This trip takes in two breweries in Downton, the first being Hop Back Brewery (hopback.co.uk) which was established at The Wyndham Arms, Salisbury in 1986. It is perhaps most famous for Summer Lightning, one of the first hoppy golden ales which contributed to a national trend towards this style of beer and can be found in most super markets across the country. The brewery moved to its current location in 1992 while its pub estate has grown to ten pubs across the south and midlands, picking up the 2011 Champion Winter Beer of Britain for Entire Stout along the way.
John Gilbert, the brewery owner commissioned a second brewery in another unit on the industrial estate which it has been renting to Downton Brewery (downtonbrewery.com/), the second brewery on the itinerary, since 2003. Martin, the brewer and owner makes use of unusual ingredients such as orange, elderflower, honey and apple in the impressive range of beers he has created, Chocolate Orange Delight is always a festival favourite and well worth a try should it be available during the visit. Unfortunately, neither brewery are able to provide food but there is a petrol station close by for those wishing to buy snacks, and a number of pubs in Downton village, approximately twenty minutes’ walk away, serve food for those who would like something more substantial during the evening.