From the 1800s and to the late 1960s, there were large breweries at Stroud, Salmon Springs (Godsells), Cainscross (Carpenter & Co) and Far Thrupp (Smith & Sons). Most were sited near springs. These provided an abundant supply of the good quality water necessary for making beer.
Stroud Brewery was established at Rowcroft in 1793, and continued to operate until 1967. Several bottling companies flourished in the area from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, including Cordwell & Sons (Cainscross), Niblett & Co and Bown & Co (Stroud).
In 1928, Stroud Brewery acquired its main rival, Godsell & Sons at Salmon Springs, just north of Stroud.
By 1930, Stroud Brewery dominated local production. The company owned more than 460 inns, hotels and off-licences in and around the District. At the time of its closure in 1967, it employed over 300 people, and was brewing 2,000 barrels a week.