We’re on a roadtrip from Glasgow to London, seeking out little towns, history, and craft beer. To read the first in this series, click here.
We stumbled upon the Ludlow Brewing Company quite by chance on our UK road trip. We had left Chester early in the evening to find a place to camp closer to Bath, our destination for the following day. Our commitment to eschewing the main motorways took us through the beautiful rolling hillsides and picturesque villages of Shropshire.
Dusk was just beginning to settle as we arrived at Ludlow, a charming town with a market and a castle in the town centre. We decided we’d be best to find our campground and get our tent set up before it got too dark, and reluctantly put off visiting the brewery until the next day. We were treated to a stunning view overlooking Ludlow, and an even better sunrise.
We took our time in the morning walking around town and browsing the open-air market before making our way over to the brewery. Ludlow Brewing Company is housed in an old rail shed just off the main street of the town. It has been converted into a beautiful, open, environmentally-friendly brew house.
The taproom is spacious and furnished with several large wood tables and big comfortable leather chairs. The loft layout with large windows allows plenty of natural light in and there is a second seating area upstairs. It also allows space for the 20-barrel system, so patrons can watch the brewing happen while enjoying an ale.
In the UK, there is a growing movement to support “real ales”, rather than commercially-brewed lagers that often use inferior ingredients. CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ales) has recognized Ludlow Brewing Co. with several awards for the quality of their traditional-style ales, using the noble hops native to the area. In fact, Ludlow is able to source their hops locally, enjoying such English stalwarts as Golding and Fuggle.
We ordered 1/3 pint samples of each of their six offerings and had the opportunity to chat with Gary Walters, the owner, who walked us through their brewing system. Their flagship Gold ale and Black Knight stout were notable standouts and Gillian and I had to negotiate over who would get to have which samples.
Ludlow Brewing Co. also takes care to be environmentally responsible. They use heat capture from their brewing process for the in-floor heating, recycle rainwater, use low energy lighting and solar panels. Interestingly, they also only deliver within a 50-mile radius. Given how busy they were while we were there, this limit doesn’t seem to be hurting them at all, and it was evident that they have the support of the local community.
In addition to beer, Ludlow sells local pub snacks and local take-away treats like “Made in Shopshire Crisps” and Made in Ludlow snack bars and flapjacks (a kind of oat bar).
Camping Website: http://northfarmludlow.co.uk/
Brewery Website: http://www.theludlowbrewingcompany.co.uk/