Salopian Brewery first brewed in Shrewsbury in 1995. Founded by Martin Barry on the site of the old Onions Dairy and like many breweries the kit we first brewed on was small and rudimentary at only two barrels. The brew length gave us scope to innovate and brew some wonderfully different and eclectic styles of beers that laid the foundations of what would become our Black Range. Our chairman Wilf Nelson joined the brewery in 1998 – Wilf coming on board gave the brewery much needed stability and vision to move to forward.
The introduction of Progressive Beer Duty in 2002, saw government producing legislation that helped small brewers – Cheers Gordon Brown – and the resulting reduction in duty gave Salopian the opportunity to invest in the brewery and the footings to grow. Slowly, as cash flow permitted, we upgraded our brewing kit and replaced rusty dented vans with slightly less rusty dented vans. It was the onset of brewing a more eclectic range of cask ale, whilst embracing both traditional styles and those of our locality.
During the 26 years that we have been brewing, styles, techniques and raw materials have changed massively. We have always loved innovation and the desire to try something different. The 1990’s saw the introduction of new world hops into the UK and we absolutely embraced the plethora of flavours they added to our beers as they matched our hankering to brew something different. This helped establish our reputation as one of the leading breweries in the UK. The Black Range grew from the phenomenal explosion of Craft Beer, which brought with it the opportunity to drink some brilliant beers from new brewers and give us the inspiration and impetus to develop our brewing techniques, to innovate and experiment, and to collaborate with friends.