Welcome to Box Steam Brewery

We’re an award-winning independent brewer run by three generations of the Roberts family. Based just outside Bath in the village of Holt, we’ve been producing cask and bottled beers with real character for more than 10 years.

Core beers

Tunnel Vision

ABV
4.2
Style
A well-rounded light amber bitter. Clean tasting, with a slight bitterness on the finish.
Bitter
⭐︎
Sweet
⭐︎ ⭐︎
Available in
Bottle
Box
Cask

Piston Broke

ABV
4.5
Style
A fine, full-bodied golden ale with a clean, refreshing bittersweet taste and a fruity, hoppy aroma.
Bitter
⭐︎ ⭐︎
Sweet
⭐︎ ⭐︎
Available in
Bottle
Box
Cask

Funnel Blower

ABV
4.5
Style
Black with a vanilla sweetness contrasting a slight bitterness from roasted barley and chocolate malts.
Bitter
⭐︎
Sweet
⭐︎ ⭐︎
Available in
Bottle

Derail Ale

ABV
5.2
Style
Wonderfully hoppy traditional India Pale Ale. Full flavoured with an intense floral aroma.
Bitter
⭐︎ ⭐︎ ⭐︎ ⭐︎
Sweet
⭐︎ ⭐︎ ⭐︎ ⭐︎
Available in
Bottle

Brewery shop

Brewery shop Why not pay us a visit? We brew five days a week and have a shop and bar on site. If you’re passing, come by and say hello.

Our pubs

The Inn at Freshford

The Inn at Freshford
The cross guns at Avoncliff

3 Bottle Gift Pack

Gift Pack

Specials

1914

ABV
4.2
Style
A well-rounded light amber bitter. Clean tasting, with a slight bitterness on the finish.
Bitter
⭐︎ ⭐︎ ⭐︎
Sweet
⭐︎
Available in
Bottle

Trade enquiries

Whether on- or off-trade, a pub, restaurant, wholesaler or local store, we’ll help you keep your customers happy with great deals on bottles and casks.

Give our sales team a call on 01225 782 700 or drop them a line to sales@boxsteambrewery.com.

Beer calendar

We’re proud of our range - old favourites available year round, brews carefully designed for each season, and genuinely different guest ales crafted in small batches and only available for a single month of the year. What do you fancy trying next?

Summer beer

Stoker's Quench

ABV
3.8
Style
A golden ale with a twist of elderflower.
Bitter
⭐︎ ⭐︎
Sweet
⭐︎ ⭐︎
Available in
Cask

Golden Bolt

ABV
3.8
Style
A straw-coloured bitter with a tropical fruit nose and a fruity, bitter aftertaste.
Bitter
⭐︎ ⭐︎
Sweet
⭐︎ ⭐︎
Available in
Cask

Join the Cheeky Half Club

Cheeky Half

As a member you’ll receive quarterly copies of Steaming Through, a 10% discount in perpetuity on all direct purchases online or at our Brewery Shop, exclusive opportunities to win Box Steam goodies and, most importantly, a Cheeky Half on us, in your own Box Steam glass, each time you pay us a visit.

Find the nearest pub or shop

You’ll discover Box Steam beers in hundreds of pubs and bars across the whole of the South West, and on shelves and menus further afield. We supply friendly locals, top restaurants, corner shops and supermarkets, so you’re never too far from a decent pint of Box. Tell us where you, and we’ll tell you where we are.

    Our process

    Produced by hand in the brewery’s steam copper, our ingenuity and passion transform the finest local malts and the best British hops into consistently high quality beers, whilst minimising impact on the environment.

    1. 1. Malting

      The brewery is very fortunate in having an abundant supply of locally grown and locally malted barley. Quite often the fields close to Box Steam Brewery are planted with barley, which is a fine sight. We use only traditional, floor malted Maris Otter barley, largely sourced from Warminster. Warminster Maltings operate one of the few remaining traditional floor maltings. Here, barley is steeped in water to trigger the natural germination of the grain before being loaded onto a floor where the maltster carefully turns the grain by hand to ensure even germination.

