This week we are back into the East of England and the historic county of Bedfordshire. Bedford was centred around a crossing point of the River Great Ouse, Beda’s Ford. The southern end of the county reaches high into the Chiltern Hills, the remainder of the county is a broad drainage basin into the River Great Ouse. Made up of clays and sandstone in the basin it has always been a brick making centre. I’m struggling here to come up with interesting stuff about the county, the company Autoglass is based here, how about that?
The largest towns in Bedfordshire are Luton, Bedford, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard. Crikey this is hard.
Straight into beer stuff then. On Ratebeer we have a total of 17 Breweries for Bedfordshire, 10 still active and 7 closed. A rather large percentage of these are commissioner / client brewers with 6 of them. We also base Unknown Origin – Uk here which throws up a few oddities. Talking of oddities, the many named and rather confusing brewery that is now called Eagle Brewery has the largest range on here with 142 beers.
Eagle Brewery, was Charles Wells, now owned by Marston’s, Carlsberg UK is also the oldest, if you are just going by Brewing on the same site. Established in 1876 on a site adjacent to the River Ouse in Bedford. Up until 1902 the water for the brewery was extracted from the river itself but it was finally realised that it would be better to pipe the liquor in from a spring away from the town. The Brewery was moved in 1976 to a new site in Bedford and thus the Eagle Brewery name came into existence. In 2006 the company became Wells & Youngs after Youngs Brewery closed down their brewing operation in London. In 2011 Wells purchased the Youngs share of the company spurring a sequence of name changes, Wells & Co., Chas Wells amongst many. In 2017 the Brewing operation was sold to Marstons and Eagle Brewery became the trade name for beers produced on the site, though this is not guaranteed.
In the 2020 Ratebeer awards the Best Brewer was awarded to Eagle Brewery, the Best Beer award went to Courage Russian Imperial Stout (2011+), brewed at Eagle Brewery. No award was made for New Brewer.
The Top 10 beers for Bedfordshire are –
- Courage Russian Imperial Stout (2011+)
- Youngs Double Chocolate Stout
- Mackeson XXX Stout
- Youngs Double Chocolate Stout (Cask)
- B&T Shefford Porter R
- Youngs Old Nick R
- Youngs Oatmeal Stout (London Stout)
- McEwans Scotch Ale
- Youngs Special London Ale
- Youngs London Porter
The Top Bars / Pubs in Bedfordshire are –
- Wellington Arms (B&T), Bedford – 84
- Albion (B&T), Ampthill – 82
- Brewhouse & Kitchen, Bedford – 73
- Three Cups, Bedford – 72
- Bricklayers Arms, Luton – 70
There is also a highly rated Beer Store –
- Beerfly, Bedford – 83
The Top 5 Raters of Bedfordshire Beers are –
You will require 39 beers from the county of Bedfordshire to get into the Top 50.
The top rater who hails, allegedly from the county is –
@DonMagi Legend and famously a Scotsman and it’s doubtful has ever lived in Bedfordshire! We haven’t had a rating from Tom since 2010.
@hughie was a very popular rater who actually did live in the county but ceased rating in 2013, although a rogue rating appeared in 2019
I’m afraid I cannot find anyone still rating who genuinely live in the county.