News

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

  • December 2018 Saturday 29 December 2018

    Pub news The Ring of Bells in Bishopsteignton has re-opened. This Grade II listed freehouse is now run by well-known locals Roger, Jayne, Jason, and Becky. We wish them the best for the future of the pub. Mike & Sadie, mine hosts at The Palk Arms in Hennock, were proud for the pub to be asked to be part of the village Remembrance commemorations, providing the refreshments for those attending the lighting of Hennock Beacon. Michael and Gosia Knight have taken over at The Barn Owl in Kingskerswell. They are to run the usual 4 Badger beers plus a changing guest ale. We look forward to holding the January 8th branch meeting there. The Ten Tors Inn in Kingsteignton has a new licensee. Tom and Lindsay Webb have taken over this popular St Austell pub. We wish them well with their new venture. New tenants at The Tally Ho in Littlehempston. Kelly and Mike Joiner have recently returned to the UK from New Zealand where they successfully operated a pub/restaurant business in a rural environment with a strong community bias. Their intention is to emphasise the Tally as a destination pub whilst maintaining the community ethos. Popular chef Paul will be staying on with the rest of the staff. A new landlord at The Star Inn in Liverton. Brian and Carol Godwin previously ran the Huntsman Inn at Ide and are currently carrying out extensive improvements. Our reporter enjoyed Jail, Doombar and Bombardier on a recent visit. The Taphouse in Newton Abbot will be open every day from 10th December until Christmas: Mon to Wed 12 – 9pm, all other days midday till 2300h. Sam Webber has left the pub and Becks Connett is now in charge. New landlord at The Ferry Boat Inn in Shaldon. We wish them well with their new venture. In Paignton, The Torbay Inn features a happy hour with 40p off a pint. Regular ales St Austell Tribute, Sharps Sea Fury, and Wye Valley HPA were joined by guest Adnams Ghost Ship at a recent visit. The Albert Inn in Totnes is happy to report that their Halloween Beer Festival was a success with the traditional pumpkin carving competition producing a high standard of entry. Mine hosts at the Bay Horse Inn in Totnes, Rob & Kathy, are celebrating taking over the freehold of the pub after being leaseholders for the best part of ten years. "It's an opportunity that we couldn't afford to turn down and we are both very happy with our decision. This means the Bay Horse is secured in the Totnes community for the future" said Kathy. Meanwhile, weather permitting on Wednesday January 9th, The Bay Horse is carrying out its tradition of a Wassail. The staff and regulars will be decamping to a local orchard to bless the trees in the company of local folk singers, and will then return to the Bay Horse for some entertainment.

