Welcome to the shotover brewery
Another good reason to visit Oxford
alia causa ad urbem Oxoniensem visitandum
We are a craft brewery located just outside of the city of Oxford, England dedicated to producing high quality cask and bottled beers.
What’s in a beer? We combine traditional British brewing methods and ingredients with some striking combinations of English and new world hops to produce beers with a distinctive full flavour and complexity. Click on the icons to find out more.
The brewery was founded in 2009 by Ed & Pip Murray in a 200 year old stable at Manor Farm in Horspath, just four miles from Carfax at the centre of Oxford, on the southern slope of Shotover hill. Ed had been an amateur craft brewer for over thirty years. The story of the creation of the brewery can be found in an Independent newspaper article of January 2010 here
We set out to produce beers with an attractive and complex flavour profile by combining the highest quality ingredients, skill and patience. Our cask ales are naturally conditioned in the brewery for two weeks before release and our bottled beers are conditioned for longer. Real ale is a fresh product and ours is usually enjoyed within four weeks of leaving the mash tun. We make a small range of beers as perfect exemplars of their type. You can find out about each beer by clicking on the icon.
Our business philosophy is built on three simple strands – Product Quality, Service, and Local identity – we are an Oxford brewery and our market is Oxfordshire.
As we live a few hundred metres from the brewery we can respond very quickly to customer demand – we have delivered beer to desperate customers at all kinds of strange times. We regard it as part of our service to help our trade customers maximise their return on a cask of ale and frequently advise on keeping and serving the beer. We also help our home customers with delivery, stillage, cooling and dispense.
We are a craft brewery. Our beer is hand-made in batches of 1200 litres from floor malted barley, malted wheat and hops, then hand casked and hand bottled. We do not pasteurise or chill filter or artificially carbonate our beer and it is a fresh product naturally conditioned by secondary fermentation in the cask or bottle.
One of the distinguishing features of Shotover beers is the sheer quantity of whole hops we use - the supplier of our brewing equipment described the volume of hops we use in Prospect as “insane”. Scholar has even more! Hops are the most expensive ingredient in beer but we think are crucial to creating a distinctive and full flavour profile in British ale.
We use malted barley from Warminster Maltings. The Maris Otter barley used is grown across southern England. Our hops are grown in Kent, Herefordshire, South Island New Zealand and Washington State USA and we hope to use Oxfordshire hops in the future. We seek to minimise our raw material miles but fortunately hops are dried and are the lightest ingredients we use. Our cask ale is rarely delivered more than 10 miles from the brewery. Most of it is sold and consumed within 5 miles.
Shotover Hill, which dominates the approach to Oxford from London, is rich in myth and history. Formerly part of the mediaeval Shotover royal forest it is now largely an ancient woodland and park and still carries the original old London coach road over its summit. Charles Wesley was robbed by a highwayman here in 1737 and a Queen's College scholar was said to have killed a wild boar by stuffing his copy of Aristotle down its throat.