Ludlow Brewery is celebrating ten years since it opened its taproom in a former Victorian railway shed, transforming the space into a buzzing craft beer venue.
Founders of The Ludlow Brewing Company, Gary and Alison Walters, had sympathetically restored the 19th Century building to give it a new lease of life. The 154-year-old derelict building was transformed – with a 20-barrel brewing plant capable of producing 25,000 pints a week; and a taproom with a bar, stage and mezzanine level to maximise the space given by the vaulted high ceilings.
Restoration took two years to complete with an emphasis on retaining the heritage of the site, alongside forward-thinking environmental considerations. Both new and ancient materials were used in the renovations to preserve the original fabric of the building and install modern comforts for punters. The vision was to be a sustainable brewery using renewable technologies as much as possible, including underfloor heating fuelled by heat reclaimed from the brewing process, rainwater harvesting, solar power.
Fast-forward a decade, and when you step inside Ludlow Brewery for a pint you will find yourself drinking up history in a brewery with the latest automated gleaming brewing equipment, and a taproom interspersed with quirky features and antiques; railway posters, a bicycle, a wooden cart, a hanging clock.
Recent additions to the site are a balcony near-completion at the front of the brewery, and lager brewing equipment including an aerial pipeline between the taproom brewery and cold storage facility, which had a recent solar panel installation on the roof to help achieve the company’s eco targets.
Owner Gary Walters said: “We’re proud to achieve this milestone. It has been an eventful ten years with so many highlights and happy memories. The brewery was going from strength to strength up until the pandemic; but the last year has been a rollercoaster. Under normal circumstances we would have marked the occasion in style, but with all the restrictions still in place, celebrations have been postponed until later this year. We plan to hold a birthday beer festival, where we will have some fantastic guest beers, and of course be raising a few toasts to The Railway Shed’s first decade.”
Since its opening in March 2011 – with the first event taking place the following month – the brewery has garnered a reputation as a sought-after venue for private events including weddings, christenings, charity fundraisers, fashion shows. It’s a venue that is always buzzing, even on a Monday lunchtime.
The award-winning beers, warm ambience, and entertaining brewery tours have all contributed to the brewery’s position as top brewery attraction in Shropshire on Tripadvisor.
The “mash tun” stage has seen many a music performer, band, comedian, storyteller, over the past decade. And with Covid restrictions beginning to lift this month, and the brewery hoping to be back to full capacity by the summer, the calendar for the remainder of the year is quickly filling up, including four weeks of performances from Ludlow Fringe Festival from June to July.