Posted by: travelrat | July 13, 2009

Wadworth’s Horses

Devizes 6th April 2009


Even though it’s only about fifteen miles away, it’s quite a while since I visited Devizes, and a lot has changed. But, the Wadworth brewery still dominates Northgate, although, since I last visited, they’ve added a Visitor Centre. That’s a useful thing to have, for I wanted to video their dray horses, and they were able to tell me the route they’d be taking that day, and approximately where they would be.

Many years ago, brewing guru Peter Austin said good beer should be sold no further away from the brewery than a horse could walk in a day. Wadworth’s brews are sold further afield than that … the furthest north I’ve seen one of their trucks so far has been Windermere, in Cumbria, and, up there, it has to be really good to compete against the local brews.

Local deliveries, though, are still made by horse-drawn dray, except in August, when the horses have a well-earned rest. And, who’s to say the beer doesn’t taste better from a leisurely walk behind a horse than it does if it’s bounced down the motorway on the back of a truck? For example, there are people who say the Guinness you drink in London tastes nothing like the same product drunk in a Dublin pub; maybe the same principle applies here?

Also, there’s something you can get from horses you can’t get from a motor vehicle … ask my roses! And, since the horses are fed a ration of oats, spent malt and a gallon of 6X daily, and are bedded on garden peat, what comes from those stables is indeed good stuff!

Here’s the video.


  1. Those horses are in tip top condition. The diet is obviously doing them the world of good. What a quaint yet terribly practical way to transport the beer. I love it!

  2. I think it works out a little bit cheaper in the long run, too … no road tax; no MoT inspection; cheaper ‘fuel’; much lower insurance than a truck … and Barry told me they last put tyres on the dray in 1998!

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