The Cotswold Brewing Company
The Cotswold Brewing Company is as we write, listed as the No 1 attraction of things to do in Bourton-on-the Water, scoring 5* from 153 reviews. It also holds a Certificate of Excellence 2018 from Trip Advisor.
This specialist Keg beer Microbrewery was set up by Rick and Emma in 2005. Unusual in that unlike the numerous other Microbreweries that have sprung up, they choose to brew in the same way as the Belgians and Germans with consideration given to the old ways of Bavaria and the odd twist thrown in here and there. Brewing a great variety (check out their website) of lagers, wheat beers, IPA and even Cider. Their lagers are brewed from scratch at their brewery in Bourton-on-the-Water. Their recipes are based on the traditional Bavarian beers and therefore only contain four ingredients; Water, Hops, Malt and Yeast.
Their products are clean, so you know you’re not getting any hidden nasties. They are also trialling a 2.2% vegan beer.
Their tours take place most weekends and some week days, note you do need to book in advance and they are for over 18’s only. The tours will cover how to make beer and show you how they vary the strengths and flavours. Happily the brewery is within an easy walk from Bourton Centre so you can leave the car at home, allowing you to enjoy the full range of generous samples they offer. For those that do have to drive, don’t worry you get a free gift to take home with you – they have everything covered for a fabulous afternoon out.
One of the great things about the tour, is that you also get to sample Vodka and Gin from their sister company Spirit of the Cotswolds! The original Cotswolds gin and vodka are brewed here, small batched distilled spirits. This rose from a long-held desire within Emma to brew their own gin. They developed the Original Cotswold gin, using Botanicals that evoke the spirit of the Cotswolds. The project was nicknamed GAVIN (read more about this on their website) which stood for Gin And Vodka Introduction.
Again, with quality in mind they brew with barley rather than the cheaper potato or molasses options. This delicious gin is distilled five times to enrich its flavours and make it really smooth. They use lime peel rather than lemon which gives it a beautiful citrus note, their gins are perfect served with a slice of lime rather than lemon. Other flavours include Juniper (of course) and coriander and oris root as traditional base flavours. We won’t tell you all their secrets, but you will find what they chose for their gin and why on the tour. You’ll be surprised at just how quintessentially English their botanical choices are and you will understand how they depict the Cotswold countryside perfectly.
So, all in all we recommend a trip to the Cotswold Brewing Company as a must do when visiting Bourton-on-the-Water.