Salopian Brewing Co.
• • • Lifetime achievement for contribution to UK craft beer • • •
Saturday 25 September 2021
This article is from
Beer52 Awards 2021
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"Quietly brewing beautiful beers since 1995” reads Salopian’s tagline, and that really about sums it up; this unassuming but hugely influential Shrewsbury brewery embodies so much of what is great about UK brewing today, innovating on a bedrock of rock-solid technique and centuries of tradition.
Founded by Martin Barry on the site of the old Onions Dairy in 1995, Salopian was breaking new ground from its very first brews, its tiny two- barrel system turning out wonderfully different and eclectic styles of beer that would lay the foundations of what would become its Black Range.
With the introduction of Progressive Beer Duty in 2002, Salopian used the reduction in its costs to invest in the brewery and get itself onto a growth footing. Slowly, as cash flow permitted, it upgraded its brewing kit and replaced rusty, dented vans with slightly less rusty dented vans.
During the 26 years that Salopian has doggedly plied its craft, the styles, techniques and raw materials involved have changed massively. The 1990s saw the introduction of New World hops into the UK, which was grist to the mill for Salopian, as they matched the brewery’s desire to brew something different. This urge only increased as the US-inspired craft movement blossomed around the brewery in the 2010s, providing inspiration, new customers and – for the first time really – peers.
2014 saw the brewery make its final move to the village of Hadnall on the outskirts of Shrewsbury. Its purpose- built brewery is complemented by its much-loved taproom and shop. While lockdown has been tough for a brewery with such a focus on cask and traditional pubs, Salopian has kept brewing and used the time to push itself forward in other ways.
“The last 18 months have been interesting to say the least,” says the brewery’s Trevor Hourican, “but we have taken the opportunity to innovate and experiment further, investing at last in our own canning line to accompany our bottling facility. We are really pleased with the results, with some great new beers across all formats and more on the way”.
The inclusion of Salopian’s excellent Illuminance DDH Pale in this month’s box marks its Beer52 debut. It’s a beer that perfectly reflects the Salopian philosophy: balanced, drinkable, bang on style and brewed without compromise.
“The inspiration for Illuminance came from our love of IPAs; we have built a reputation for them over the years and really enjoyed using one of our favourite hops, Mosaic, to develop striking tropical flavours in the beer,” says Trevor. “As ever, the beer has the trademark Salopian character, as we used our house yeast that we brew with across our range. The artwork follows our Black Range template – simple and understated, yet striking and giving you a reason to open it up and try what’s inside.”
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