Shropshire Star

Shropshire brewery strikes gold with Station Beer at national awards

A Shropshire brewery has struck gold after one of its beers landed a top national award.

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Shane and the team at Stonehouse

Stonehouse Brewery won gold and silver at the SIBA Beer X competition in Liverpool, regarded by many as the pinnacle of awards for the independent brewing industry.

The brewery's Station Bitter won the Keg Bitter category at the event and Shane Parr, the Stonehouse co-founder, said: “We’re over the moon!

"It’s exactly 10 years since Station Bitter last won a national SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) award.

"It’s a great beer and a testament to the great crew we have and it's such a boost after the ongoing impact of lockdowns have had on our sector."

Stonehouse promoted new head brewer, Dave Muir, in October 2022.

And Shane said: "He’s already making his mark with consistency and quality and he has big plans for 2023.

"I'd tell people to keep an eye out for our new beers at your local watering hole, or try them at the brewery."

Stonehouse Brewery Limited, based at Weston, Oswestry recently launched a new four per cent pale ale called ‘Two Halves’ to honour this year’s Six Nations.

The beer was so-called, the brewery says, because legendary All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick often started his post-match interviews with the same sentence – “Well, it was a game of two halves...”

Shane said: “There have been a lot of pub closures but the local is an important part of our communities. If we don’t use them, we’ll lose them. From our point of view we are trying to do a few more different and interesting things to try and get people, not just drinking our beer but also into the pubs we supply."

The brewery is located right next to the Cambrian Railway and was set up by Shane and wife Alison in 2007.

“We came up with the idea for the brewery and, having been in Australia, we moved back to the UK,” he said. “We wanted to give it a go so we spent the next few years developing the idea, researching it and sourcing equipment before getting it up and started.

“We have gone from nothing to making close to half-a-million litres of beer a year.

“Pre-Covid, we expanded the business and opened a bar and that’s become as big a part of our business as selling beer to other pubs. We have an orchard at the back and, in the summer, we can have hundreds of people here.

“Like everyone, we are having to watch our costs at the moment but we will be okay and we are pretty positive with our outlook.”