Our shop is laid out in such a way that we hope our customers can find what they are looking for with the minimum of fuss. We have distinct sections for UK beers, US beers, German beers, Belgian beers, Other International beers, Gluten free beers, Ciders and Perries and English Wines and Meads. The UK and US beer sections are laid out alphabetically by brewery but if you are looking for a specific style, we give some guidance by the colouring on the labels of the price boxes. Also on the labels are tasting notes and indications for where a beer is bottle (or can) conditioned, organic, vegetarian friendly and gluten-free. We have also re-acted to the recent ‘Can revolution’ by providing additional chillers in the shop – one for UK cans and one for US and other International cans.
We also serve draught beers (keg dispense) and draught ciders (Bag in Box) which you can drink on the premises of take-away with you (please provide your own growlers for draught beer).
Beers from the UK still remain the primary focus of Favourite Beers. At any one time we will have a selection of over 300 UK beers on the shelves and since we opened we have featured well in excess of 3000 different beers from over 250 different UK breweries. We try and keep fairly regular stock of many of the local Gloucestershire and Bristol based breweries as well as some of the top class regionals and the rising stars of the craft beer movement. The remainder of our stock is rotated on a regular basis allowing us to introduce beers from at least two new breweries (to us) every month. This rotation and the ever changing line-ups from our regular brewers means that customers are treated to a ‘moving feast’ of different beers and beer styles on an almost weekly basis.
Our selection is like no other you will find in supermarkets or anywhere in the County, but don’t just take our word for it, pop down and check out our ‘Aladdin's Cave’ of beers.
UK Beers - The 4 Cheltenham Breweries
DEYA – Cheltenham’s newest brewery, and one of the leading lights in the UK’s craft beer revolution. We have one of our draught keg lines dedicated to their range of beers and regularly stock their 500ml cans.
Battledown – Cheltenham’s oldest working brewery, recently re-located to Dowdeswell Park. Currently we stock their three bottled beers but more are on the way.
Cotswold Lion – Located just outside of Cheltenham in the village of Coberley, very nice people and brewers of a range of superb traditional ales as well as our five commissioned bottled beers, Ruby (for our shop dog), Our Banksy themed beers (GC-Ale-Q, GC-Pale-Q and GC-Noel-Q) and Plumdiddlyuptious (seasonal plum porter).
Prescott – Established in 2008, a growing influence on the local beer scene with their motor sport themed beers and their Super Six ‘specials’. Just four bottles stocked at the moment – but cans may be imminent.
UK Beers – Gloucestershire and Bristol
Since day one we said we would like to keep stock as many ‘Local’ beers as possible and we have executed that pretty well with over 50% of our UK stock coming from within 30 miles of the shop. As well as those from Cheltenham, we regularly stock beers from the following Gloucestershire breweries: Bespoke, Corinium, Donningtons, Gloucester, Goffs, Hillside Brewery and Stroud. The blossoming of Bristol into the beer capital of the South West has seen the advent of some superb breweries, most of which we are proud to regularly stock, these include: Arbor Ales, Bristol Beer Factory, Good Chemistry, Left Handed Giant, Moor and Wiper and True.
UK Beers – Movers and Shakers on the Craft beer scene
The last ten years have seen a revolution in UK beer production, with many of the small micro-breweries taking a lead from the revolution started in the USA in the late 1970’s and producing styles of beer full of flavour and pizazz. Pioneers like Thornbridge and Brewdog have been joined by a host of successful breweries across the country (including Cheltenham’s very own DEYA) to delight the taste buds of British drinkers. We regularly stock a wide range of beers from the likes of Buxton, Cloudwater, Kernel, Magic Rock, Northern Monk, Siren, Tiny Rebel, Verdant, Wild Beer, Wylam and many others.
Belgium has a rich and diverse variety of fantastic beer styles preserved as part of its regional cultural heritage. From farmhouse Saisons to sour Lambic beers, strong Trappist ales to refreshing Wit beers – there is something for everyone. There are approximately 200 breweries in the country, ranging from international giants to microbreweries. Most beers are bought or served in bottles, and almost every style of beer has its own particular, uniquely shaped glass or other drinking-vessel. Using the correct glass is considered to improve its flavour. From the day we opened we had a large selection of Belgian beers and that range has continued to grow. We regularly stock in the order of 110 – 120 different beers encompassing about 22 different styles.
