The Victorian Brewery
Uley Brewery was built by Samuel Price in 1833 during the reign of William IV, on the site of the lower village spring outlet. There was a great demand for beer in Uley; the valley bottom was full of woollen mills, a dusty thirsty trade, and a map of 1840 shows thirteen beerhouses in the village!
Brewing and malting continued under the aegis of the Price family and later the Ayliffe family until the collapse of the woollen trade at the end of the 19th Century.
Chas on the Brewery StepsThe brewhouse, maltings and cellars then had many uses, mainly agricultural; in the 1930's they became the kennels of the Kingscote Hunt. These old premises reverted to farm buildings after the war, and slumbered on until 1984, when Chas Wright, a local Beer Wholesaler, was given the opportunity to re-open the brewery. Most of the stainless vessels were designed by Chas, and fabricated locally. After a winter of building and re-fitting the first pint of Uley Bitter was brewed on March 1st 1985.
The brewery is built into the flanks of Uley Bury, and is a traditional tower brewery: malted Maris Otter Barley is delivered to the malt store on the top floor at the rear of the brewhouse and is dropped into the Mash Tun with heated water, or liquor, from the original Cotswold Spring. Liquor is the greatest part of beer, both in quality and quantity! We are very fortunate to have our original spring, unlike many of our competitors who have to brew with tap water!
The wort is run off from the mash tun into a gas-fired copper, and boiled with Herefordshire Fuggles, Goldings, and other Traditional Hops. The wort is then cooled and collected in fermentation vessels, yeast is pitched, and after seven days primary fermentation the finished beer is racked into casks and rolled into our vaulted cellar for conditioning. In an ideal world we would like to condition the beer for at least a month; regrettably, from a brewer's viewpoint if not an accountant's, demand for our beer is such that it is often in the cellar for only a few days!
The Old BreweryThe Uley Brewery is Grade 2 listed; we cannot increase our fermentation capacity and we are governed by the laws of supply and demand. We brew to capacity; this is why we do not have a sales or marketing division. The strong demand for our craft brewed beer gives us the luxury of ensuring that our beers are found only in REAL PUBS kept by REAL PUBLICANS, who judge a beer by its taste rather than the discount! We are Genuine Cotswold Brewers.