The pundits (and brewery statistics) suggest craft beer sales are still struggling in post-pandemic UK but visit Cheltenham and you might be inclined to disagree.
Especially if you visit by train.
Walk just 150 metres from Cheltenham Spa train station and you’ll find yourself at the gates of the fabulously funky Deya brewery and taproom. But Deya isn’t the only first-class craft beer venue Cheltenham has to offer the budding ale pundit. This Regency town has all the ingredients for one of the best craft beer walks you’ll find in the UK, and all within walking distance from the train station.
Follow our craft beer walk and in under two hours (not including drinking time) you’ll have visited Cheltenham’s finest craft beer locations and tasted some exceedingly good ale.
And you’ll have no grumpy designated driver to drag around.
We’ve selected the four best craft beer establishments in Cheltenham.
No need to thank us, we enjoyed the research!
Why buy beer from independent brewers?
Whether you’re travelling or at home, buying from smaller local businesses is a great way to support the local community and local craftspeople, at the same time as reduce the CO2 emissions associated with long-distance transport.
Independent breweries often opt for locally grown ingredients and research (8 out of 10 craft beer consumers) even suggests their presence has a positive impact on local communities.
Anyone who has found friendship through a shared love of craft beer will tell you this is true but craft beer breweries, shops and taprooms go further than this, and often support a wider network of small local food and entertainment businesses.
All that and they serve the most delicious of craft beers.
The best craft beer in Cheltenham
Follow us on our craft beer walk from Cheltenham train station.
There are so many craft beer venues in Cheltenham, that it can be tricky to choose where to go first. I haven’t tried all of them yet but I do have good friends who have.
And I know enough to know not all craft beer destinations are made equal.
This walk will take you to four of the best craft beer venues in Cheltenham. If you want to try other options on the way, that’s up to you.
- Start: Cheltenham Spa train station (GWR)
- Distance: 6.29 kilometres
- Walking time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Calories burned: Not enough to cover four pints – perhaps jog instead
- Drinking time: We’ll leave that one up to you!
- Finish: Cheltenham Spa train station
Walk start – Cheltenham Spa station
- Address: Queens Road, Cheltenham, GL51 8NP
- Ticket office? Yes
- Toilets? Yes
- Cycle storage? Yes
Cheltenham Spa station is on the Bristol-Birmingham main line and is well managed by Great Western Railway. Some services extend to Reading and London Paddington. It’s the only place the town is known as Cheltenham Spa, a name originally assigned to add interest and encourage passengers.
The station building was built by the same architect as many of Cheltenham’s Regency villas but has since had its original bridge and impressive front canopy removed. If you look closely you’ll see a half column of the original canopy on the front wall.
Thanks to Cheltonia for their great history account.
Beer venue 1 – The Railway
- Address: New Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3QL
- Venue: Pub
- Beer: Gloucestershire craft beers
- Food: Thai street barbecue (in-house)
- Also serving: Local ciders, artisan spirits and natural wines
This friendly, welcoming pub is only a short stroll from the centre of Cheltenham, and with such a train-like name, we just had to include it on our craft beer walk.
The Railway isn’t just a great name though, this local is gloriously independent, does everything it can to champion small businesses, and serves only the best drinks. And they don’t just serve fantastic beer, the Railway’s Thai street food gets rave reviews and offers some great vegan and vegetarian options.
This one has been recommended to me by people I trust to buy me beer.
And that’s not everybody!!
Beer venue 2 – Favourite Beers
- Address: 105 Hewlett Rd, Cheltenham GL52 6BB
- Venue: Beer shop (plus Friday Beer Club)
- Beer: Yes! All of them!
- Food: No (but you’ll be too excited about your beer to mind)
- Also serving: Ciders and perries, wines and meads, gift boxes
As soon as you enter Favourite Beers in Cheltenham, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t visited sooner. With an ever-changing range of over 500 UK craft and traditional beers as well as even more European beers (we love going Belgian), we guarantee you won’t own a bag big enough to take away all you want to sample.
But you don’t always have to take your beer away. Arrive on a Friday evening and you’ll be treated to the phenomena that is Friday Beer Club (booking recommended).
Beer club is a must for us when we’re in town. You won’t find atmosphere or craft beer like it anywhere else.
And that’s a promise!
Beer venue 3 – Planet Caravan
- Address: 25 Bath St, Cheltenham GL50 1YA
- Venue: Taproom and eaterie
- Beer: 16 draft craft beers
- Food: Street food and tacos
- Also serving: Cocktails including beer cocktails and ‘lageritas’!
Planet Caravan is as quirky as its name makes it sound. It’s a small neighborhood bar with big taste ambitions that it fulfills well. I sampled a rather impressive DIPA and a cooling coconut and lychee margarita, to ease me into my tacos with a delicious array of vegetarian and vegan toppings. I came out all herbed up and very happy.
If you’re visiting on a Wednesday, don’t forget to check out the B.Y.O. vinyl theme for the week on the Planet Caravan social pages. This week it’s your first (Mary’s Boy Child – Boney M.) and last (Tainted Love 12″ – Soft Cell) vinyl purchase.
Can you tell I was never much of a record buyer?
Beer venue 4 – Deya Brewery and Taproom
- Address: Unit 27, Lansdown Industrial Estate, Gloucester Rd, GL51 8PL
- Venue: Taproom in the heart of Deya’s brewery
- Beer: 20 taps from all over the world. Plus a range of cans.
- Food: Visiting food trucks – keep an eye on Deya’s website
- Also serving: Merch! Check it out, it’s pretty cool
If you know craft beer, you’ll have heard of Deya. One of the leading lights on the UK craft beer scene, Deya has not just one, but two tap rooms at their brewing sites in Cheltenham. Sit inside at their main taproom and you’ll be able to watch the brewery goings on, sit outside and you’ll be first in the queue for the street food trucks as they turn up.
Deya also has a mixed fermentation tap room where they do all kinds of funky things with different types of yeast and unexpected flavours. Open Fridays and Saturdays only, Deya’s mixed fermentation taproom is just around the corner from its main taproom.
If you only have time for one beer (sorry!) head to Deya. It’s just 300 metres from Cheltenham’s train station (even less if you choose the right station exit!)
Beer walks in the UK
Beer walks and pub walks have long been popular here in the UK. And, unless you’ve drunk too much, beer, pubs, and walking go really well together. Too often though, it’s the transport to the start and end of your pub walk that’s the issue. Few of us would be happy drinking and driving, and nobody actually wants to be the designated driver but when you can travel by train, the problem removes itself.
What better way to get your exercise and your imbibement all in one hit?