With Arkells having a strong presence in Whitchurch at the White Hart Hotel, a trip to see where how and where the beers are brewed was always going to be a popular and enjoyable experience.
And so it proved to be as a coach of enthusiastic and thirsty pub users travelled up to the historic Kingsdown brewery on the outskirts of Swindon.
Family owned
The company is still a family-owned brewer having commenced under John Arkell in 1843. It was very pleasing that descendant George Arkell appeared at the gates to wave the coach into the yard and remained throughout to chat and enjoy the beers with all present.
Traditional brewing
Arkells still brew in the traditional way and the visit went through all the processes of creating a truly traditional pint from the copper and mash tun through to the cask; then finally from handpump to glass and to the final satisfaction of tasting a beer full of character. For several on the trip, chewing malt grains and taking in the hop aromas was a new experience; and the news that hops are related to the cannabis plant was a bit of a revelation!
A sumptuous buffet in the hospitality area was then enjoyed over sampling of the brews on offer together with a chance to ask questions and socialise. The beers flowed well!
A new beer – on at the Hart
There was also the opportunity to try Arkell’s new permanent beer, Wiltshire Gold. This light amber hoppy brew, is very refreshing, taking the place of the seasonal Summer Ale. It is already available at the White Hart from hosts Andy and Julie.
Best get down the Hart to try some!

Many thanks to the White Hart for making the visit possible.

Click to enlarge pictures:

Setting off from Whitchurch

The Kingsdown Brewery

Inside the tower

The brewing plant

Arkells hospitality

Enjoying the visit!

Plenty of real ale

The brewery steam engine

Next stop - the pub!