Cotswold Spring Brewing Co, Old Sodbury Mild
Situated on the southern tip of the beautiful Cotswold Hills, just outside Chipping Sodbury is the award winning Cotswold Spring Brewing Co.
It was founded by two friends, John Worlock and Warren Bryant in 2005 after hatching the idea over a pint in their local, The Codrington Arms. Whilst the chaps knew a good pint when they tasted it, they didn’t know how to brew one.
And so began their pursuit of “The Bear”.
Nik “The Hat” Milo (they are two great nicknames - you'll see why he got them in the little video below) had been in the industry for over 20 years. When John and Warren found him in Brittany grumpily beavering away for La Brasserie Coreff, they knew they had found their man.
Starting a brewery from scratch based on the same site as the Cotswold Spring Water company held massive appeal, as Nik himself explains.
“Because it’s a small brewery you have more freedom to do what you want, within reason, to create recipes. Working for a bigger commercial brewery they want a set recipe and you cannot deviate from that. Here all our beers are my own recipes and I can tweak them.”
Nik isn’t the only character at the brewery. Some of them are the inspiration behind beers like ‘Codger’ a cantankerously crisp and chestnutty bitter and ‘Dandy’ a flamboyant pale ale with mint and lime zest. When we ask exactly which characters these beers are named after they are a bit more non-committal.
Old Sodbury Mild (OSM) is the only beer to have ever won the Society of Independent Brewers Supreme Champion Beer award twice.
“We've been brewing OSM since 2007. It has a more complex flavour than most milds, thanks to the selection of at least seven grains used in its production’ explains The Bear. Based on a traditional local recipe but with a blend of American Willamette and Cascade hops, a complex mix of malts, rye, oats and wheat combine to form this beautifully velvet like sweet concoction offering up Autumn fruits, milk chocolate, caramel and just a hint of smokiness. Delicious.
Last year Cotswold Spring announced that they had merged with Severn Vale Brewing Co, another small Gloucestershire brewery, increasing their presence it the West Country. That can only be a good thing in our eyes.