    2. 2. Milling

      After a relatively short period, growth in the ‘green malt’ is arrested by kilning. Depending on temperature, moisture and time, and with the skill and care of the maltster, a large range of flavours and colours can be achieved, from the grassy notes of lightly kilned malts, biscuit notes in pale ale malts through to burnt, acrid and very dark roasted malts.Thanks to the malting process, malted barley is very easily ground. At the brewery, prior to brewing, the malt is milled in a two roll mill to produce a coarsely ground mixture called the ‘grist’. This is stored in our grist hopper.

    3. 3. Mashing

      In the Mash Tun hot liquor (water with added minerals) and grist are gently mixed to form the ‘goods’ or ‘mash’. Once the mash tun is filled, it is left for an hour or so to enable the natural process to continue. Enzymes from the barley break down complex starch molecules into simple sugars. Later, these sugars will be consumed by the yeast to produce alcohol. The mash produces a liquid called ‘sweet wort’. The grain is retained in the mash tun by a perforated floor called a ‘false bottom’.

    4. 4. Boiling

      After the mash has stood for the hour, the sweet wort is run off into a vessel called a copper. More hot liquor is sprinkled over the grain to wash all the goodness out, a process called ‘sparging’. Hops are added in stages, the wort brought to boiling point and vigorously boiled for an hour or so. During this time natural resins are extracted from the hops and bitterness is released. Late hop additions impart more flavour and aroma. The process also removes proteins which would otherwise cause a haze in the beer. A seaweed derivative called Irish moss is added to assist this process. Boiling also makes the wort sterile.

    5. 5. Fermenting

      The boiled wort is cooled to 18C using a heat exchanger and collected in our fermenting vessel. Cold liquor is used to cool the wort, gets heated in the exchanger and transferred into the hot liquor tanks ready for the next day’s brew. Yeast is added to the fermenter to begin fermentation. The yeast consumes the sugar from the malt to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. Heat is given off as the yeast grows and the temperature of the brew is carefully controlled to allow flavours to develop slowly. After several days, when the yeast has produced the correct level of alcohol, the temperature is brought down to 10C.

    6. 6. Conditioning

      Our beer is now either racked off into casks and left to condition for several days in a cold store, or it is chilled to 0C for bottling. Cask beer or ‘real ale’ carries a portion of yeast in it. Residual sugar from the fermentation is slowly consumed by this yeast in cask to produce natural carbonation or ‘condition’. When the beer is racked, isinglass finings made from the swim bladders of fish is added to ‘flocculate’ and ‘precipitate’ the yeast which settles as ‘lees’ in the belly of the cask after a 24-hour stand in the pub.

    7. 7. Serving

      Our cask ales are served perfectly in great pubs across the country, hand-pumped from cool cellars to proper glasses by skilled bar staff. All you have to do is order and enjoy! To get the most from a bottle of Box, serve it at 13C (chill it in the fridge, but take it out 20 minutes before serving). Always use a clean, straight-sided pint glass and pour in one go. Hold at a 45° angle. Pour the beer gently, aiming for the middle of the slope of the glass. Halfway, bring the glass to a 90° angle and continue to pour in the middle of the glass. This will create the perfect head of about 1 cm. Lovely.

    Our story

    There was brewery at Box nearly a hundred years ago, and when we resurrected it in 2004 we stayed true to the Great British brewing tradition, just adding a little personality and a lot of enthusiasm.

    1. 1920

      A brewery was established in Box in the South West of England, near the city of Bath, in the early 1920’s. The original building eventually became luxury apartments.

    2. 2004

      Marshall Ewart, landlord of The Bear, and Mark Hemplemen-Adams (the explorer’s older brother) buy a 10 barrel kit and resurrect the brewery.

