Hillside open day review

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business premises from May Hill to Hillside Brewery) last year, the Williamson’s family business has begun to morph into more than just a brewery…


Bristolian Band Vapor.
Bristolian Band Vapor


In fact, there are other attractions at the site, aside from artisan ales, as was covered by this blog post about their open day on Feb 1st with local band Vapor. This event serendipitously coincided with the end of ‘Dry January’ – an attempt to encourage people to go booze-free for 31 days. So, visitors could celebrate the end of a month of abstinence, let their hair down and enjoy the fine ale, local wine, cider and fantastic local grub guilt-free.

People sitting at a picnic table in the barn at Hillside Brewery during their open day in February.
The perfect end to Dry January!

The action took place in the beer hall. Although the hall was rather drafty, this can only be expected at the start of February. After all, it is winter! Besides, there are plans to fit wind-breaking doors and the heater helped. The atmosphere was great, so the British weather didn’t dampen the occasion. Just imagine how popular these new open days could become, once the weather gets warmer and sunnier!

People round sitting at the bar at Hillside Brewery during the open day.
We hope that Hillside continues to lay on more open days throughout the year

Four piece Bristolian band Vapor played their blend of reggae, acoustic soul and country music to the audience. Mark Venus was on guitar, whilst the lovely Onika Patterson belted out her beautifully soulful vocals. The Hillside crew were also on hand with warming, wholesome and local food, offering soup and hotdogs to help soak up the ale. Indeed, this mix of artisan beverages, live music and good, simple and filling food seemed to go down a treat with the audience members, who were wrapped up nice and warmly.

Hillside Brewery Dry January is Over Day
A great venue in spite of the cold!

Such an event wouldn’t be complete without a visit from CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. Members Neil and Caz cycled all the way from Hucclecote, with their beer drinking Jack Russell named Bob!

Bob, the beer drinking Jack Russell.
Bob, the beer drinking Jack Russell

So, we hope to see more open days like this in 2015. These open days are a fab idea and they create a sense of community and pride in our local produce. We’re all about celebrating our hardworking and talented food and drink producers in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, and there are so many gems here that we feel they really are worth shouting about!

A bottle of Hillside's Legless Cow: a fine local artisan ale!
A bottle of Hillside’s Legless Cow: a fine local artisan ale!

Visit the Hillside Brewery website!

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