News

Here is the latest news about pubs and breweries in the branch area.

  • September Brewery News Monday 30 September 2019

    Brewery News

    September sees the launch of Breakwater, Bays Brewery’s first American IPA.

    Black Tor’s Blonde 3.8% abv was a guest ale at The Stranger’s Bar in the Houses of Parliament recently. Jonathon met with local MP Mel Stride to share a pint and fly the flag for Devon ales. Raven 4.2% abv best bitter and Blonde 3.8% abv were served at GBBF in London. A new beer Tap Tackle 4% abv was launched for the rugby world cup, a malty, fruity amber ale brewed with Bramling Cross hops. Black Tor’s popular festive ruby red ale Advent 4.8% abv, which is fortified with special reserve port, returns in cask and also bottles for the first time in October. Recent investments at the brewery have increased capacity as the brewery continues to grow including a semi-automated 3-head cask washer, another van and drayman.

    Increased production at Bridgetown Brewery due to increased demand for its beers, means that brewer George "Ed" Langabeer has also been entrusted (!!) with driving the brewery van to aid deliveries. Recent collaborations - "Kozbest" - a malty best bitter - and "Cheeky Phil", an IPA brewed to commemorate the late landlord of the Nowhere Inn, were great successes. The brewery is also in the process of joining SIBA to help in showcasing its beers to a wider audience. Dartmoor Brewery has a new Managing Director. Head brewer Ian Cobham has taken over at the top of the Devon brewery.

    Devon Earth are brewing Lost In The Woods and Devon Earth for both Abbfest and Falmouth Beer festivals. The Edgemoor Hotel just outside Bovey Tracey has been taking their ale along with Arthur at Avalon Wholesale & Brewing who has been sending the beers to various beer festivals across the country.

    It’s been 10 years since Otter dug down and constructed the UK’s first eco cellar. Constructed over two years, half of it sits half underground and is built from honeycomb clay blocks more commonly used in the Alps. From concept to completion, by trapping the sun’s light and heat and building down rather than up, it’s a testament to intelligent eco-design in the 21st century.

    Crowning the upper level is a living sedum roof which recycles rain water. The earth’s core temperature is used to cool the lower level area to 12°C – the ideal storage temperature for cask ale. This replaces the need to have 8 chillers and compressors running 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, all of which saves over 6½ tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Just one of a long list of green initiatives across the brewery.

    Salcombe Brewery is showing its support for the England rugby team throughout the Rugby World Cup with the launch in September of its very special limited edition Red Rose beer, which will be available from the brewery in bag-in-boxes via the shop and online, and on draught in pubs across the country.

    Brewer, Sam Beaman comments: “We are huge rugby fans here at Salcombe Brewery so we were very excited at the prospect of creating a beer to celebrate the World Cup. Just like the competition, Red Rose brings together some of the best ingredients from across the globe with hops from Britain, New Zealand and the New World. We like to think that the result is a world class beer and we hope that England will be coming out at the top of the table too!” Red Rose (ABV 4.0%) is a mahogany malty beer that has a spiced caramel and toffee malt base with a balanced bitterness followed by a smooth fruity finish. Created using a range of both British, New World and New Zealand hops the result is a flavoursome beer that is both subtle and complex. Sam continues: “Red Rose is the ideal beer to enjoy throughout the World Cup season. I plan to team mine up with a steak and ale pie for the perfect match day combination and hope to be raising a glass or two to toast England’s success in the competition.”

  • September pub news Monday 30 September 2019

    Pub news

    The Exeter Inn in Ashburton has a new landlord. David Hattersley continues with Dartmoor IPA and Legend on the bar, plus a changing guest beer. By the time you read this the pub should have a new look after a refurbishment.

    New ownership at The George Inn in Blackawton. John Smart has taken over this popular village local and has commenced a refurb. He intends having a Teignworthy beer on the bar all the time with rotating guests.

    The Prince William in Brixham has joined the Greenway Group, the local family company known for River Dart cruises. In Hennock, The Palk Arms dining room refurbishment is now finished, as is the cellar upgrade (which includes a new cooling plant) while work is ongoing to redecorate the back bar. Mine host Mike Rowlands is pleased to announce that the Hunts cider handpump is now in place and the Palk is now a CAMRA-accredited real cider pub. Meanwhile plans are also afoot for the on-site brewery.