    3. 2006

      The Roberts family, owners of the Cross Guns at Avoncliff, purchase the brewery, looking forward to making great beer, not just buying it.

    4. 2009

      Tunnel Vision proves to be a star attraction as Gary Oldman, following in the footsteps of Harry Enfield, Ruby Wax and Kevin Spacey, visits The Cross Guns twice in one week.

    5. 2010

      The first of the brewery’s celebrated bottled beers produced was Tunnel Vision, selected for the CAMRA beer club. Production at the brewery rises to 3,300 hectolitres.

    6. 2011

      Master brewer Philip Downes joins the team. A new, larger brewery is built in the nearby village of Holt, and brewing starts here in the November.

    7. 2014

      Production is up to 6,300 hectolitres, and the brewery launches its beers in boxes, enabling everyone to tap into the great taste of Box cask.

    8. 2015

      Now supplying 100s of pubs and bars with cask and bottles, and with customers include Michelin-starred restaurants and national supermarket and pub chains, the brewery unveils a proud new brand.

    Our team

    You can’t make great ale without great ingredients, but it’s the people that make Box Steam Brewery the best in Wiltshire. You don’t have to like beer to work here. You have to love it.

    • Martin Bridge

      Martin Bridge Free Trade Sales

      Martin worked as a publican for over 10 years before joining the Brewery. Now he just pulls shots on the golf course when he isn’t looking after our free trade customers.

    • Andy Roberts

      Andy Roberts The Guv

      Box Steam’s boss grew up in the pub trade and has a passion for two things - good beer and odd shaped balls. If there’s Rugby on the big screen and barrels in the yard he’s a happy man.

    • Phil Downes

      Phil Downes Master Brewer

      Having worked all his life as brewer, what Phil doesn’t know about beautifully engineering malt, yeast and hops into great beer isn’t worth a can of lager. He gives a fantastic brewery tour too.

    • Emma Roberts

      Emma Roberts Export Manager

      While her brother keeps an eye on the Brewery at home, Emma handles diplomatic relations abroad, waving the flag for Wiltshire’s finest across the globe.

    • Heidi Wilkinson

      Heidi Wilkinson The Administrator

      You know the person who makes sure i’s are crossed and t’s are dotted, everyone knows what they’re doing and when? That’s our Heidi.

    • Jake Doherty

      Jake Doherty Sales Co-ordinator

      Closet rock star Jake looks after our wholesale and retail customers. He earned his stripes in the wine trade, but we’re lucky enough to have him in our band.

    • Lindsey Marie Nash

      Lindsey Marie Nash Sales Team Leader

      Lindsey is our chief beer pusher by day and a seasoned beer puller by night. If you don’t currently stock our ales, don’t worry. She’s coming for you…

    • Nicky Burston

      Nicky Burston National Account Manager

      Nicky has spent years working in the off-trade with the country’s biggest wholesalers and supermarkets. She’s on a mission to see Box in every trolley.

    • Gary Day

      Gary Day Assistant Brewer

      Tom’s right-hand man. They are the Batman and Robin of the brewing world, righting the wrong of mass production, delivering just flavours and righteous brews.

    • Tom Downes

      Tom Downes Head Brewer

      Tom lovingly tends to every brew from milling to filling. The brewery’s copper and mash tuns are his mistresses and he's the romantic type. You're just lucky he'll let it leave the brewery.

    • Tony Lockyear

      Tony Lockyear Transport and Logistics

      Need a barrel of Tunnel Vision delivered in Timbuktu last Tuesday? Want to enjoy a pint of Piston Broke in a marquee in December? Fancy a pint and a sports quiz at the brewery? Tony’s your man.

    • Maggie Taylor

      Maggie Taylor Financial Controller

      It’s a good job we’ve got Maggie to keep an eye on us while we focus on brewing. She looks after the pennies and the pints look after themselves…