  • December 2018 Brewery News Saturday 29 December 2018

    Brewery news Bridgetown Brewery continues to grow, with 36 extra barrels being purchased to cope with the increased demand for its beers, notably Shark Island Stout. The increased demand has now resulted in the stout now being brewed all year round. ‘Wasted’ and ‘Queen's Speech’ are available over Christmas. For Winter, Black Tor Brewery brings back Advent 4.8% ABV on cask, a rich ruby red festive ale fortified with special reserve port, and Dunkelweizen 4.7% ABV, a dark German-style wheat beer. Following Success at The Taste of The West Awards, they celebrated two Gold and one Silver award at The Food & Drink Devon Awards. January see the return of Resolution 4.4% ABV, a golden straw coloured malty bitter late-hopped with New Zealand Wakatu hops. Dartmoor Brewery has 2 new beers, a Black Porter at 4.5% which is part of the Discovery Range available currently, and Santa’s Secret, a 4.2% a yuletide beer with overtones of Christmas pudding spices which is available from the end of November through the festive period. Devon Earth has brewed Lost in The Woods for Chris’s charity event at the Queen’s Arms in Brixham in December. They’re always keen support this beer festival especially as it raises money for local charities. New Lion Brewery, in line with its ethic of collaboration and cooperation is planning to change its status to that of a Community Benefit Society, a body that carries on a business for the benefit of the community. This will take place in 2019 around the same time that the brewery moves to new premises in Dartington Industrial Estate. Shares will be sold enabling their owner to have a vote in its running and profits must then be used for the benefit of the community. Brewing will continue in the same way, although the new location is likely to give room for more seating, allowing educational, tasting and music events. In addition there will be space for two new fermenters, thus enabling increased White Label capacity. At the brewery’s recent 5th birthday party, the stand-out ale for our reporter was Little, packing a lot of taste at 2.9% while their companion drank some of the Large 7.7%, both made with New Zealand hops (Waimea, Motueka, Wakatu) and with the same malt bill. The brewery is producing a special seasonal Winter Warmer this year called Quark, Strangeness and Charm at 6.5%. It will be showcased at the Exeter Winter Beer Festival early next year. Another busy autumn for the Otter Brewery crew. With in-form Exeter Chiefs going from strength to strength in the Premiership, Derek the Otter continues to keep fans at Sandy Park entertained with his half-time fun and games. Building on this long standing relationship, the brewery has now been added to the Exeter Foundation XV – another string to its charity supporting bow. Over in Ottery St Mary, ‘Flaming Ale’ helped cool everyone off last month as the town’s Flaming Tar Barrels event took place. Soon after that was the launch of ‘Poppy Otter’ outside Exeter Cathedral. This is their 12th year of supporting the Royal British Legion with 5p from every pint sold throughout November and December being donated to the charity. Finally, two new beers to look out for this month. First up is the return of their American-inspired hoppy OPA (Otter Pale Ale) and then joining Otter Claus in their festive ale range is a new winter warmer, Otter Elf. Due to the success of previous years, Red Rock Brewery's Christmas ales are back but with new improved recipes. Christmas Cheers is a hearty, spiced brew flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and star anise. If a full bodied ale isn't to your taste, there's the Hoppy Crimbo - a festive amber ale dry hopped with Amarillo hops. Both ales are available in pins, casks and 500ml bottle. The Hoppy Crimbo ale has also been rebranded for Tolchards Drinks. Winter Stag will be available in outlets across the South of the country. Riviera Brewing Co has increased its storage space to be able to stock more Malt since the sad closure of Tuckers Maltings. The malt will now be obtained in larger quantities from a wholesaler. It is still the intention to use Maris Otter Floor Malt but now from Warminster Maltings. This Christmas Riviera will again have special Ales available in small cask and bottles. Christmas Gold 4%, hoppy and Santa Express 5% a spiced special amber ale. Salcombe Brewery Co has released a brand-new porter, the first to this expanding range of beers. Inspired by Salcombe’s Island Street’s boat builders, this is a hand crafted, rich, velvety porter. A blend of eight malts produce hints of dark chocolate, coffee and black cherry which combined with British hops, creates an aroma reminiscent of Black Forest gateaux. Island Street Porter is available to buy in 330ml bottles. This 5.9% ABV porter uses only British hops and is the perfect winter warmer. Summerskills Akela IPA, brewed with Styrian Wolf hops was very well received with firkins in the Fortescue (Plymouth) selling out in 3 hours! Whistle Belly Vengeance has been featuring in the JD Wetherspoon National Guest Ale programme and the pump clip has been generating a lot of interest as well as the beer. Our Christmas beers are Turkey’s Delight at 4.6% and Christmouse at 5.1%, we brewed some more Stout and Plymouth Porter in November and the latter will be featuring in the JD Wetherspoon National Guest Ale programme after Christmas. We were very pleased to receive a Food Drink Devon Gold Award for our Devon Dew in October”. At the Totnes Brewing Company a few new brews have been made: Devon Brown 4.2% made with green hops from a local gardener, a sweet stout called Permission to Land 4.2% and Red Ink 5%, a version of Ink made with super low roast chocolate malt which has the same taste as its stable mate but with a Flanders red colour. One of the new popular brews is Easy Rider 3.7% baby brother of Prism 4.5% made with single malt/single hop (Maris Otter and Mosaic). Both have a great punchy taste. And somewhere in the future will be a Lactose Oats IPA of around 8.5% to be called Super High Power Fire Pony. Kevin Wilson It is with sadness we have to report the death of Kevin Wilson at the early age of 60. He had been the steward of Shaldon Conservative Club and died after a long battle with cancer. He was always very friendly to CAMRA visitors and responsible for the Club having some interesting beers from outside the locality, and especially the West Midlands from whence he hailed, thus playing a significant part in the Club’s entry in the guide over many years. The branch was represented at the funeral by Kevin’s friend Mike Fitzmaurice and many club members. Our thoughts are with Lesley.