    Jay and Heather Murray are new landlords at The Church House Inn in Holne The newly refurbished Lord Nelson in Kingskerswell had Clearwater Mariners and Flying Monk Mighty Monk on the bar on a recent visit and were found to be first class.

    Another refurbishment, this time at The Sloop in Kingskerswell. The IPA and Abbot were both on form and our reporter enjoyed the GK Hungry Horse CAMRA beer discount as well.

    The August beer festival at The Tally Ho in Littlehempston was enjoyed by all with our reporter remarking the range was probably the most adventurous he’d had all year.

    A change of manager at The Taphouse in Newton Abbot sees Josh Pitts taking over at this South Devon CAMRA 2019 Pub of the Year.

    A fire at The Lime Tree in Paignton closed the pub. Gary King and team are working hard to reopen the town centre location and complete the original refurbishment.

    Cliff Morgan has taken over as steward at Shaldon Conservative Club.

    Phil and Donna McCann and a new management team have taken over The Sea Trout in Staverton – a rare Palmers pub in South Devon.

    The recent Summer Beer Festival at The Albert in Totnes was voted a great success. Their next beer festival is the Autumn Beer Festival, featuring around 10 beers and 7 ciders, which will be from Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd November.

    The Bay Horse in Totnes is taking part in Party in the Town on 28 September 2019. This will comprise performances in a number of pubs around town. As we went to press it was not known which band will be at The Bay Horse. On Christmas Market Nights in Totnes, the 3rd, 10th, and 17th December the pub will feature live entertainment, Mulled Cider and lots of Festive Spirit. Their Christmas Eve Party will feature carols in the pub with the Bay Horse Horns, 7.45 to 8.45pm, and a Christmas Favourites singalong with Dave Holland, 9pm till close.

  • Wales - Return of the casks Monday 30 September 2019

    Wales, the Return of the casks.

    Someone has to do it, take the empty beer casks back to the breweries after the beer festival. That means another trip to Wales so check the passport and an early start from Kingsteignton. Pete was driving and Dave was organising, nine of us and lots of empty casks piled into the minibus and off we went. We had a very good run, no traffic problems nor border checks so we were at the first brewery, Hopcraft, early, they were racking this day and were really too busy but they did chat for a while, we dropped the empties and moved on. Glamorgan Brewery just a short distance away and they were all very busy as well but they did give us a good welcome, broke out a few beers and chatted away about their expansion plans, they are the main beer supplier for Welsh rugby it seems. We presented their certificate for the best Welsh beer of our festival, we were given a beer to take away and off we went to no 3. Grey Trees brewery, we stopped at the brewery in a small industrial estate to drop off the casks, a quick chat and on to their pub, Grey Trees National Tap. This was not far away but parking was a problem, the bus was too big so Pete dropped us off and went off to hide the bus. The rest of us piled into the Tap to sample some beers. The pub was finished off now but had no food, it is supposed to be famous for pork pies, none available though today. Right we called up Pete and moved on, I was getting hungry! We found the Glamorgan brewery tap, Rhoswenallt Inn, they had food and beer so we stayed here for quite a while. Their loyalty scheme of buy 9 drinks and get the 10th free was easily achieved. However we had more casks to return and off to the Treforrest brewery, only time to unload and buy a few bottles. We all wanted to go to the Tiny Rebel brewery and pub but disaster, it was closed for a private function, the bouncers wouldn’t let us in. Plan B was to go to their pub in Newport. We found a parking place, found the pub, a converted main street shop with minimalistic decor but lots of T R beers and good food. We had plenty of time spare now so some of us had a wander about. The local Spoons didn’t have exciting beers and the Lamb only had Doom Bar but the Pen and Wig, famous for Bass, also had several Welsh beers which we tried. We started to wander back to the Tiny Rebel pub and saw Hogarths Gin Palace which looked interesting, it had Courage Directors and some Welsh and Worcester beers so we had to stay there for a while to sample some. Now it was getting late so back to the minibus where the others were waiting and off to Newton Abbot. The journey seemed much shorter going home but perhaps that was the snooze! We visited 5 breweries, only drank beer in one but managed 5 pubs and lots of different beers, I like collecting beer and returning casks. RA

  • 13 th June Midweek crawl - ‘ beers by the seaside’ ( or beers in the pub in the rain). Tuesday 3 September 2019

    13 th June Midweek crawl - ‘ beers by the seaside’ ( or beers in the pub in the rain).

