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12th July 2021


Stroud Brewery, an independent, organic craft brewer launches a hop-tastic beer trilogy with the chief torchbearer for ethically produced organic food, Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall of River Cottage.

The team at Stroud Brewery, led by Grey Pilley have long admired Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the values he promotes through his River Cottage brand. Sharing his desire to bring people closer to the source of their food to understand how our food choices impact the world around us.

Keen purveyor of all things organic, Hugh is a huge fan of Stroud Brewery’s unique take on familiar beer styles along with their activist stance towards making the UK beer industry more ethical and sustainable. Hugh saw the Cotswolds based brewery as a natural partner for the #FoodToInspireChange product range he has created to shine a light on independent, organic, ethical sources of food … and drink.

The #FoodToInspireChange beer trilogy celebrates the undisputed flavour champion, the humble hop. A key aromatic flavour ingredient for making flavour full beer yet difficult to grow organically here in the UK with the diseases and pests rife in our temperate climate.

The launch of this trilogy draws attention to the scarcity of this ingredient and promotes a ground breaking three-year project initiated by Stroud Brewery through the Innovative Farmers programme.  The project aims to identify and trial disease resistant hop varieties and enable the UK beer industry to become lower impact and organic. It brings together two organic growers with researchers at the Organic Research Centre, in partnership with River Cottage and Charles Faram

“UK-grown organic hops are very difficult to get hold of, and the challenge of growing them is the largest barrier to increasing production of UK organic beer,” says Greg, field lab coordinator and founder of Stroud Brewery, one of only five dedicated organic breweries in the country.

“By collaborating as a supply chain, we’re aiming to identify varieties that farmers can grow more confidently, and as a brewer I’d like to have regular UK supplies of organic hops – there is also a huge variety of flavours to tap into, which could help British brewers create more distinctive products.”

The beer range to inspire change includes a refreshing Stinger Ale made with locally foraged nettles a cousin of the hop, Hempathy a mild and nutty beer style made with Hemp another close relation of the hop and a deliciously diverse UK hop Bitter showcasing the UK grown organic hops resulting from the hop trial project.

“Brewing and drinking beer is one of the stitches in our cultural fabric,” says Hugh “and we are much enjoying our collaboration with the brilliant team at Stroud Brewery.

“We hope and expect to see growing interest in sustainably produced beers that support UK farming and livelihoods, biodiversity, wildlife, and good agricultural practice – these new beers will give drinkers the chance to choose organic, and British, and to be part of this mission.”

The beers will be available from July from all good retailers and online from the Stroud Brewery website.


Notes to Editor

Stroud Brewery established in 2006 with the purpose of making great tasting beer and being the change, we want to see.

Today Stroud Brewery is a thriving enterprise. We make great tasting, ethical beer and create welcoming, fun, social spaces. We support our communities, our environment and the businesses we work with.

We are proud to be a certified B-Corp and our mission is to make outstanding Beer without damaging the planet, and bring people together to inspire positive change.

River Cottage

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage television shows first aired in 1999, since then the names of Hugh and River Cottage have stood for the firm belief that great food can not only bring us all happier and healthier lives, but also nurture and inspire positive change in the world. At the heart of this idea is a commitment to getting closer to the source of our food and understanding how our food choices impact the world around us.

River Cottage has expanded from television to be a phenomenal force in cookery book publishing, a world-leading rural cookery school and events venue in East Devon, and a well-loved and trusted brand of ethically produced organic foods. In all these forms, River Cottage has been central to changing the eating habits of the nation, and improving the welfare of farm animals and the sustainability of food production, both on land and at sea.

River Cottage television, books, innovations and education, along with Hugh’s campaigning TV series, have changed the conversation about food and sustainability in the UK and sent ripples around the world.


Under the simple banner, Food to Inspire Change, our foremost aim is to teach and inspire people to grow, source and cook food in ways which enrich their lives, increase their well-being, and connect them more closely to natural and ethical sources of food. In an increasingly virtual world River Cottage HQ – our farm, cookery school and restaurant in East Devon – embodies the integrity of our brand, inviting guests to spend time with us and absorb our philosophy first hand. Here we grow our own ingredients, look after our own livestock, and work closely with local suppliers who share our values, as we teach, feed and inspire our guests from all over the world.

This beating heart in the real world allows us to reach out into other areas with carefully chosen partners to produce a range of fantastic ethical products, influential cookery books, and inspiring online education programmes. Food integrity, good health and sustainability are at the heart of all these River Cottage enterprises. It’s our greatest delight to share our passion through teaching, exploring and discussing food, sustainability, well-being and the connections between them, both here at the farm and further afield.

We dare to believe that these ideas are infectious and life-enhancing, and have positive consequences beyond our doors, pages and platforms. We hope they will help to foster more aware and responsible food choices which in turn nurture a more sustainable and regenerative agriculture and food system and a more biodiverse planet.


Innovative Farmers is a not-for-profit network that brings farmers and growers together with researchers and funders, to facilitate ground-level innovation. Many of the best ideas in farming come from farmers, but research largely takes place off-farm: Innovative Farmers changes that. Farmers work in groups, collaborating on practical field labs to test techniques and tools, and find lasting solutions to practical problems. Since the network was established in 2012, over 1000 farmers have taken part in field labs covering more than 40 topics. Subjects are diverse and currently include: in-field variation within no-till systems; herbal lets for dairy herds; alternative methods for terminating cover crops; and biochar for soil health.

Innovative Farmers is part of the Duchy Future Farming Programme. The network is funded by The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund and backed by a team from LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), Innovation for Agriculture, the Organic Research Centre and the Soil Association. The network’s partners span educational, research and charitable organisations and include: Rothamsted, Duchy College, the Centre for Agroecology, the Food Security & Land Research Alliance and Harper Adams University. Innovative Farmers is sponsored by AHDB, Riverford and Buccleuch. It is supported by the Farmer Network, the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, the EU funded LIAISON project, and the Organic Growers Alliance.

Find out more:

Press release from Stroud Brewery

Please contact Greg Pilley or Nadine Stroud for further information.

01453 887122,