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6th July 2023

Arkell’s Brewery Announces the First Couple to Complete their 180th Anniversary Ale Trail

Arkell’s Brewery, Wiltshire family brewer, is delighted to announce the incredible achievement of the first couple to successfully complete the special Arkell’s 180th Anniversary Ale Trail. Their journey around Arkell’s Cask Marque accredited pubs demonstrates enthusiasm and a love for great beer & great pubs.

The Arkell’s 180th Anniversary Ale Trail, launched earlier this year to commemorate the brewery’s rich heritage and 180 years of brewing, has attracted over 200 followers, not just locally but from a range of places across the nation including Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.  This trail takes beer enthusiasts or pub lovers on an adventure around Arkell’s pubs, bars, and taverns serving a range of Arkell’s brews.

The trail is hosted on Cask Marque’s CaskFinder App. Cask Marque is the independent award for serving great quality cask ale.  Their CaskFinder App is free and can be downloaded on a mobile phone. Once downloaded, registering is required, followed by joining the Arkell’s trail.  With prize points at 10,20,30,50 and 75 scans, not every pub has to be visited to earn a prize.

However, Peter and Anne Hanscomb, from Swindon, have completed them all!  They embarked on this adventure, travelling through Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.  After visiting each of the 83 designated locations on the trail, they have emerged as the first couple to complete the challenge in just three months.

Many participants have a unique reason for taking part, including a trip down memory lane to old haunts, being charmed with the uniqueness of the independent family brewery, following in a parent’s footsteps who have historically completed Arkell’s ale passport in 1983 or 1998, or just taking on a new challenge.

Anne Hanscomb has a different reason and commented “I am training for The Thames Path Ultra Challenge in September so as part of my training plan I attempted to walk to most of the pubs, although I did have to be a little more creative with some of the further ones and drive so far then walk to the pub, and back to the car, but it all helped.  Thanks to Arkell’s I even managed to get my husband to join me on some of the training walks as it involved a pint of ale for him!”

As the first couple to conquer the Arkell’s 180th Anniversary Ale Trail, Peter and Anne have claimed a multitude of prizes so far and have now earned a private brewery tour led by Arkell’s master brewer, Alex Arkell, where they will gain insights into the intricate brewing process and have the opportunity to taste some of Arkell’s latest creations before they head to the brewery tap for lunch.

In addition, they are the only ale trailers to be presented with a commemorative certificate to mark their achievement as the first to visit all 83 sites, and George and Alex Arkell met them at the last Arkell’s pub on their trail.

“We are delighted to welcome Peter and Anne to the final Arkell’s pub of their journey, The Village Inn, Liddington, to congratulate them on this fantastic accomplishment,” said George Arkell, Managing Director of Arkell’s Brewery. “Their commitment to visit all of our pubs, and passion for our beers is truly flattering.”

The Village Inn, Liddington has only just re-opened after a 6-month closure.  Arkell’s had been searching for a new tenant and were thrilled when an existing Arkell’s tenant expressed an interest.  Adam Clay who also runs The New Inn in Stratton has taken over the reigns and is hoping to ensure that The Village Inn continues to thrive with the support of the village.

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 steam powered brewery.  We want people to venture out of their comfort zone, show support and rediscover the charm of authentic pubs just like The Village Inn.”

Peter expressed “It’s been a real treat rediscovering lovely pubs that have fallen off our radar. I can also say I have really enjoyed rediscovering Arkell’s beers!  Arkell’s estate of public houses covers all aspects of the market from outright drinking pubs to great looking country hotels, all of which have their place.  Many pubs made myself and my wife feel very welcome despite being complete strangers.”

Arkell’s Brewery expresses its heartfelt gratitude to all participants who are taking part in the 180th Anniversary Ale Trail, making it a resounding success before it ends at Christmas time.  The brewery encourages all beer lovers to continue exploring its range of classic ales and seasonal innovative brews.

For further information about Arkell’s Brewery and its diverse range of craft beers and pubs, please visit

From left: Alex Arkell, Peter & Anne Hanscomb, Adam Clay and George Arkell

Notes to Editor: For further info. contact: Helen Ryan at Arkell’s Brewery on 01793 823026, 07972 155 303 or email

Arkell’s Brewery was established in 1843 by John Arkell. Arkell’s is Swindon’s oldest business, and one of just 29 family breweries left in the UK.  Arkell’s has 180 years in the brewery business and has four members of the Arkell’s family still remaining at the helm: Chairman James Arkell; his cousin Nick Arkell, Head of Sales, and James’ sons George, and Alex Arkell are Managing Director and Head Brewer respectively.

The Arkell family work at the brewery alongside generations of other local families, brewing real ale and looking after nearly 100 pubs across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. Arkell’s ales include Award-winning beers such as Wiltshire Gold, 3B, and Hoperation IPA. Special ales are brewed regularly, with Head Brewer, Alex Arkell, keeping the art of craft ale alive, offering drinkers new tastes and flavours all hand crafted in their brewery.

For further info. contact: Helen Ryan at Arkell’s Brewery on 01793 823026, 07972 155 303 or email

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