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 three shire horses, Nelson, Commander and Lucas.

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

  • May 27th – Surrey County Show
  • June 8th – Kenilworth Show
  • June 14th,15th – Royal Three Counties Show
  • June 29th, 30th – Bloxham Steam Fair
  • July 13th, 14th – Cotswold Show
  • July 20th – Hooky Beer Festival
  • July 25th, 26th, 27th – Game Fair Hatfield House
  • July 30th, 31st and August 1st – New Forest Show
  • September 7th – Moreton Show, Moreton-in-Marsh
  • September 22nd – Blenheim Horse Trials
  • September 28th, 29th – Malvern Autumn Show

See our boys in action

Racing UK TV

Horse of the Year Show 2018 with Martin Clunes