There are few better sights than one of Hook Norton’s beautiful shire horses, stamping its feet and snorting on a cold winter’s morning, fully harnessed to pull its loaded dray through local Cotswold villages and country lanes. These wonderful ‘workhorses’ have been an integral part of brewery life since day one and for many, many years were the reliable backbone of its delivery system. At present, the Brewery has four shire horses, Nelson, Major, Commander and Lucas. Our shire horses are looked after by long serving drayman, Roger Hughes and Elizabeth Csak.

The sight of two shire horses leaving the brewery is extremely impressive and is a thrilling part of any visitor’s tour.

The horses usually make a local delivery on Wednesdays to the Sun Inn, Thursdays to the Pear Tree and Fridays to the Gate Hangs High (weather permitting). If you are planning a visit to the brewery and would like to see the drays on their delivery rounds it is always best to phone ahead and check that the shires will be working on that day. The tour of the brewery includes a tour of the stables and we aim to have the horses in the stables during your visit but this may not be possible due to operational or weather reasons.


Our shire horses do like to get out and about. Here’s a list of the events you can find them at over the coming months

  • September 1st Moreton Show, Moreton-in-Marsh
  • September 25th – Grand Season Opener, Warwick Racecourse
  • October 7th – Horse of the Year Show, NEC, Birmingham
  • October 13th Oxford Beer Festival, Oxford