Beer fan solves Cheltenham drought

A former IT man has opened a beer shop in Cheltenham.

Leigh Norwood switched from IT after more than 30 years in the business to open Favourite Beers in the Gloucestershire town.

It is selling 300 English ales, of which around 75% are bottle-conditioned, he said. It also has 100 bottled ciders, 90 Belgian beers and a selection from Germany, the US, France and Asia.

The shop is also selling draught cider, while an ordering system for polypins of ale from local microbreweries is in place for customers’ party requirements.

Norwood said: “I do a lot of fundraising for charity and as part of that, had organised a beer festival for five years.

“Through that I got to know a lot of people in the local brewing industry and thought they were a great bunch of people to work with.

“I’d also thought for a long time that I’d really like to have been able to visit a beer shop in Cheltenham – but there wasn’t one.”?The store is in a former Bottoms Up, closed as a result of the First Quench administration.

Norwood said: “I steer away from the beers found in supermarkets because we can’t compete on price, so it tends to be offbeat things from local breweries and high-end stuff.

“One of the selling points is that if people come in and say we haven’t got their favourite beer I’ll do my best to get it in for them.”?Norwood’s favourite beer is Thorn­bridge Kipling.