It's not too difficult to make a bland lager, comparable with the mass produced European offerings that you find in chain pubs, the essential ingredients are grain, hops, yeast and water. But it takes a lot of practice and skill as well as fine quality ingredients, to make a good tasting ale.
An underlying national passion for beer coupled with growing consumer knowledge has created a growth market for Cask Ale, or Real Ale. Inreased consumer demand naturally leads to an increase in the number of microbreweries. This is great news for the consumer as each brewery will make its own beer, resulting in a huge choice for the ale drinker.
In Shropshire we are blessed with seventeen small, independent breweries, who are turning out some truly delicious ales. Be sure to look out for some of the gems described on this page when you next head out for a drink.
We have split the county into regions and listed all the breweries for each region. The north of Shropshire has two more well known breweries: Hanby Ales and the Stonehouse Brewery, and couple of smaller breweries. In Mid Shropshire we have a number of well known breweries, the largest being the Salopian brewery, whose ales are widely available in and around Shrewsbury. While located in South Shropshire are perhaps the best known breweries in the whole county: Woods, which produces, among others, the popular Shropshire Lad ale. Britain's oldest working brewery, Three Tuns in Bishops Castle, and Hobsons of Cleobury Mortimer who produce a CAMRA Supreme Champion Beer of Britain.
Contact: 01743 248414
Located in an old dairy on the edge of Shrewsbury, the Salopian Brewery was established in 1995. Beers include Shropshire Gold, Oracle, Abbey Gates, Hop Twister, Golden Thread, Lemon Dream.
Contact: 01952 433910
Beers include Coracle, 1779, Ironbridge Gold, Ironbridge Special Mild, and Mild, as well as some seasonal beers.
Bridgnorth Brewing Company
Contact: 01746 762889
Beers include Bridgnorth Best Bitter, Apley Ale, Northgate Gold, Bishop Percy, Old Mo and Westgate Winter Warmer.
Worfield Brewing Company
Contact: 01746 769606
Located at the brewhouse at the All Nations Inn in Madeley near Telford. Beers include Dabley Ale, Dabley Gold, Coalport Dodger Mild, The Wenlock Blonde, Shropshire Pride, plus a range of seasonal specials. They also have a range of Ironbridge Ales including Ironbridge Gorgeous, Ironmaster, Coalbrookdale and Thomas Telford.
Location: Rowton near Telford
A new brewery started brewing in late 2008. This one man brewery supplies a handful of local pubs. Beers include Bitter and Meteorite.
Contact: 01743 384728
Shrewsbury's newest brewery (that we know of!). At the time of writing they are planning to open a shop, and currently produce 5 beers: Gold | Amber | Mild | Citrus Blast | Sabut Jung.
Location: Market Drayton
Contact: 01630 654400
The brewery sits above the Market Drayton aquafer, a natural water source passing through red sandstone deposits. The main brew is Joule's Pale Ale. Brewed with a blend of crystal malt providing a biscuity base and tipple malt providing a malty sweet carmel flavour. The crisp, clear finish is provided by our local mineral water. A special blend of hop flower gives the fruity, well rounded bitterness and slightly spicy aroma.
Contact: 01691 676457
The Stonehouse microbrewery started in 2000 from a kitchen table experiment and grew to a CAMRA award winning product. All beers are brewed by traditional hand crafted methods and include Station Bitter, Cambrian Gold, Off The Rails, Wheeltapper's Wheat Beer, Kingston Flyer KPA.
Contact: 01939 232432
Established in 1988 following the closure of the Shrewsbury and Wem Brewery, this brewery has gone on to win a huge number of awards. Current beers include Drawwell Bitter, All Seasons Ale, Cascade Bitter, Rainbow Chaser, Wem Special, Golden Honey, Premium Bitter, Taveners Ales, Nutcracker Ale, Cherry Bomb, Black Magic Mild, Shropshire Stout, Scorpio Porter and Pure Gold.
Lion's Tail Brewery
Contact: 01630 661234
Lion's Tail Brewery was established in 2006 and is associated with the Red Lion Hotel in Cheswardine, south east of Market Drayton. Their beers include Lion's Tail Blonde and the popular Lion Bru.
Offa's Dyke Brewery
Contact: 01691 656889
Offa's Dyke brewery is associated with the Barley Mow Pub. Beers include Barley Blonde, Grim Reaper, Harvest Gold, Harvest Moon and Thirst Brew.
Location: Hope Valley, Minsterley
Contact: 07828 053065
Shropshire's newest microbrewery currently offering three beers by the names of Devil's Chair, Cannon Rock and Stiperstones. See website for full list of places you can pick up these ales.
Contact: 01588 672523
One of the best known breweries in Shropshire largely because of it's popular Shropshire Lad beer. The Wood Brewery was established in 1980. Beers include Shropshire Lad, Wonderful, Quaff, Special Bitter, Parish Bitter, Pot O' Gold, Craven Ale, plus a range of seasonal beers.
Location: Bishops Castle
Contact: 01588 638392
The Three Tuns Brewery in Bishops Castle on the Shopshire border with Wales has been brewing since 1642. As they still use part of the original building they can claim to be the oldest working brewery in Britain. Beers include 1642, XXX and Cleric's Cure. A range of seasonal beers are also available.
Location: Cleobury Mortimer
Contact: 01299 270837
Established 1993 and winner of CAMRA's Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 2007 for its Hobsons Mild, a 3.2% dark ale using chocolate malt. Other beers include Manor Ale, Twister Spire, Town Crier, Postmans Knock and the rich and clean hoppy finish of the 5.2% Old Henry. You can buy direct from them, or find their ale in 150 local pubs.
Location: Bishops Castle
Contact: 01588 638930
Opened in 1997 on the site of the original brewery which closed in the early 1900s. Their regular beers include Big Nev's, Cloud Nine, Goldings BB and 1859 Premium. They also produce calendar Ales, one per month, 2010's offerings include August's Happy Daze, and Decemeber's Brass Monkey.
Ludlow Brewing Company
Contact: 01584 873291
Established in 2006 in some old maltings in Corve Street, Ludlow. Beers are award winning 4.2% Gold, dark and malty 4.7% The Boiling Well and Ludlow Best, a 3.7% pale malt. Buy direct from the brewery, or from local shops and pubs.
Location: The Sun Inn, Corfton
Contact: 01584 861239
Established 1997 and located behind the Sun Inn in Corfton. Beers include Normans Pride, Dark and Delicious, Katies Pride, Molly Morgan, Farmer Rays. They also have a couple of seasonal beer which are currently Green Hop and Winter in the Sun. St Georges Stout received a gold in the Porters, Strong Milds, Old Ales & Stouts category, and came 2nd in the overall competition held at Ludlow Castle.