Arkell's to run special ale trail event to celebrate 180th anniversary

By Jessica Durston - 31 March 2023

BusinessFood & Drink
  • From left: Alex Arkell, George Arkell & Roger Protz at Arkell’s Strawberry Thief, Swindon

    From left: Alex Arkell, George Arkell & Roger Protz at Arkell’s Strawberry Thief, Swindon

The Arkell's Brewery team are inviting members of the public to take part in its 180th Anniversary Ale Trail this year.

During their special anniversary year, celebrating 180 years of continuous brewing at the original site founded by John Arkell, the family brewery are challenging drinkers to visit as many Arkell’s pubs as they can.

Arkell's pubs are spread across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire, and the trail will be hosted on Cask Marque’s CaskFinder App. 

CaskFinder is a free app that individuals can download on their mobile. Once downloaded, individuals can register and join the Arkell’s trail. 

A spokesperson from the brewery said: "You don’t have to visit every Arkell’s pub to win prizes, with prize points at 10,20,30,50 and 75 scans. Just start clocking up your visits and if you scan all 85 Arkell’s qualifying pubs you will win the top prize! 

"Prizes include limited edition 180th polo shirts, bottled beer, overnight stays, meals out, and a private brewery tour with Head Brewer, Alex Arkell."

As the warm spring weather approaches and a bank holiday weekend looms, the Arkell's team say it is the perfect time to plan trips to a local pub and take the opportunity to explore new places, experience local food and enjoy some refreshing drinks. 

Alex Arkell, sixth-generation of the Arkell family said: “We’re really excited about this ale trail. It celebrates so many things - our milestone anniversary, the Great British pub, and interesting, fresh beers, produced by our local brewery. 

"We want people to venture out of their comfort zone, show support and rediscover the charm of authentic pubs and a fresh selection of delicious beers.”  

The app will allows users to record their visit to the pub, learn about beers and rate the ones they try, and win prizes too. Individuals can simply locate the Cask Marque Certificate of excellence in the pub and scan the QR code to collect scans and win prizes.

Roger Protz, world leading beer writer, historian, and real ale campaigner was at Arkell’s last week writing a piece for the autumn edition of BEER magazine. He helped with the brewery’s first scan of the ale trail at Arkell’s Strawberry Thief Pub in Swindon.

Roger expressed his best wishes to Arkell's in its 180th anniversary year, saying: “It's brilliant to find a family brewer still producing fine beers and serving them in great town and country pubs. I was impressed by the new pub, The Strawberry Thief, Swindon; with impeccable cask ales and splendid food, including pizzas from an on-site oven. Carry on brewing, Arkell's!”

A selection of other special activities are planned for 2023 during the brewery’s 180th year - these include weekly brewery tours for the public, which are bookable online (, and a Big Birthday Bash on 16 September with live music and lots of beers to sample.  

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