Salopian Brewery was founded as Snowdonia Brewery in 1994 by Brewer Martin Barry at his Pub in North Wales. In 1995 he relocated to Shrewsbury and renamed it Salopian (the historic name for Shrewsbury). Martin then left the brewery in 2004 and Mark Hill of the Brewers Wholesale became a partner. At that stage the production of the brewery was all into cask, very much in the traditional Midlands style of blonde and lightly hopped.
In 2008 Jake Douglas was recruited as the very ﬁrst salesman, and after a short period he began to inﬂuence the production of the brewery as well. A change was made from the traditional to a more modern hop led style. This transition has proved very successful, with sales nearly trebling since 2008 and recognition of the brewery’s prowess at every level of competition.
Salopian Brewery first brewed in Shrewsbury in 1995. Founded by Martin Barry on the site of the old Onions Dairy and like many breweries the kit we first brewed on was small and rudimentary at only two barrels. The brew length gave us scope to innovate and brew some wonderfully different and eclectic styles of beers that laid the foundations of what would become our Black Range. Our chairman Wilf Nelson joined the brewery in 1998 – Wilf coming on board gave the brewery much needed stability and vision to move to forward.
The introduction of Progressive Beer Duty in 2002, saw government producing legislation that helped small brewers – Cheers Gordon Brown – and the resulting reduction in duty gave Salopian the opportunity to invest in the brewery and the footings to grow. Slowly, as cash flow permitted, we upgraded our brewing kit and replaced rusty dented vans with slightly less rusty dented vans. It was the onset of brewing a more eclectic range of cask ale, whilst embracing both traditional styles and those of our locality.
During the 26 years that we have been brewing, styles, techniques and raw materials have changed massively. We have always loved innovation and the desire to try something different. The 1990’s saw the introduction of new world hops into the UK and we absolutely embraced the plethora of flavours they added to our beers as they matched our hankering to brew something different. This helped establish our reputation as one of the leading breweries in the UK. The Black Range grew from the phenomenal explosion of Craft Beer, which brought with it the opportunity to drink some brilliant beers from new brewers and give us the inspiration and impetus to develop our brewing techniques, to innovate and experiment, and to collaborate with friends.
Our core range of six products embrace all that we think is the bedrock of brewing – flavour, drinkability, consistency, and a dependability on which pub landlords can rely. Their saleability coupled with an uncompromising approach to quality has enabled Salopian to be stocked across the UK and beyond.
Awards can be two a penny in our industry and nearly every brewery can claim to be award winning. We are truly humbled though, for the support and recognition our beers continue to receive locally, nationally and more recently internationally.
2014 saw the brewery make its final move – we hope! – to the village of Hadnall on the outskirts of Shrewsbury. Our purpose-built brewery is complimented by our much-loved taproom and shop. 2021 has seen the commissioning of our first canning line to work alongside our bottling line and whilst cask remains the heart of what we do, it is now complemented by a range of keg, cans and bottles.
We hope you enjoy the beers as much as we love brewing them.