For week 2 of our trip around the English counties we have drawn the historic county of Wiltshire. On the Western end of Saxon Britain it houses both the Neolithic sites of Stonehenge and Avebury. Attacked by the Danes and later taken by the Normans after 1066, a Parliamentarian stronghold in the Civil War.
The largest settlements in Wiltshire are Swindon (by far), which was previously a Railway Town and remains a town and the City of Salisbury. Chippenham and Trowbridge are also small towns.
We have on Ratebeer 31 Active Breweries and 14 Closed for a total of 45 (just 2 of them Commissioner / Client).
There are 2 very traditional Breweries still in operation in Wiltshire, Wadworth of Devizes established in 1837 and Arkells of Swindon in 1843. The Brewery with the most beers on here was Archers, also of Swindon 1979 - 2009 with 167, some of their brands moving to Evan Evans in Wales. The Highest rated Brewery for 2019 on Ratebeer is Dark Revolution (Est 2016) of Salisbury.
The top 10 beers are
- Downton Roman Imperial Stout
- Dark Revolution Voodoo
- Dark Revolution Velveteen
- Dark Revolution Delirious
- Wadworth / Stone Brewing San Diego Session IPA ®
- Dark Revolution So La
- Downton Chimera Wheat Stout
- Plain Inncognito
- Wadworth / Bale Breaker Field 41 Pale Ale ®
- Wadworth / 10 Barrel O.G IPA ®
The Top 5 Rated Places are
- Hop Inn, Swindon - 79
- Rai D’Or, Salisbury - 77
- Wyndham Arms, Salisbury - 76
- Red Lion, Cricklade - 76
- Glue Pot, Swindon – 73
The Top 5 Raters of Wiltshire Beers
The person from Wiltshire with most ratings
BeerNinjaUK with 549 – Not seen since June 2019.
Fab write up for the county where I grew up - thanks! I’ll dig up my stats when I’ve finished work.
This is quite a difficult county for our 2nd Stat Attack, always seems a little remote for me, however I have found the joys of split ticketing on the train and I can now get to Swindon for a reasonable price, if a rather tortured route. I have stayed just outside Salisbury before and Longleat.
I currently have 431 ratings from Wiltshire which places it as my 14th highest county with an average of a pretty lowly 3.09, one of my poorer counties in that respect. I have had beers from 36 of the 45 breweries, looks like some pretty difficult Breweries to catch up with… My most productive Breweries are - Wadworth - 73, Box Steam - 35, Downton - 33, Hop Back - 31 and Hop Kettle - 26.
I have just 5 beers I have rated 4 or over, 2 on 4.1. Wessex Kilmington Best, had to go back and check on that one, the planets must have been in alignment on the day! and the Wadworth / Stone San Diego Session IPA.
I have reviewed just 8 places in Wiltshire, emphasising the difficulties in getting there, fortunately with a recent visit to Swindon I visited the upper town and all my highest ratings are from there with 1. The Hop Inn, Swindon. 2. Tuppenny, Swindon and 3. Tap & Brew, Swindon. Note to self must get back to Salisbury at some point.
I clearly don’t have the same work ethic as @wheresthepath as I have jumped straight in.
I went out with a girl from Salisbury who liked a cider but that was 10 years ago so no idea which pubs we went to. The Hop Inn was at the end of her road but we didn’t go in their once – perhaps her former rugby player boyfriend was a regular and he would have beaten me to a pulp.
I’ve had 67 beers from Wiltshire, which makes me 43rd highest rater and it’s my 10th highest County:
Edit: also realised that I had one beer each from closed breweries Brotherhood and Moles.
The vast majority of these beers will have been drunk at the PoW in Farnborough.
I have had four of the Top 10 beer, Downton Roman Imperial Stout, Plain Inncognito and Dark Revolution Velveteen and So.LA. My highest rated beer is a bitter, Flying Monk Elmers, which really hit the spot that day for whatever reason!
5 ratings! 3 of which were from B&M and 1 from Morrison’s. The other was on cask at a boozer in York. Struggling to think if I’ve actually visited Wiltshire while active on RB. Probably not.
I must say that prior to finding Ratebeer, drinking Hopback Summer Lightning by the half gallon (at the Beer Engine on Wakefield Westgate) was something I remember fondly! Still need to tick it on here.
Wiltshire is one of those counties I’ve struggled with. Only 35 ratings and one place rating. Sadly, at 3.15 Wiltshire has the lowest average rating of any of the 46 counties.
I think this has to do with me not liking Wadworth. I’ve rated 12 Wadworth beers, and 7 of these are those egregious Wetherspoons collabs. I need to have more Dark Revolution. And Hopback.
The one place is the Glue Pot in Swindon, which I visited en route to (or coming back from) Newport (Wales not IOW). That was in 2014, when there wasn’t much else in Swindon. We meant to hit Salisbury along with Bournemouth & IOW last year, but had to cut our trip short due to family issues.
Ah yes, often thought of as the first hoppy Golden Ale to sweep the country and was a bit of a game changer in the 90’s. Camra didn’t have a category for Golden Ales at the time so it won best Strong Bitter in the early 90’s. We were always pleased to see it on and would session it all evening given the opportunity. Of course it’s swept away for much hoppier beers now but still great memories of this too.
