On April 26th, 1827, the people of Gloucester gathered under the shadow of the newly built Warehouses of Gloucester Docks. The day was to mark the first two ships to enter the man-made basin of the most inland port in Great Britain. Church bells and gunfire echoed across Gloucester. Meanwhile, the people cheered on the boats as they drifted into their new residence. The day was one of celebration and excitement, a feeling which has returned to Gloucester Docks in the 21st Century.
The 15 beautifully preserved Warehouses have found a new purpose in the modern era. The Warehouses are now restaurants, designer shops, bars and flats. They also are the setting for several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Tall Ships Festival, Gloucester Goes Retro, Gloucester’s Christmas Market, and more.
In homage to one of Gloucester’s best tourist attractions, Gloucester Brewery created Dockside Dark. It is a multi-award-winning velvety-smooth and subtlety sweet porter. It has aromas of chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. Dockside Dark is the perfect beer to enjoy while strolling around Gloucester Docks and envisioning history.
The Docks had a bustling history. Imports came from Ireland, the Baltic, North America, Portugal, and France. The Warehouses were full of malt and other grains. The products would be delivered across the country. Dockside Dark’s rich and dark notes hint at what life was like 200 years ago when this was a hub of international and national trade.
Today the Docks are bursting with life and activity. They play host to multiple bars, restaurants, shops, and a cinema. Most importantly (we are biased), it is home to Gloucester Brewery’s craft beer bar, TANK, and its brewery and taproom, Warehouse 4. Warehouse 4 is home to 42,000 litres of beer, a vibrant bar area with Gloucestershire’s only self-serve bar, a dockside beer garden, and a friendly group of staff who are always on hand to help. If you find yourself in Gloucester, stop by the Docks for a glimpse into history – and a pint of Dockside Dark.
By Millie Barlow, a student at University of Gloucestershire studying for a BA (hons) Communications and Media.