  • Brewery News Thursday 13 September 2018

    Bays Brewery celebrates the news that it officially brews the second best strong bitter in Great Britain, with Devon Dumpling, following a silver win at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival 2018 while the Taste of the West Awards 2018 saw the brewery’s same tipple take Gold for the South West. Bays has raised more than £10,000 for wildlife conservation to date through its work with Paignton Zoo, for which it has created four limited-edition ales, including its most recent Trunk Ale, launched earlier this year.

    Black Tor took four Taste of The West Awards, with Golds for Raven 4.2% ABV and Pride of Dartmoor 4% ABV, Silver for Devonshire Pale Ale 4.5% ABV and Highly Commended for Raleigh 400 4.4% ABV. Expansion at the brewery continues with a new larger cold room built to increase cask storage capacity. Autumn saw more limited edition brews released in cask only such as Saison 4% ABV, Jester Gold 4.7% ABV (green-hopped), Dunkelweizen 4.5% ABV, Raleigh 400 4.4% ABV and November sees the return of popular Christmas ale Advent 4.8% ABV fortified with special reserve port.

    All continues to go well at Bridgetown Brewery, with the big news that Totnes Hemp Ale, "Green Leaf", is back. After a few years absence, at 4.0% ABV this rare brew should now be available in cask and bottle form while supplies last while Shark Island Stout should be back on the menu. Brewer George has collaborated with his BLO Grizzly to produce a one-off 4.5% malty best bitter "Kozbest", which proved extremely popular at the Kozfest music festival in July.

    Discovery No4 Wheat beer from Dartmoor Brewery is on sale, although it is a limited batch, so when it’s gone it’s gone. Dragons Breath winter warmer came out in the first week in September and runs this year right through to April 2019. They are working on launching IPA in KeyKeg from mid to late September at 4% ABV.

    Hanbury’s is brewing beer! Visitors to the award winning Babbacombe restaurant and takeaway can now enjoy an Amber Ale (4.7%) with their fish and chip meal, or to take away.

    Over the summer Hunters Brewery produced a record quantity of cask conditioned Real Ale. Their bottling line has been steadily upgraded to cope with their ever increasing demand, the latest add on is a bottle steriliser at the start of the line. They had the line running up to seven thousands bottles a day this summer.

    In association with Dartmouth, one of 11 core UK towns or cities and several international ones, New Lion Brewery will be making a series of ales to promote Mayflower 400 to commemorate the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 to Plymouth Massachusetts. The first, to be launched soon, will be a traditional bitter of approx. 4.1% ABV called Pilgrim 1. In August, the second collaborative brew with local Devon Independent Beer Shops (D.I.B.S. 6.5% ABV) was released and received acclaim as a balanced IPA with juicy citrus notes.

    Red Rock Brewery is working on a collaboration beer with Ode True Food, due to be available late September.

    Salcombe Gold, the hoppy, light harvest gold ale from Salcombe Brewery has undergone a re-brand in bottle. But don’t worry, it’s the same great taste and recipe using some of the best hops the USA has to offer in Citra, Amarillo and Chinook. The new-look 330ml bottle portrays a classic scenic view of the Salcombe Ria surrounded by nature and the beautiful Devon hills and joins Salcombe Pale Ale with its new illustrative labels for the range. It has a citrus driven aroma and flavour supported by hints of melon, apricot and peach. At 4.2% ABV it’s also available in cask.

    St Austell was awarded Joint Bronze for Tribute at GBBF 2018.

