BEER drinkers are toasting the continuing renaissance in local brewing after four new breweries proudly took their place in the Good Beer Guide.

North Hinksey’s Tap Social Movement, a brewery which works with people serving prison sentences, is among those featured in the 45th edition of the guide, published by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The Amwell Spring Brewery in Cholsey, Little Ox Brewery in Freeland, near Witney, and Pirate Brewery in Fewcott, near Ardley, have also been listed for the first time alongside established brewers such as Hook Norton.

A total of 26 breweries from Oxfordshire are now listed in the guide, which recognises the best brewers in the country.

Paul Humpherson, one of the three founding directors of Tap Social, which launched last year, said: “We’re delighted to have gone straight into the guide.

“I think it shows that people are always willing to try new and different things.

“We’ve been really chuffed with the reaction we’ve had from local people.

“We started first and foremost as a social enterprise but this recognition shows us that our product is high quality as well.”

The brewers work with prisons to offer training and employment to people with criminal records, who may otherwise find it difficult to get a job.

Mr Humpherson said: “We have already started to prove this works.

“Over the next year the plan will be to keep growing and push the idea to encourage others to start working with these guys.”

The editor of the guide, Roger Protz, said that it was ‘fantastic to see a continued growth in local brewing’, marking a change from when the guide first launched in 1972, ‘when the brewing industry was in dire trouble and the market flooded with tasteless, fizzy beer.’

Oxfordshire also has 69 pubs listed in the guide, including 21 new entries.