I grew up in Chippenham, a town that I still love (and I recommend going there for the free folk fest in May when all the pubs put on special events). Hence Wiltshire is one of my better counties stats-wise.
I’ve rated 122 beers (my 4th most rated county), putting me 19th for this county. However, I’ve only had one of the top 10 beers. These are my personal top 5:
|Wadworth / Ishii Brewing Minagof Smoked Porter|4.4|
|Wadworth Pint Size Mild|4.1|
|Box Steam Full Steam Ahead|4.1|
|Wadworth / Bagby Asphalt Jungle|4.1|
|Stonehenge Old Smokey|4|
I’ve rated 26 different breweries, putting me joint 5th in that regard. Most rated is Waddy’s with 53, largely because my Dad likes going to the brewery (as do I for that matter)! I love 6X but loathe Henry’s IPA.
Placewise I’ve rated 8, none of them off the top places list. My highest rated place is the Three Crowns in Chippenham.
Wiltshire is a pleasant enough county, visited Swindon to watch Grimsby Town lose a few times, Stayed in Salisbury at a friends and before that on management courses in hotels. Also spent a week down there checking empty ammunition boxes were actually empty (after being returned from the first Gulf War). RAF Chilmark was the place, a huge explosive storage facility, my team and I stayed at RAF Upton.
Drank plenty on every occasion, but I have only rated two places, Wyndham Arms and Rai d’Or.
95 Beer rates @ 3.19; nothing really stands out with only two beers sat on 4, the rest also rans.
17 Different breweries tried, nothing from Archers though (sure I have had their beers in the past). 33 from Wadworth’s, 17 from Box Steam.
HB SL was a go to beer for me in the mid to late 90’s … one I’d seek out when not ticking
Not had much to do with Wiltshire over the years …
110 beers rated at an average of 3.15 puts it firmly in my bottom 10 counties for scoring.
Had the top beer from Downton and gave this a whopping 4.2 … early RB rate on gravity at Wandsworth Common halloween festival and hadn’t settled into a regular scoring pattern back then ! File under ‘early amateur rating’ to quote a certain Mad Mitch !
Been there a few times but not many … remember going to a gig at the aforementioned Glue Pot, Swindon, in pre RB days.
My only place rate was the spoons in Salisbury 4 or so years back. Was involved in some systems testing with BAE in Yeovil over an 18 or so month period in 2015/16/17 which involved half a dozen overnight stops.
Decided to hop off the train at Salisbury heading home one day … quick trot to the spoons … few beers and back on the train an hour later just to get a Wiltshire place rate in !
Wiltshire, eh? One of those counties I’d struggle to place exactly on a map, and one with which I have zero connection! A paltry 2 beers for me, one from Wadworth (6X of course, drank plenty of that back in my Uni days) and one from Stealth (also have a Box Steam in the fridge, and for sure have drunk plenty of Hopback and Arkells beers pre-RB). Have I ever been to Wiltshire? Probably, but obviously wasn’t too memorable
Considering I grew up ten minutes from Wiltshire, and have been back to visit family several times since being on RB, I have an embarrassing zero Wiltshire beer rates. Certainly drunk a number of Downton and Hopback beers pre-RB days, and I’m sure plenty other guest ales in the Salisbury Spoons. I even used to work in a Wadworths owned pub. I do have five Wiltshire place rates, all of which were pubs which did not serve any Wiltshire beers.
Wiltshire Cidery list:
Presshead Cider (prev Handmade Cider Co) Chippenham Ciders 11 Est. 2011
Mates Cider & Perry Malmesbury Ciders 7 Est. 2014
Iford Cider Bradford-On-Avon Ciders 6 Est. 2017
Circle Cider Swindon Ciders 3 Est. 2013
Sherston Cider Company Sherston Ciders 3 Est. 2013
Wessex Cider Fifield Bavant Ciders 3 Est. 2016
Bath Cyder Chippenham Ciders 1 Est. 2011
Top 5 Wiltshire cider raters:
Top 5 Wiltshire Cidery raters:
Just 18 but the ones selected include some of the best
Dark Revolution Voodoo
Three Castles Dark Knight Cherry
Arkells Kingsdown (Cask)
Dark Revolution Velveteen
Dark Revolution Devotion
As well as some Wadworth and Downton.
On the place front, there will be havoc when all this is over!
I shall have to be more inclusive but I might rely on you for the cider input as we go round the country. Cheers.
Zero ratings for me. I’m sure I’ve had at least one Wadworth Pre-RB but I’ve decided not to do any historic ticks mainly because I can barely remember what I did yesterday let alone what a beer was like several years ago!
I don’t think I’ve ever visited Wiltshire either. I cant wait for this pandemic to recede, there are many places to see around the country.
Wiltshire is the only county I haven’t rated a place in. Plan was to head via a Wiltshire brew pub on the way down to Cornwall in June, but lockdown happened. And then planned to go on the way back from Cornwall a few weeks ago but lockdown 2 happened.
I did drink beers in Swindon before my RateBeer days so have drunk in every county. It’s my plan for next year now.
I will look at my stats later.
A strange thing with the Wiltshire cider stats, is that Chriso is top of Cidery ratings with 5, but then doesn’t make an appearance in the list of top 10 Cider raters, the lowest of which has 2 cider ratings!