Founded in Oakham (Rutland) back in 1993 and now based in Peterborough, Oakham Ales is the home of much loved and hugely respected beers including Oakham JHB and Oakham Bishops Farewell.
Famous as the first UK brewery to brew a beer with 100% US sourced Citra hops, adding Oakham Citra and its big brother Green Devil IPA to our list of UK beer legends.
Oakham celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2023 and is looking forward to many more exciting years at the forefront of high quality craft brewing.
Take a look around !
Brewery Tour and Some Oakham History !
2023 - 30 Years!
2023 SEES A LANDMARK BIRTHDAY FOR OAKHAM ALES.
AND TO CELEBRATE OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY, THE 2023 OAKHAM CASK AGED AND SEASONAL LINE-UPS WILL FEATURE A MIXTURE OF EXCITING NEW BEERS AND REVISITED OAKHAM CLASSICS.
We reckon to have brewed just shy of 300 different beers since the first batch of JHB was brewed on September 13 1993 and to have won around 250 major awards over the period.
So it was no easy task to select the very best of them.
But we think that we’ve come up with a fantastic 2023 list – one that pays tribute to the foresight of our founder John Wood and celebrates the pioneering spirit of craft brew legend John Bryan and his Oakham brewing teams.
2020 - John Bryan 25 Years
Our very own hop maestro and all round brewing legend John Bryan celebrated 25 years at Oakham Ales in Octoberr 2020.
John started with us on 16 October 1995 and his inspired brewing has given us Citra, Green Devil and dozens of other great beers.
We’ll let you judge from the photos whether it’s done him much good!
Click HERE for more about John’s USA Hop Adventures.
2019 - Brewery of the Year !
Oakham Ales named “Brewery of the Year” in the 2020 edition of the Good Pub Guide.
A fantastic award from such a well-respected publication.
2019 - Citra – Champion Golden Beer of Britain
Citra wins Gold in the Golden Ales category at the Great British Beer Festival – for the second time in 6 years!
It also takes Bronze in the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain competition at the Festival – all this in the year of Citra’s 10th anniversary!
Yes, it’s been 10 years already since John Bryan, our Brewing Director, discovered Citra hop on one of his hop sourcing trips to the USA!
Top right: our late and much missed former Head Brewer Alex Kean receives the award; Bottom right: the Oakham team celebrate with Citra all round !
2019 - Three Awards in One Week for Green Devil IPA
Green Devil IPA wins Gold in SIBA’s National Awards (Cask IPA category), Bronze in the International Brewing Awards (Cask category) and Bronze in the SIBA East Competition (Keg IPA).
Not a bad week – even by Green Devil’s standards!
Here’s our brewing team celebrating the success!
2018 - Oakham’s 25th Anniversary
We started with our first brew of JHB in September 1993.
75 million pints and more than 250 beers later we celebrated our 25th anniversary with a special anniversary brew of “Elephant in The Whirlpool”.
Here’s to the next 25 years!
2018 - New Branding
Redesigned pump clips and labels giving our beers a more eye-catching and contemporary look.
Check it out HERE
2017 - Brewery Expansion Works
Work continued on the new 900m2 building that will be a home for 16 new DPV fermentation and conditioning vessels, a new cold store and improved water processing facilities.
This will double existing tank capacity and allow Oakham to brew up to 75,000 brewers’ barrels of beer per year.
A new “Whirlpool” copper was also installed.
View video HERE
2015 - Green Devil IPA Wins World Champion Cask Ale – Again!
A second success for our flagship IPA at the International Brewing Awards.
2015 - New Tank Farm
External tank farm completed for transferring our bottle, can and keg beers.
2014 - Citra – Champion Golden Beer of Britain!
Citra named Champion Golden Ale at The Great British Beer Festival.
2013 - Bellwether Wines
Oakham Ales acquires Bellwether Wines – adding a first class wine list to our portfolio.
2013 - Green Devil IPA Named World Champion Cask Ale
Green Devil IPA named Champion Cask Ale at the prestigious International Brewing Awards.
John Bryan, Brewing Director at Oakham Ales, receives the trophy from Rob Willock of the Morning Advertiser.
2012 - Oakham Ales and Krombacher
Leading German brewer Krombacher selects us as one of their UK importers.
2011 - First Brews of Scarlet Macaw and Green Devil IPA
Green Devil, the big brother of Citra is born!
Scarlet Macaw also joins the permanent range – quintessential American Pale.
2010 - The Original UK Citra
Citra is launched to rave reviews and soon becomes a permanent beer.
2010 - Adrian Posnett Appointed as MD
Adrian Posnett joined Oakham Ales in January 2010 as Sales and Marketing Director. Expansion was underway as the company doubled the size of its Maxwell Road premises to cope with rapidly increasing sales.
2009 - John Bryan Discovers Citra Hops
In 2009 on his annual hop sourcing trip to Yakima Valley in the USA, John Bryan (then our Head Brewer) discovered an exceptional new hop variety – Citra. He rushed it to the UK, ensuring that Oakham Ales were the first UK brewery to brew a beer with 100% Citra hops.
Click HERE for more about John’s USA Hop Adventures.
View video of John’s Hop Dive HERE
2008 - Oakademy of Excellence
The Oakademy of Excellence is Oakham’s club for permanent stockists serving our beers at their very best.
The first customers to join were The King Billy in Nottingham and The Kingston Arms in Cambridge.
2008 - Small Batch Brewing
With the main volume of production moving from the Brewery Tap to Woodston, a small batch (6 barrel) brew house was installed at The Tap to produce special and one-off brews.
2006 - A New Home
Oakham Ales moves to a new 75 barrel brew house in Woodston, Peterborough. The symbolic padlock and chain was cut by John Wood, the original owner and brewer.
2002 - Hop Sourcing Trips to USA
John Bryan, Head Brewer at the time and now Brewing Director, starts his hop sourcing trips to the USA.
He’s been every year since, apart from 2006 when he had the little matter of getting the new Woodston brewery opened and 2020 and 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic precluded travel to the USA.
2001 - JHB – Supreme Champion Beer of Great Britain
JHB becomes Supreme Champion Beer of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival!
2000 - A Logo is Born !
It’s all about the rivets!
John Bryan is mad about rivets, so he had to have them incorporated into the logo together with our initials.
He’s also mad about a few other things if we’re honest.
1998 - Ivor the Great!
A rather splendid old steam boiler arrives. Promptly named after Ivor the Engine from the famous children’s TV programme of the time.
1998 - Oakham Ales moves to Peterborough
Oakham Ales moves to a new 35 barrel brewery in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
1995 - John Bryan Becomes Head Brewer
A legend in UK craft brewing, John started helping out at Oakham Ales as a callow youth in 1994 and became Head Brewer on John Wood’s retirement in 1995.
25 years later he is still full of ideas for new and exciting Oakham beers!
John also comes up with most of their names and the ideas for our pump clip designs – every single one has a story behind it!
1995 - John Wood Retires
John Wood, founder and first brewer at Oakham Ales, beer lover and Morris dancer, hands over the reins.
1993 - First Beer Released!
Jeffrey Hudson Bitter (JHB) – one of the very first UK beers to be generously hopped with USA sourced hops.
The inspiration for the name came from Sir Jeffrey Hudson, also known as “Lord Minimus”, a courtier in the service of King Charles I.
Sir Jeffrey Hudson was from Oakham – the smallest man in the smallest county!
Like the beer, his modest strength was more than made up for in character!
1993 - In the Beginning
John Wood sets up a brewery in Oakham, Rutland (with a capacity of 10 barrels a week) and Oakham Ales is born.