Brewery News December 2019
Following Bays Brewery’s success in 2018 where their beer Devon Dumpling won Silver Champion Beer of Britain in the Strong Bitter Category, they have had further success this year where their other beers ‘Topsail’ and ‘Gold’ were both finalists in the 2019 Champion Beer of Britain. Christmas beer ‘Jingle Ale’ is now available in most pubs across the region. ‘Jingle Ale’ is an "all singing, all dancing" Christmas bitter! Deep amber in colour with a subtle sweetness throughout, easy drinking with a festive hoppy finish. It is also available in 10 and 20 litre polypins direct from their brewery shop in Paignton.
Advent 4.8% ABV, Black Tor’s popular ruby red festive ale fortified with special reserve port is in pubs and also available in bottles for the first time. November saw release of Nine Maidens IPA 5% abv in cask, a modern IPA brewed with 9 new world hop varieties full of tropical fruit and citrus flavours and dry bitter finish. A new website with webshop was recently launched, with bottles and merchandise now available to buy direct from the brewery online. Black Tor will be running a cask ale bar and selling bottles and Christmas giftpacks at The Christmas Fair at The Shops at Dartington 14th & 15th December. January will see the return of seasonal beer Resolutiun 4.4% abv in pubs, a golden-straw coloured malty bitter late hopped with Wakatu hops with refreshing lime zest flavours and floral aromas.
The Bridgetown Brewery Xmas offering, Queens Speech, has been brewed and will be available for the festive season and will also feature in the upcoming January beer festival at the Albert from 24 – 26 January. Meanwhile Head Brewer George is also attempting to brew a pumpkin beer for the winter months, and the brewery is delighted to boast their recent SIBA accreditation.
Dartmoor Winter Warmer, Dragon’s Breath, is available in both cask and bottle.
It has been a very busy few months for New Lion Brewery, since it moved to the new premises at Webber's Yard Dartington in August, as preparations were needed to move and connect the brewing equipment. In October the long awaited Community Benefit Society was launched and investors from the local community were invited to become co-owners of the brewery. A minimum investment of £35,000 was required to refurbish the premises, with a maximum of £330,000 to do absolutely everything. In the event the launch raised £176,000 through 270 investors over the course of 42 days. This will allow for a new bar, some solar panels and more fermenting capacity and the work will start soon. The brewery has its brewery tap open on Fridays as before, and from mid- December they are hoping for Saturday 1700-2100 (check with brewery advisable).
Platform 5 has recently expanded the fermenting room which will now house 5 X 6BBL Fermentation tanks in order to keep up with increasing demand. They currently in the process of brewing an Oatmeal stout which will be on the bars of their 3 pubs, The Railway Brewhouse in Newton Abbot, Molloys in Torquay and Molloys in Teignmouth in December. The name had not been decided as we went to press.
Riviera Brewing has had another busy year with ales travelling far and wide. Recently Torbay Express 5% and Drunken Porter 4.4% found their way to the far north of Scotland on a special land cruise train. Currently the brewery is ramping up production for the Christmas and New Year season with special ales being produced. Santa Express 5% is a spiced amber ale, Christmas Gold 4% and Winter Warmer 4.4% Dark Ale. All are available direct from the brewery in bottle and small cask, some larger casks will find their way into selected local pubs. New Generation British hops continue to be a feature of RBC Ales, Jester and Olicana are currently being used with more to follow next year. The planned expansion of the store room has enabled a larger stocks of Barley Malts to be kept. RBC Ale is brewed with Maris Otter floor malt providing the best flavour profile and a regular supply is currently obtained from Warminster Maltings.
Salcombe Brewery sees a January launch of its first reduced alcohol beer, Salcombe Lite, an ABV 2.5% small batch brew which will be available until stocks last on draught in pubs across the country and in bag-in-boxes (5L, 10L and 20L) from the brewery shop. It’s a smooth golden ale with floral hints and a spicy hit. Also returning is festive favourite Christmas Tide, available in bottle/bag in boxes and on draught. This malt-driven beer is ideal for a winter’s day with crystal, chocolate and wheat malts that bring warmth and body to the beer. The plethora of hops build on the chocolatey malt base and add a bittersweet finish.
South Hams now owns Ashridge Ciders and Soft Drinks; an award-winning producer of traditional drinks notably the extremely popular Devon Gold and Devon Blush Ciders, the Sparkling organic Elderflower Pressé and Cox & Bramley Apple Juice; recent winners in the Taste of The West Awards 2019. Additions to the brewery awards cabinet: a Silver for Wild Blonde in the Food & Drink Devon Awards, and also Golds for the Sherman American Pale Ale and the whisky hued Cloch Point.
Devon Porter milk stout and Black + White - two ales that are guaranteed to get the glasses raised across the county. Their newly launched Mulled Cider a warm, spiced drink that keeps for 90 days when opened and is a choice that has become ever more popular with cider drinkers, and also with ale drinkers looking for something a little more festive as we head up to the Christmas period.
Summerskills Westward Ho! featured in the JD Wetherspoon National Guest Ale programme between September and November and was well received. They are now making regular trips down to Cornwall and three of their beers were featured at the October Cornwall CAMRA beer festival in Falmouth. They brewed an IPA with Centennial hops to coincide with the 4th July celebrations and another with Slovenian Dragon hops. The IPAs are being trialled in EcoKegs at a couple of venues in Plymouth and getting the right level of secondary fermentation in these containers is proving to be an interesting learning experience! Their local hop grower had a good crop again this year so they produced our green hop Plymhop Ale at the end of September. Christmas beers Turkey’s Delight and Christmouse have been brewed and bottled ready for the festive season. Stronger, darker beers such as Whistle Belly Vengeance and Indiana’s Bones are selling well and Plymouth Porter has made a seasonal return as has our Stout.
Launched in May 2019, Teignmouth Brewery is run by brewer John Norish who learned his trade at the Teignworthy brewery in Newton Abbot. Currently there are three beers brewed, Templar, Portside and Deckhand. All these have abvs around 4 – 4.5%. Beer is supplied in casks to some of the local pubs, notably the Blue Anchor in Teignmouth and the Devon Arms in Torquay. The brewery has recently started a line of bottle conditioned ales and also have a Christmas seasonal ale ‘Blitzed’ planned or even brewed by the time this gets to print.
The South West Regional Cider of the year is Ventons Thirst Responder. Awarded at Falmouth Beer Festival 2019 it progresses to the national competition finals at Reading in May.