Back down into the Southern part of the country, home to the city of dreaming spires and sandwiched between The River Thames to the South, the Cotswolds to the West, Chilterns to the East and Midlands to the North. Established as a County in the 10th Century but also known as Oxonia in Roman Latin. The county is largely agricultural, it has long been an important food and produce centre for the country, it is also known as a major centre for Education with the oldest Universities in the English speaking world based in Oxford. This has given rise to many high tech industries being based in the county including many of the Motor Sport companies and medical research establishments.
Alfred the Great was born within its current borders, in Wantage.
Oxfordshire contains 3 areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty with The Cotswolds, The North Wessex Downs and The Chilterns. Long distance walks include The Ridgeway National Trail, The Macmillan Way and Oxfordshire Way. The only Football League team within its borders is Oxford United and its 3 sided ground!
The principal cities and towns are Oxford itself followed by Banbury, Abingdon, Bicester, Witney and Didcot.
On Ratebeer we are showing 50 Breweries, 30 currently running and 20 closed. Of these 5 are Client / Commissioner Breweries.
The oldest brewery we have for Oxfordshire is Brakspear of (now) Witney, but more famously of Henley on Thames (Est 1779). Unfortunately the owners of this brewery sold up to Marstons and the brewery closed with production moving to the Wychwood Brewery in Witney. The oldest, largely independent brewery for the county is the atmospheric Hook Norton Brewery based in based in the village of the same name (Est 1849). This is a family owned and run brewery, proud of its traditions, it was initially based in a farm building and remains on the same site, bought by John Harris. From 1859 the brewery began adding to its tied estate with a Beer House in the village, long gone now but in 1869 they added The Pear Tree, next to the Brewery which they still own. They currently have 37 Tied Houses. The largest growth came when a spur to the Railway line linked Hook Norton with Chipping Norton. The Brewery has a steam engine pumping liquor to the top of the 6 storey tower which is still in operation. There are horse drawn drays which still deliver beer occasionally around the village and at shows.
The Ratebeer 2020 awards went to Hook Norton Brewery as Best Brewer. The award for Best Beer went to Wychwood King Goblin (Bottle), controversially! No award was made for new brewery.
The Brewery with the largest range of beers is Hook Norton with 126 beers on Ratebeer.
The Top 10 Beers in Oxfordshire are –
- Brakspear Vintage Ale 1999 R
- Lovibonds Dark Reserve No.4
- Lovibonds Sour Grapes – Barrel Aged
- Ushers Tawny Ale R
- Lovibonds 69 IPA
- Lovibonds Dirty 69
- Lovibonds Dark Reserve No.2
- Hook Norton Double Stout (Cask)
- Compass Berry R
- Lovibonds Sour Grapes – Young R
The Top Bars and Pubs for Oxfordshire on Ratebeer are –
- Shoulder of Mutton, Wantage – 85
- Royal Blenheim (White Horse), Oxford – 83
- Cross Keys (Thame), Thame – 81
- Hook Norton Brewery, Hook Norton – 81
- Tap Social, Oxford Botley – 80
- Royal Oak, Wantage – 80
- Falkland Arms (Wadworth), Great Tew – 80
There are also a couple of highly rated Bottle Shops in the County –
- Westholme Stores, Goring – 86
- Kay Gee’s Off Licence, Didcot – 77
The Top 5 Raters of beers from Oxfordshire are –
The Rater who resides in Oxfordshire with the most Ratings overall is –
@imdownthepub and yes I’m still going strong!