A Guide to Brakspear Beers & their Perfect Pairings

Brakspear, our parent company, has been brewing brilliant beers since way back in the 1700s, so you can bet our fervour for the frothy stuff is fully-fledged. 

It all started more than 200 years ago when the first batch of Brakspear’s Bitter was brewed at Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames. 

Since then the operation has moved to Wychwood Brewery in Oxfordshire, but the fermentation system hasn’t changed; the beer still comes out of the six original, handcrafted copper vessels used all those years ago in Henley.

And while it all started with a single bitter, these days Brakspear boasts an array of amazing ales, served at each of our 9 Honeycomb Houses, which rank among the best pubs in Buckinghamshire, the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire.

Here’s a guide to the perennial favourites we pour for parched patrons in need of a pint, along with their ideal pairings (for those who might be feeling peckish)…

Best For… Bitter Fans: Brakspear Gravity (3.4% ABV)

This amber ale is the updated version of the famous Brakspear Bitter, first poured more than two centuries ago. The method of brewing hasn’t changed one bit and the result is a delightfully drinkable drop with a light, fruity aroma and a toffee-like taste that’s crisp and bitter. 

Perfect pairing: This beer is brewed the old-fashioned way and as a result, it’s best served with classic pub grub like a cheddar cheese ploughman’s or fish, chips and peas. 

Best For… Hot Summer Nights: Brakspear Oxford Gold (4.0% ABV)

Sipping from a pint of Oxford Gold is like taking a swig of citrussy summer sunshine. This glittery pale ale has a fresh, floral aroma – a little like a flowery meadow in the Cotswolds – and your palate will pick up flavours of orange and honey.

Perfect pairing: A pint of Oxford Gold works well with chicken, fish and salads, making it the ideal accompaniment to a summer barbecue or a night of alfresco dining (and ours are amongst the best pubs in Buckinghamshire, the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire for this).

Best For… A Royal Toast: Brakspear Queen Bee (4.2%) 

You might have noticed that Brakspear is buzzing when it comes to bees. That connection goes back a long way; Nicholas Breakspear, an ancestor of the brewery’s founders, was the first and only English Pope back in the 1100s. His papal symbol? You’ve guessed it – everyone’s favourite pollinating insect. 

Queen Bee is a special drop brewed to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. As you’d expect it’s a summery tipple, with fresh and light honey flavours. What’s more, we donate 10p from every pint sold to Friends Of The Earth’s Great British Bee Count. So head into one of our Honeycomb House pubs in Buckinghamshire, the Cotswolds or Oxfordshire and let us pour you one.

Perfect pairing: A beer made for a Great British occasion deserves to be served with one of the country’s culinary icons: the majestic meat pie. 

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