    This was the first mid week crawl that I had organised for South Devon CAMRA since becoming branch secretary a few weeks before. Bob, our Chairman and I had been discussing different venues for the mid week crawls and he suggested I devise one to visit some of the pubs in Babbacombe and St Marychurch. As most of these are accessible by the 22 bus from Paignton or Dawlish via Torquay, this looked like a good plan. It was also a good chance to get some scores on Whatpub .I did a couple of exploratory trips myself and came up with a suggested route which was to begin in The Hole in the Wall in Torquay and travel up to Babbacombe from the nearby harbour bus stop. Everything looked good so the trip was advertised in What’s Brewing and on the branch website. Snag no 1 came with the weather, particularly the good old jet stream which plonked a load of rain across the area on the appointed day. Snag no 2 was my late realisation that the proposed starting pub didn’t open until well after my advertised start time, but I averted disaster by emailing three of the known participants the night before. In the end three of us met in Yates in Torquay and so it was that the intrepid party comprising Ian the Vice Chairman and treasurer, Andrew our magazine editor and myself the Branch secretary set off for Babbacombe. As we had missed our first ale stop we decided to stop at The Kents in Wellswood which was open and sampled a half of Camerons Old Seadog brown ale. Here we were joined by Bob, who had caught the next bus up from Torquay harbour and then we left to catch the 22 bus to Babbacombe. We decided to visit the ‘ town’ pubs first getting off at the stop nearest to St Marychurch and walking up to Molloy’s where we sampled Platform 5 ‘s APA at 4.6% and Coaster , a blonde ale at 4%. Both were in fair condition and the pub staff were helpful and friendly so we moved on through The Precinct (aka Fore St) to The Dolphin Inn which looked smart and neat when we entered. Here we sampled halves of Dartmoor Best, which isn’t often seen in this part of the area and which proved to be in excellent condition. After The Dolphin we walked up to see Dave at the Crown and Sceptre. Here the beers were of the usual superb quality particularly the Butcombe Gold sampled by the author which was very clear and fresh tasting. After this we retraced our steps to the Snooty Fox, a large pub opposite the churchyard in St Marychurch. We sampled two beers here, one from the 3D brewery, and a light stout from Hunters. We were very pleased with the condition of both of these beers. By then the weather had cleared a bit so we walked down to Babbacombe Downs and visited the Buccaneer (St Austell) for halves of HSD, another rarity in this part of the South West. Then on to the Babbacombe Inn for Bay’s Summertime and Dartmoor Legend we sampled the Summertime and Legend, both in good condition. After The Buccaneer we adjourned to The Dog and Duck. Unfortunately the Purity UBU was going off but the landlord refunded us without hesitation and we left with a good impression. After this we decided to return to Torquay and the Hole in the Wall, which was now open. Timothy Taylors Landlord and proved to be a very satisfactory end to the day.

  • Teignmouth Brewery. Tuesday 3 September 2019

    Teignmouth Brewery - a new brewery in our region!

    The brewery is situated in the ground floor of a warehouse building in The Old Quay Road in Teignmouth. The brewer, John Norish learned his trade at the Teignworthy brewery in Newton Abbot where he worked for 14 years. The brewery has been operational since May 2019 and is still very much in its formative stage, with John having good ideas for development of his new venture.

    The beer length is 6 barrels which is a good size for a start up brewery. Currently there are three beers brewed, Templar, Portside and Deckhand. All these have ABVs around 4 – 4.5%.

    As at August 2019, John is developing his distribution network. Currently the Devon Arms in Torquay has been the most supportive and John will be visiting pubs in the South West as time permits. John has future plans for seasonal ales and bottle conditioned beers to attract more sales across a wider area. He also has plans for a brewery bar and open day once the business has become a bit more established. He is keen to put the brewery on the map in the South West and if business permits, may move to larger premises.

