STROUD BREWERY hosted a three-day free party with over 50 bands and performers as a way of saying thank you to the community for their 'fantastic support' over the last 18 years.

The brewery's 18th birthday party was the talk of the town this weekend with nearly 2,000 people converging on the brewery to drink, dance, eat and merrily celebrate its coming of age!

Greg Pilley, the brewery’s founder and MD, says he is thrilled to have been able to celebrate the brewery’s birthday with the local people he believes are one of the main reasons for its success.

With the future of hospitality looking tough, he says pubs have to look to their roots and their community to future-proof themselves and the environment rather than slavishly follow the usual business approach of constant expansion.

He said: “It’s so fantastic to be able to give something back after all these years.

"This party is a thank-you for people’s past support, and we hope they’ll feel they can support us for another 18 years.

“That support has been crucial for us.

“The brewery was able to get started and then expand twice thanks to money the local community invested in us.

"We survived the pandemic because the £114,000 raised by the crowd-funding appeal organised by Stroud’s community which, added to the help from Stroud District Council, Triodos Bank and our landlords, Howard Tenens, kept us afloat.

"Local people’s support through drinking our beer and using the taproom is still as vital as ever as times are very tough for us and hospitality in general. "

"We’re also really chuffed that our taproom and facilities have made us a hub for local life with so many people coming here to run clubs, activities, events and to celebrate milestones in their lives.

"When I set up the brewery in 2006, my long-term hope was that it would become a place where people would meet to develop new ideas, build their social lives, to discuss the nature of life as well as their hopes and dreams, and to laugh, learn and grow."

All images by photographer Simon Pizzey