New taproom opening on April 12 is part of a major investment by local favourite
Oxford-based, family-owned and female-led independent brewery Shotover was one of the area’s first micro-breweries when it started in 2009, and by rebranding as Oxford Brewery it aims to bring its beers to a much wider audience while celebrating its roots. The “modern yet classic” images were designed by WPA Pinfold, which has worked on over 100 drinks brands over four decades and has won 80 global design awards in the last five years.
The new identity captures the brewery’s heritage and ambitions with distinctive beers reflecting the wide range of available hop varieties, from English to American, Southern Hemisphere and the increasingly exciting European strains. All beers are vegetarian and vegan friendly and are brewed in Coopers Yard, Manor Farm, Horspath, Oxford, the brewhouse being still at the original 200-year-old converted stable where it started. Investment during 2020 has delivered new brewhouse equipment, a new onsite shop and taproom built during lockdown, which re-opens outside on April 12, and the capacity to distribute beer nationally around the UK.
Brewery director Caitlin Huntley explains: “Our story began with one of our earliest creations, Scholar. This premium English ale was inspired by the legend of a wild boar, killed by an Oxford scholar walking in the forest of Shotover. As our own story continues, our new branding uses this striking image of the boar to represent the legend that started it all.”
Head brewer Liam Cook and brewer Angus Wallbank continue to perfect the beers, to ensure the very best across the entire range of award-winning cask, keg, bottled and canned beers. Elspeth Rochford, the newly appointed Sales and Marketing Manager, says: “The expertise, time and effort from our brewers has paid off to bring our range of beers into their own like never before. We are all thrilled to see everything come together in time to mark this new chapter.”
Oxford Brewery’s Alastair Ross adds: “This last lockdown has been the worst by far and very quiet although we have kept going with bottles and cans, online sales, click and collect, and the shop. It has been a tough year all round but we have never stopped brewing, albeit fairly irregularly. We started ensuring we had full stocks of bottles and cans in February to coincide with our rebrand, and have been brewing over the past weeks to ensure we have all our core beers plus our Vivid Dreams seasonal. We have brought back our Let the Dragon see the Wolf, Styrian Golden Ale with Dragon and Wolf hops as a spring/summer replacement on cask for Scholar, which isn’t really a summer beer but still available in bottles.”