    It’s been a busy time at Summerskills over the summer. Bottles of Westward Ho! have finally reached that part of North Devon, generating high levels of interest there and elsewhere in the county as the tourist season reaches its peak. After rubbing and sniffing some Slovenian Wolf hops down at St Austell Brewery during the tour following the January SIBA meeting there, they finally got round to purchasing and brewing with some. The result is Akela IPA, a fruity IPA with hints of passionfruit, citrus fruits and spices showcasing the Styrian Wolf hop. Production of Whistle Belly Vengeance for the JD Wetherspoon National Guest Ale programme is underway and some other wholesale promotions are lined up for autumn and winter, keeping them busy as the summer heat fades. First Light and Blondie were well received at the Sunshine beer and cider festival in Newton Abbot at the end of July where Dan and Norman enjoyed their ‘meet the brewer session’.

    May saw third birthday celebrations at Totnes Brewing Company and to mark the event they brewed a Belgian Triple. The beer has a good Belgian character, and is based on a previous favourite, Sanctuary, which had been produced in collaboration with Moonchild Brewers. Belgian yeast and a touch of coriander gave the beer a sweetish toasty flavour which belied its 9% ABV. The brewery plans to store some away for future grand occasions.

    A tap take-over is being planned at Stannary Brewing Company in Tavistock where 4 ales from the Totnes stable will be show-cased. Also organized is a table beer brewed by Sarah, the landlady, with peaches or apricots and sweetened with lactose. Currently the popular seasonal ale is Moloko 8.5% ABV, its first lactose beer, brewed with oats and Citra hops.

    Tuckers Maltings of Newton Abbot has announced closure after 118 years. The countries smallest floor maltster released the statement: “Operating on this scale has finally proven to be uncompetitive in the modern world and increasing capacity within the old traditional building would be very difficult while not jeopardising the quality of the product.

    “After consultation and professional advice it was decided it would be wise to make this decision while the business was financially sound and closure could be achieved in an organised and efficient way.

    “Production will finish in September when all the 2017 crop has been malted and it is anticipated supplies to customers will finish by the end of October.”

  • Pub news Thursday 13 September 2018

    The Bishop John De Grandisson in Bishopsteignton has news owners and is re-launched as The Old Commercial Inn. Follow its development on southdevon.camra.org.uk.

    Draught Bass was enjoyed recently at The New Quay Inn in Brixham. This rarely found beer in South Devon is on the bar permanently.

    The Hunters lodge in Cornworthy has reopened as the Madruth Inn. Check it out at madruthinn.co.uk

    Tom & Axelle, licensees for the last eight years at the Union Inn in Denbury, have left the pub and been replaced as tenants by local Torbryan couple, Rob & Danni, who both have previous experience working at the Union. A refurb in planned and the rear courtyard will be developed into a beer garden over the winter in time for next summer. Breakfasts have been introduced between 8am and 10.30am Friday to Sunday.

    The Church House Inn in Holne has reopened with 3 local ales on the bar. On a recent visit, our reporter enjoyed Jail, Salcombe Gold and Black Tor blonde, all reported in good condition.

    The Railway Brewhouse in Newton Abbot raised £1737 at their charity beer festival in May for Rowcroft Hospice.

    Planning is underway for the 27th SIBA Tuckers Maltings beer festival to be held in marquees in Osborne Park, Newton Abbot from 11-13 April 2019, following the loss of the maltings building following the closure of the Tuckers Maltings business.

    New entrant in the Good Beer Guide 2019, The Taphouse and Bottle Shop in Newton Abbot is expanding, with a new function room and bar upstairs. They are keen to stress the business is unaffected by the closure of Tuckers Maltings that shared the building.

    Mark and Kat Hildyard now have The Kings Arms in Strete fully operational and ran a popular opening evening recently. Regular beers Otter Bitter and Ale are on the bar with recent guest, Powderkeg Speak Easy.

    The Church House Inn in Stokenham has a new landlord. As we go to press nothing more is known – check out updates on south.devon.camra.org.uk.

    The Old Church House Inn in Torbryan has been given an external face lift, following the upgrading of the hotel rooms last year. The historic bar remains untouched serving Skinners Betty Stoggs as its regular beer (rarely seen in our area) with 2 changing beers from local breweries.

