Our beginnings

The story behind Bath Ales

Bath Ales brewed its first beer in 1995 at a tiny brewery in Wincanton, Somerset. Since then the brewery has moved twice, but the beer we make and the Hare that proudly adorns our beers remains the same – with a bit of a refresh along the way.

Founded by Roger Jones and Richard Dempster, the pair brought on Rab Clark, a local publican, because he was willing to sell their first beer. Demand for Bath Gem quickly spread though, and as business grew the brewery bought its own pub, the Hare on the Hill, and moved production to Bristol. The success of the new pub and brewery finally allowed Bath Ales to complete an ambition that we had from the start – to get a pub in Bath itself.

Next Steps

Our flagship house

The Hop Pole opened in 1998, a cosy country pub in the middle of one of England’s most historic cities. Serving delicious, fresh ales and seasonal food it has become a symbol of Bath Ales’ dedication to quality beer and good living. That approach led to huge growth for the brewery, which expanded in 2004 and again in 2007. All the time we were experimenting to perfect our recipes and produce a wider range of core and seasonal beers at our Bristol brewery.

In 2012 we moved our office and shop into Hare House, a site large enough to add a second five-barrel brewery that became the home of our microbrewery, Beerd.

A new chapter with St Austell Brewery

In 2016 a new chapter for Bath Ales started as it was acquired by Cornwall’s St Austell Brewery, an independent, family brewer and pub company. As huge admirers of Bath Ales, St Austell has invested in a new brewery for the current team. Hare Brewery means more of what Bath Ales drinkers know and love – and some exciting new beers too.