CAMRA Visit to Cheltenham’s Ashton Brewery

After nearly 18 months of lockdown, seven members of Cheltenham CAMRA were delighted to be invited to visit Cheltenham’s newest brewery, Ashton, in Leckhampton.

Ashton Brewery was established in 2018 in the Wiltshire village of Ashton Keynes, by brewer Pete Clark, supplying local pubs and beer festivals. However, in October 2020, Ashton relocated to new premises in Cheltenham.

Pete said, “Although we are a one-man nano-brewery, we pride ourselves in brewing high quality, small batch real ales which are packed with flavour.”

The brewery produces both cask and bottled-conditioned real ale from a very cleverly designed home garage conversion. The brewery is a new 160 litre (1 BBL) microbrewery from Elite Stainless Fabrications in Swindon.

Pete said “In 2004 whilst on business trips to Belgium and the US, I sampled some beers which were like nothing I’d had before. I was inspired to try and make my own versions and brewing began shortly afterwards in the kitchen using malt extract. It was not long before this progressed to brewing from scratch using malted grains.”

In 2011 Pete stepped up to a 50-litre brewery which enabled him to make enough beer to fill a cask, and in 2015 he applied for a commercial brewing licence. The following year Ashton won runner-up Beer Of The Festival at the CAMRA Maidenhead Beer & Cider Festival with “Gold”, a hoppy pale ale made with plenty of American hops. Currently Pete is brewing twice a month, whilst maintaining a full-time job. However, he hopes to increase this to once a week later this year.

After the brewery tour the CAMRA members present were offered hospitality and sampled a variety of Ashton’s bottled beers. All Ashton beers are unfined and unfiltered. Although brewing a number of generally hop-forward beers, Ashton’s three main beers are:

Hazy Blonde

ABV 4.8% IBU 55

A juicy, hazy, full-bodied NEIPA bursting with tropical fruit flavours from Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo hops.

Gold

ABV 4.5% IBU 46

Ashton’s signature pale ale made with plenty of Citra and Simcoe hops giving tropical fruit flavours and a crisp bitter finish.

Shot In The Dark

ABV 4.6% IBU 20

A traditional porter made with dark roast malt, English Fuggles and Goldings hops and an addition of quality ground coffee.

Ashton Beers can currently be found in bottles at Bath Road Beers (Bath Road). Cask ales are sometimes available at The Angry Parrot micropub (St James Street) and at the famous Cheltenham Motor Club (Upper Park Street).

To find out more about Ashton visit https://ashtonbrewery.co.uk