If you love a pint of craft beer, brewed with passion and skill by real-ale enthusiasts rooted in their local communities, the Chilterns is the place to explore. The area now boasts 10 breweries, offering a wonderful array of beers, many named after special places or historic gures linked to this beautiful landscape. Some of these breweries are well established and their beer is enjoyed far and wide in the Chilterns. Others are micro-breweries, small-scale but perfectly formed, producing some fabulous beers.
You will find all you need to know about Chilterns’ breweries below and in this online guide to quality Chilterns beer, with a description of what each offers and how to visit them. You can of course enjoy all of them in local pubs too. Share your adventures with us on social media, using #Chilterns. Cheers!
Side Pocket for a Toad, or a pint of Ridgeway ale? Tring Brewery, established in 1992, takes great pride in choosing beer names linked to local history, legends and the countryside around the historic market town of Tring. Visit the Brewery on a Saturday morning for a tasting and tour, but booking is essential.
For over 36 years the Chiltern Brewery has been creating cask and bottled beers. Based between Wendover and Aylesbury, the brewery offers tours most Fridays and Saturdays which include a visit to the brew house and a tutored beer and food tasting session. Book in advance or call on the day to check availability. Its brewery shop has an extensive selection of local foods, spirits and ciders as well as the full range of its beers (including some gluten-free ones).
Brewing since 2012, Malt the Brewery is based on a farm in the heart of the Chilterns at Prestwood near the market town of Great Missenden, home to Roald Dahl literary estate. To experience the brewery, book a tour, or visit their shop and new tasting bar, both open every day. The brewery is an ideal place to stop for refreshment after a countryside walk – it is close to several circular walks in the lovely Misbourne Valley and is also less than two miles from Great Missenden railway station.
Haresfoot was established in 2014 by a group of friends who wanted to open the first brewery in Berkhamsted for over a century. The locals are a thirsty bunch and in no time they have built a reputation for good quality pale ales and bitters. Following an opportunity for expansion, the brewery moved to Chesham, where in addition to regular brewery tours, they also run music and comedy events. It is close to the Chilterns Cycleway, offering the chance to combine a ride with a pint.
The Mad Squirrel Brewery is one of Hertfordshire’s most innovative and active breweries. Based in Potten End, near Berkhamsted, it has developed a range of core beers from pale ales to bitter and pilsner, with some winning awards from CAMRA. Brewery tours are run on Saturdays and it’s advisable to pre-book. Located near the Ashridge Estate which is perfect for hiking and cycling, so make a day of it by hiring bikes (standard or electric) from Lovelo Cycle Works in Berkhamsted and taking a ride through Ashridge to the Brewery.
One of the best-known and longest established micro-breweries, Rebellion has been brewing near Marlow since 1993. Now with an expanded capacity and new brewery shop, you can also buy local food, cider, spirits and a wide selection of wines. It is an excellent base for making a weekend of Chilterns' adventures as Marlow has many restaurants and pubs, attractive walks along the River Thames and river cruises run in the summer.
Finding themselves at a loose end, two friends with a lifelong passion for real ale decided to set up their own brewery, and the result in 2015 was Paradigm Brewery, located in the lovely village of Sarratt in the Chess Valley. The Brewery does not run tours but is open on weekdays – call in advance to arrange a visit. Their love of their home has even resulted the new locally inspired watercress-flavoured beer. A first for the Chilterns.
Brakspear’s Bell Street Brewery was only founded four years ago, but its heritage stretches back to 1711, when William Brakspear founded a brewery on Bell Street – just yards from where the microbrewery now stands. Located behind the Bull on Bell Street pub, in the heart of Henley, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a pint of Brakspear Special or other cask ale which are available in Brakspear pubs only. Another Henley brewery is Lovibonds, which was set up by Jeff Rosenmeier in 2005, to brew local, authentic, distinctive craft beers. Like other micro-brewery entrepreneurs, Jeff was following his passion and turned a home-brewing hobby into a business. There's a common theme here!
Old Luxters ales come with the highest commendation, from the HM Queen no less, having been awarded the Royal Warrant in 2007. Brewed on the edge of the picturesque Hambleden Valley near Henley, this brewery is part of the Chiltern Valley Winery, a family-run business which also includes a vineyard and winery, cellar shop, cookery school and a farmhouse B&B.
Last, but by no means least, located in the south of the Chilterns, in a 300 year-old barn in the little village of Dunsden Green near Reading, the Loddon Brewery has seven core beers and has also been winning awards since it was set up in 2003., all of which you can taste and purchase in the brewery shop on site.
You will find all you need to know about Chilterns’ breweries in our new online guide to quality Chilterns beer, with a description of what each brewery offers and when to visit.