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31st March 2023

Pub visits earn Prizes in Arkell’s 180th Anniversary Ale Trail

Spring into action and join Arkell’s Brewery’s Anniversary Ale Trail in 2023.  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; spread across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. The trail will be hosted on Cask Marque’s CaskFinder App.

CaskFinder is a free app that you can download on your mobile. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you register and join the Arkell’s trail.  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, it is the perfect time to plan trips to your local pubs and take the opportunity to explore new places, experience local food and enjoy some refreshing drinks.  There are some great walks to be had in the countryside, you can take a look around the towns and villages and then stop off to try the beer and the delicious food offerings.

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 allows you to record your visit to the pub, learn about beers and rate the ones you try, and – best of all – win prizes too.  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 and 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. “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 – bookable online (, and a Big Birthday Bash on 16th September with live music and lots of beers to sample.


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

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