  • Pub Of The Year 2019 Tuesday 20 August 2019

    The Taphouse and Bottle Shop in Newton Abbot wins Town Pub and Overall Pub of the Year 2019, two years after founders Jonathan Webber and Richard Goodfellow decided over a beer to open a micro pub, and realised the potential of The Maltings as the perfect venue. Initially run by Sam Webber it was seamlessly taken over by current manager Becks Connett.

    Over at The Tally Ho in Littlehempston, Mike and Kelly Joiner have won Country Pub of the Year 2019. They maintain the community ethos that was at the heart of previous owner Littlehempston Community Pub’s concept. At the time of writing Mike is planning his next beer and music festival over the weekend of 17 & 18th August.

    Dale Holwell at the Conservative Club in Shaldon received the Club of the Year award as he leaves the club. We thank him for his welcome to CAMRA members and wish him the best for the future.

    The Bridford Inn in Bridford won the Cider Pub of the Year 2019.

  • Brewery News June 2019 Monday 17 June 2019

    Brewery news

    Bays Brewery Topsail has won champion beer of Britain for the South West in the bitters category and Bays Gold has won silver in the golden ales category.

    Sunshine Pale Ale 4.2% abv has again been brewed exclusively for The South Devon CAMRA Beer Festival 2019 by Black Tor and 60 casks of the popular hoppy pale ale will be found in pubs across the South West before the beer festival.

    Maximajor ESB 5.6% abv was launched in May, Black Tor’s latest limited edition cask ale is a full bodied, strong malty extra special bitter brewed with Maris other malt and English hops Goldings and Jester. They celebrated their third GOLD award in a year for their Raven 4.2% abv best bitter, winning a GOLD at The SIBA South West Beer Competition. Blonde 3.8% abv ale is now available in 500ml bottles.

    Bridgetown Brewery’s Head Brewer George Langabeer recently swapped his mash paddle for a paintbrush and has redecorated the brewery throughout. He has also rebranded (though not renamed) the Bridgetown beers, redesigning all the pump clips.

    Silver Award for Dartmoor Jail Ale in the Strong Bitters Category at the South West Champion Beer of Britain Competition.

    New Lion Brewery was due to move this month into its new premises at Webbers Yard, Dartington, but plans have been slightly delayed due to Dartington Trust being unable to renovate the premises. The brewery now plans to move there during June and July. Once established, the ambitious plans to launch its community-owned enterprise will be set in motion. In the meantime the brewery continues to make White Label brews some of which were made in collaboration with local business. Mudskipper brewed together with Roam Brewing was reported as cloudy but delicious, and Taphouse Milkshake brewed with Taphouse Bottle Shop was also very popular while the fruit sours are continuing to be winners.

    Riviera Brewing has started using British Hops from the Charles Faram Hop development program. Varieties include Jester and Olicana which are used for both bittering and Aroma providing fruit flavours. These will be included in Riviera Gold 4.2%, Beach Blonde 4.1% and Riviera Pale Ale 3.9% Drunken Porter 4.5% Torbay Express 4.8% and a special variant of Devonian 4.5% will also be available this Summer at local festivals in Devon Throughout 2019,

    Salcombe Brewery are donating 5p of every pint of Lifesaver to the RNLI, as Salcombe commemorates 150 years of having its own Lifeboat Station. Owner of Salcombe Brewery Co., John Tiner, says: “We are committed to giving back to our local area and are thrilled to have the opportunity to support an important cause. Salcombe’s first Lifeboat Station was established in 1869 so 2019 marks 150 years of saving lives. We are keen to raise awareness of the invaluable role that the RNLI has played in our community for the last century and a half and to raise funds to support them in the continuation of this work. In 2019, we will be donating 5 pence to the RNLI for every draught pint sold of our much-loved and aptly named Lifesaver.” Lifesaver (abv 4.8%) is a tasty bronze coloured ale which boasts a pleasantly malty flavour with a smack of citrus and orange peel. The initial citrus flavour gently fades into a subtle liquorice and toffee character with a floral finish. Lifesaver is available on draught throughout pubs and bars in the South West.

