If you are looking to stay in an unspoilt market town with one of the best reputations for real ale and beer in the country then Bishops Castle is the place to be. There are two fantastic real ale breweries in Bishops Castle and another 16 micro-breweries within a 25 mile radius producing some of the best beer in the land. The two in the town are The Three Tuns and The Six Bells.
The Three Tuns is a stone’s throw from our front door – occasionally guests at The Castle will have the unique experience of waking up to the faint smell of freshly malting hops drifting in the air! The Tuns is the UK’s oldest licensed brewery and is widely regarded as being one of the most prestigious. They have been brewing exceptional beer for over 386 years and were first granted a licence in 1642.
The iconic building consists of the original brew house and the traditional Victorian tower. It is a rare surviving example of a small working rural brewery.
Here at The Castle Hotel we work very closely with The Three Tuns Brewery and we can arrange a Brewery tour for up to 16 people. This is a great way to get up close and personal with the production process of traditional real ale. On the tour you will see the original winch by which malt was hoisted to the top of the tower, where the brewing process begins. You will also see parts of the original mashing process, the original cooling equipment and a fermenting vessel dating from 1880. Your tour guide will take you through the brewing process from the top of the tower to the bottom, following the journey through which the beer goes on a brew day. Also, on the tour, you will learn the significance of the Victorians having built towers for brewing.
The tours cost £80 and usually last between an hour and an hour and a half. For more details contact The Three Tuns Brewery on 01588 638392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at here.
The Three Tuns Brewery has also recently purchased The Bridges Inn, Ratlinghope, located 8 miles outside of Bishops Castle, with excellent walking up to The Long Mynd or The Stiperstones. A great place to stop for lunch and enjoy an excellent pint of local real ale.
Amongst our increasingly wide range of real ales at The Castle Hotel we currently stock The Three Tuns Sterling 4.1%; a tawny coloured medium/strong beer with a rich maltiness and a fruity bitterness.
The Six Bells Brewery is located at the “bottom” of town no more than a couple of minutes stroll from The Castle, although it can take a little while longer to get back up, especially after a few pints of beer.
The Brewery is part of The Six Bells Pub, a traditional country drinking establishment. Nev is the master brewer here and is quite a character. He has named his signature beer after himself – “Big Nevs” – which we also have on tap at The Castle Hotel. Big Nevs 3.8%; pale golden, a pleasing, faintly grassy aroma leading to a dry, fruity hop flavour and a refreshing dry finish.
The Castle Hotel has a long standing relationship with The Six Bells and we have been serving their beer for over 14 years. For more details on The Six Bells see their website here.
We also work very closely with a number of other breweries including Hobsons of Cleobury Mortimer and Stonehouse of Oswestry.
Currently on the pumps we have:
Stonehouse Cambrian Gold; 4.2%, a golden fruity beer with a subtle dry finish.
Hobson’s Best Bitter; 3.8%; A pale to amber beer, with a strong hop character.