    The Farmhouse Tavern in Newton Road, Torquay has reopened as a Greene King Pub and Carvery.

    The dates for the next two Albert Inn Totnes Beer Festivals have been announced. The traditional Autumn Beer Festival will take place at the Totnes-based hostelry from 26-28 October, while the Winter Ales Festival is planned for the 25-27 January 2019.

  • Bays Brewery Wins Silver At GBBF Tuesday 4 September 2018

    Bays Brewerys' Devon Dumpling won silver in the strong bitters category at the GBBF this year.

    To celebrate this achievement there will be a presentation at Bays at 2pm Friday 14th September. Transport to be provided from Isaac Merit (awaiting confirmation) Meeting at 1.30pm. There will be a short tour and pasties provided after.

    Please let Dave Buckler know if you would like to book a place on the transport

    ku.oc.oohay@kusrelkcub 07772 568280

  • Pub of the Year awards for 2018 Saturday 7 April 2018

    SOUTH DEVON PUB OF THE YEAR AWARDS FOR 2018

    Pub of the Year 2018 – Bridford Inn, Bridford

    Runner Up – Crown and Sceptre, St Marychurch, Torbay

    Town Pub of the Year – Crown and Sceptre, St Marychurch, Torbay

    Runner Up – Blue Anchor Teignmouth

    Country Pub of the Year – Bridford Inn, Bridford

    Runner Up – Tally Ho, Littlehempston

    Cider Pub of the Year – The Cider Bar, Newton Abbot

    Runner Up Cider Pub of the Year - Bridford Inn, Bridford

    Club of the Year – Shaldon Conservative Club

    THE PRESENTATIONS

    Each year a shortlist of 4 pubs, 2 ‘Town’ and 2 ‘Country’ from our 29 Good Beer Guide entries, is compiled to compete for the accolade of Pub of the Year.

    This year these comprised the Blue Anchor in Teignmouth and Crown and Sceptre in St.Marychurch (Town) and Bridford Inn in the Teign Valley and Tally Ho at Littlehempston (Country). Members who subsequently visited all four were then eligible to vote at the selection meeting, first choosing their two favourites. This resulted in the Crown and Sceptre and Bridford Inn going forward to the head-to-head stage. These two pubs were then judged on a number of factors, with beer quality foremost, but also things such as Atmosphere and Welcome, Value for Money, and Clientele Mix. The upshot of all this was that the Bridford Inn was declared Pub of the Year, with the Crown and Sceptre Runner Up, and the Blue Anchor and Tally Ho respective Town and Country runners-up.

    Now all that remained was to present the awards. A minibus was hired for Saturday, 7th April, and a party of us set off to the Teign Valley and the Bridford Inn. Dean and Lyn Stanisforth have run the pub, a 17th century Devon Longhouse, for 5 and a half years and it also contains the village shop. Presenting the awards (the pub was also runner-up Cider Pub of the Year) our branch chairman, Bob Southwell, commented on what had been achieved in an ‘out on a limb’ location and how the pub managed a great mix of drinkers and diners.

    Our next stop was the Tally Ho, runner-up Country Pub of the Year. This is the first community-owned pub in South Devon and as such has been open for 4 years now. Bob congratulated landlord Ian Bowers on the pub’s continued success and intimated that the pub had become a model for other community groups engaged in similar projects.

    Off to the coast next, where the Blue Anchor has become known as Teignmouth’s ‘real ale pub’. It is also runner-up as town Pub of the Year. Presenting this award to Adele Hearne and Luke Stewart, Bob enthused about the excellent range of ales including, unusually, some dark beers. He further commented on how convivial the pub was.

    Our final stop, the Crown and Sceptre in St.Marychurch, has been run by the Wheeler family for 43 years, with son Dave in charge for the last five. As regards awards the pub received two for being the overall runner-up and Town Pub of the Year. That makes three presentations so far this year for the Crown and Sceptre as Dave received an award in February for his family’s 40 plus year commitment to the pub and beer excellence.

    Peter O’Nions