Arkell’s Brewery, which is helping Swindon celebrate 175 years of Swindon’s railway heritage this year, will be releasing its second special Steam beer on 3 October.
Hooter, at 5% ABV, is a luscious dark beer with floral notes from the hops, on top of strong roasted flavours from Brown and Munich malts.
At 173 years’ old Arkell’s Brewery grew up alongside the Great Western Railway, establishing itself just two years after the great railway works. To everyone’s great sadness, Swindon’s iconic railway works closed in 1986, but its legacy in the town remains strong, and Arkell’s Brewery is still brewing beer every week.
George Arkell, managing director at Arkell’s Brewery said: “Everywhere you look in Swindon there are references to our great railway past, and we’re very proud to have been a part of it from the beginning.”
In celebration of 175 years of Steam in Swindon, Arkell’s is brewing three special cask beers this year. The first, Golden Gooch (3.7% ABV), was released in September to celebrate Sir Daniel Gooch, Brunel’s first engineer’s 200th birthday on August 24th. From October 3, it’s Hooter (5% ABV) and from November 7, the final beer, Steam Powered (4% ABV) will be available across the Arkell’s estate of pubs.
Head brewer, Alex Arkell, said: “In the mid 19th century, dark ales would have been extremely popular with a typical brewery which would have produced three or four, from 5% -7% ABV. Men were doing a lot more physical work then, especially those labouring in the hot engine sheds of Brunel’s mighty Swindon engineering works, and the sweet malty characteristic of these beers was the perfect refreshment, replenishing their energy.
“Apart from generally producing lower gravity beer, the way we brew beer at Arkell’s today is much the same as it would have been then. What we have improved, through investment in well-engineered brew house equipment, is the consistency of our beer. Now that’s something that Brunel would definitely have understood.”