which is free to download on smartphones. Once downloaded, customers register and join the Arkell’s trail, which awards prizes based on the number of pubs visited, including 180th anniversary polo shirts, bottled beer, overnight stays, meals out and a private brewery tour with head brewer, Alex Arkell.
Commenting on the celebratory trail, Alex Arkell, sixth-generation of the Arkell family said: “We’re really excited about this ale trail. It celebrates so many things; our milestone anniversary, the Great British pub, and interesting, fresh beers, produced by our local brewery.
“We want people to venture out of their comfort zone, show support and rediscover the charm of authentic pubs and a fresh selection of delicious beers.”
Roger Protz, world-leading beer writer, historian and real ale campaigner recently visited Arkell’s newest pub, The Strawberry Thief in Swindon, to research a piece for the autumn edition of Beer magazine. He conveyed his best wishes to the brewery for its 180th anniversary celebrations: “It’s brilliant to find a family brewer still producing fine beers and serving them in great town and country pubs. I was impressed by the new pub [The Strawberry Thief], with impeccable cask ales and splendid food, including pizzas from an on-site oven. Carry on brewing, Arkell’s!”
Arkell’s Brewery was established in 1843 by John Arkell and is Swindon’s oldest business, and one of just 29 family breweries left in the UK.
The company has four members of the Arkell family still at the helm: James Arkell, chairman; his cousin Nick Arkell, head of sales and James’ sons George (managing director) and Alex Arkell (head brewer).
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