VIDEO: Sneaky peek of the Hop Kettle opening at Gloucester Food Dock
By Mark Owen and David Wood | 12th October 2023
The first eagerly-awaited venue at the new £3.5m Gloucester Food Dock officially opens tomorrow (Friday).
Punchline-Gloucester.com was given an exclusive tour of the Hop Kettle Brewery Tap Room which, after a soft launch, is set to offer a wide selection of food and drink to punters.
The company, which already has a site in Cirencester and two in Swindon, has invested about £150,000 in its latest venue.
Managing director and owner Tom Gee said: "We are very excited to finally be here. It's been a big investment for us - it's our biggest investment to date."
The business was founded in 2007 and the brewery opened in 2012, now employing about 45 staff.
Tom added: "We're going to have different pop-up chefs who are going to take over the kitchen for one week, two weeks or a month, with different food offerings. We've got some fantastic eclectic menus."
On the drinks front, Tom said: "Everything's brewed by us. We've got nine keg beers and a cider brewed in our Swindon or Cricklade breweries. There's all sorts of styles, everything from stouts to best bitter to IPAs. We even do our own alcohol-free beer.
"We've also created a brand new beer called Sippin' on the Dock, a pale ale especially for this venue."
Andrew Fisher, operations director of the Hop Kettle Brewery, said: "There's some really great destinations out there already on the quayside and with Gloucester Brewery and the Brewhouse and Kitchen we've got a brewery triangle.
"We've brought a really good sustainable locally produced product into the Gloucester Docks. I can't wait for everybody to try it.
"It's uniquely brewed. We bring in fine ingredients from all over the world with American hops and New Zealand hops. It's not to say we don't like locally cultivated hops but importing them gives us the opportunity to play with some really vibrant flavours."
As well as the food and drink, there's set to be plenty to keep the punters entertained.
"We're going to be doing comedy nights and have lots of live music," added Tom.
"We're really pleased with it all. The building has really come together and we've tried to keep as much of the old brick section as we can.
"The place has comfy seating and the most incredible view in both directions, and you can see the cathedral. When the sun's out it's stunning."
The Hop Kettle is the first of 15 units that will gradually be opening at the Gloucester Food Dock.
Mark Owen, editor of Punchline-Gloucester.com, said: "This is a key moment in the regeneration of the city. At long last there's a link between the Quays, the Docks and Blackfriars into the city which we've talked about for years and years. We can finally see the pieces of the jigsaw coming into place. It's a very exciting development."
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