    St Austell’s Black Square – their Russian Imperial Stout – won a Championship Trophy at the recent International Brewing Awards

    Summerskills Plymouth Porter featured in the JD Wetherspoon National Guest Ale programme between January and March and was well received. So much so in fact that the Packet Station in Falmouth, where the Porter went down particularly well, held a Tap Takeover featuring 8 of their beers over the late May Bank Holiday weekend. Special brew made with the last of the Tuckers Malt and First Gold hops “First Gold, Tuckers Last” was launched at the Tuckers Maltings Beer festival in April and has been very popular. They brewed the Show Beer for Devon County Show this year and as they are celebrating the Centenary of the Forestry Commission have produced “Forestry Centenary Ale” for the event. Brewed using lager malt, First Gold and Faram Fuggle hops it is a pale, easy drinking 4.1% refreshing beer, which will be on general release after the event. By the time you read this First Light should also be ready to go out into the trade and Ninja will be brewed over the Summer too. They are supporting the Summer Moon Festival for the first time this year, the Plymouth CAMRA beer festival at the end of June and we are looking forward to supporting the South Devon CAMRA beer festival at the end of July.

    Totnes Brewing Company have taken out the bar in the back room making more space for seating and entertainment, and often showcase live music. Tropango continues to be a best-seller for those who like a fruity beer and the core ales Woodman and Spannerhand are hits with the traditionalists. In addition the brewery is devising very many ales.

  • Pub News June 2019 Monday 17 June 2019

    Pub news

    The Durant Arms at Ashprington had Noss Breweries Church Ledge and a beer from Otter Brewery on the bar and was enjoyed by our local reporter.

    The Palmers range is a permanent feature at The Watermans Arms at Bow Bridge.

    The Bolton in Brixham is relaunched as The Birdcage after a £750,000 refurbishment.

    The Bear and Blacksmith in Chillington has been named Best Pub in Devon in the 2019 National Pub and Bar Awards.

    The former Madruth Inn in Cornworthy has changed back to its former name of The Hunters Lodge and by the time you reads this Graheme and Sue Nutt will have taken over. We wish them well with their new enterprise.

    The Seale Arms in Dartmouth has reopened after a refurbishment. Jail and Doom Bar were on the bar at a recent visit.

    The Red Lion at Dittisham had Palmers Gold and Dartmoor Legend. The latter was sampled and found very drinkable.

    New summertime opening times have been announced for The Palk Arms in Hennock – see whatpub.com for details. The restaurant and pub frontage has been redecorated and real cider is now on hand pump. The pub is also continuing its community involvement by supporting Hennock Fair in August.

    By the time you read this, The Lord Nelson in Kingskerswell should have lost its White Ensign ‘trademark’ wall to be replaced by some very classy ship artwork. On a recent visit newly listed Salcombe Brewery was introducing their range to the pub - Les’s first choice is Shingle Bay.

    All change at The Ship in Kingswear. Anthony Apthorpe takes over ably assisted by family members. On the bar at a recent visit were Trelawny, Tribute, Otter Ale and Jail all on form.

    The Palace Hotel in Paignton had Otter Ale and Amber on the bar at a recent visit.

    The recent Sausage & Cider Festival at The Albert Inn in Totnes was a great success - the next big event at the Albert will be celebrating landlord Giles's "umpteenth" (his words) birthday at the Summer Beer Festival, 28-30 June.

    The Maltsters Arms at Tuckenhay had two cask ales on the bar on a recent trip, Otter Bitter and Hanlons Yellow Hammer. The latter was sampled and in good form.

  • Official Sunshine Beer Launch Friday 10 May 2019

    Exciting News!!! Black Tor’s Sunshine Pale Ale is being brewed right now and over 35 casks have already been pre-ordered.!!!

    The Citra hops smell gorgeous. What a fantastic beer this has already proven to be in only its 2nd year. Many thanks to Jonathan at Black Tor Brewery for making it the official Sunshine Beer and Cider Festival Beer.

    Look forward to seeing you all at The Teign House Inn on Saturday 1st June for the launch of this great summer beer.