Regularly stocked breweries include: Achouffe, Boon, Cantillon, De La Senne, Dupont, Fantome, Struisse, Troubadour
and all six Belgian Trappist breweries.
With American craft brewing expanding hugely over the last ten years or so and with at least 5 new micro-breweries opening every week in the states, US beer has been in huge demand in the UK.
On opening day, we only stocked around 10 American craft beers but we now have aa whole section of the shop devoted to them. At our peak we stocked around 100 beers from the States and whilst we have decided to downsize a bit in favour of some of the new European craft breweries, US beer will still have a key place in the shop for years to come.
American breweries regularly stocked include: Anchor Steam, Cascade, Flying Dog, Kona, Left Hand, Odell, Rogue
Beer is a major part of German culture and for many years’ German beer was brewed in adherence to the Reinheitsgebot (German Purity law) which only permitted water, hops, and malt as beer ingredients (yeast was added to the list once discovered). This has led people to believe that German beer is a bit boring and ‘safe’. The reality is that as well as producing some of the very best Helles and Pilsner lagers in the world and many superb wheat beers, there are very many other, often regional, superb styles that are produced in the country. From Rauchbier to Kolsch, Schwarzbier to Berliner Weisse and from Kellerbier to Eisbok, the rich variety of beers available can be a revelation to many seasoned beer drinkers. Our ever-changing range of around 30 different German beers tries to give you a taste of this wonderful diversity, with seasonal beers adding to the range on a regular basis.
Breweries regularly stocked include: Andechs, Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Maisels, Paulaner, Schlenkerla, Schneider, Sunner
Since we opened we have experimented with stocking a fairly wide range of beers from just about most beer making countries you can name. Many of those beers however tended to be generic lager styles – usually of fairly low quality compared to their Czech or German peers. As such we have now decided to concentrate on those international beers where quality is the primary concern. Many of the Scandinavian countries are producing particularly high quality and tasty beer at the moment, but expect more eastern European beers to appear over coming months.
Breweries regularly stocked include: Einstock, Lervig, Mikkeller, Omnipolo
and To Ol
Ciders & Perry
Cider has undergone a spectacular revival over recent years and this is reflected by the growing number of superb regional producers that we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep. Our cider range continues to grow and evolve, with many coming from producers in the ‘Three Counties’ but increasingly also being sourced from wider afield in both the UK and overseas. At any one time we will have over 100 different ciders and perries on the shelves in bottles and cans and anything up to 12 additional ciders served on draught via Bag in Box.
Cider Producers Regularly stocked include: Abrahalls, Dunkertons, Gwynt-Y-Draig, Hogans, Lilleys, Once Upon a Tree, Ross On Wye, Sandford Orchards
and Severn Cider
English Wines & Meads
We stock a small number of English wines from both Gloucestershire’s Three Choirs Vineyard
and Devon’s Sharpham Vineyard
as well as Country Fruit Wines from Lyme Bay Winery
We also stock a selection of Meads, from Lindisfarne, Lyme Bay Winery
and the very popular Moniak Mead
. Additionally, we stock the new sparkling meads from Gosnells
Gift Bags and Boxes
Looking for the ideal gift for the Beer or Cider drinker in your life? We have a whole host of gift boxes (mainly local Gloucestershire beers and ciders) and Gift Bags (our infamous ‘Gloucestershire Beer Bag’) already made up. Alternatively, you can select the bottles and cans yourselves and we can add the finishing touches with bespoke labels for everything from ‘Happy Birthday’ to ‘Good Luck On Your Retirement’. We tend to expand the range around Father’s Day and Christmas!
Craft Keg Bar
After an unsuccessful experiment with serving cask ales in the shop in 2012/2013, we had our first two keg lines installed at the shop the next year – primarily serving a rotating range of Belgian beers. However, lack of popularity and problems with getting support for the system led to us removing the system in December 2015. In April 2016 we re-launched the keg bar concept with a fully supported, four tap set-up serving only the very best beers from the rising stars of the craft beer scene. This proved a very successful centrepiece for our Friday Beer Club evenings and in fact was so successful that in June 2017 we upgraded to a 10 tap system. This enables us to not only showcase the incredible UK Craft beers but also some of the very best European beers as well.
You can come in and enjoy a draught beer or cider anytime during our normal opening hours or you can come along to our weekly ‘Friday Beer Club’ evenings where we open until 9.30pm.