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

  • Pub of the Year awards for 2018 Saturday 7 April 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


    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

  • Brewery News - Spring 2018 Tuesday 20 March 2018

    Over £15,000 raised so far for Wildlife conservation by Bays Brewery. Their collaboration ale with Paignton Zoo, Crocod'ale, raised a whopping £2,650 for wildlife conservation. This now takes the overall total raised to beyond £15,000 since 2013.

    Black Tor beers have been popular as far as Wales, The North and Scotland recently, and will also be served at lots of upcoming beer festival such as GBBF Winter Ales Festival in Norwich and Bradford Beer Festival. Latest Limited Edition brew available on cask throughout February and March, a refreshing light ale hopped with American Cascade and New Zealand Rakau hops with citrus and stonefruit aromas. Expansion continues at the brewery with new fermenters increasing brewing capacity to 200 casks per week. The brewery is working closely with local historian Michael Downes of Fairlynch Museum in Budleigh Salterton to launch a special ale in May to commemorate 400 years since the death of Sir Walter Raleigh.

    Bath Ales newly named Hare Brewery is being built at the existing headquarters in Warmley, between Bath and Bristol. Fronted by flagship ale Gem, the four-vessel brew house will have the capacity to produce more than 50,000 brewers’ barrels of beer – more than 14.5 million pints. St Austell Brewery announced its ambitious multi-million pound plans for Bath Ales shortly after the acquisition in July 2016. The independent company, which is still family-owned, committed to a long-term investment growth plan for the Bath Ales brand and business.

    Otter Brewery and the Exeter Chiefs joined forces in November to help raise money for the 2017 Poppy Appeal. During the club’s Anglo-Welsh Cup match that month against Northampton Saints, 5p from every pint of ‘Hiawotter’ (the resident Otter beer at Sandy Park) sold across all of the stadium bars was allocated to the Poppy Appeal. The brewery also continued its long-standing tradition of donating 5p from every pint of Poppy Otter sold in pubs throughout Devon, Dorset and Somerset in November and December. The combined beer sales raised a total of £1,505.27 and this has now been presented to the Royal British Legion at the home of England’s reigning Premiership Rugby champions.

    At Platform 5 Brewing Co, the team say farewell to Mike Rowland and wish him well in his new venture. Business as usual though, continuing to brew the regular beers and will be brewing small batch seasonal beers through the year available on the bars of The Railway Brewhouse, Molloys in St Marychurch and Molloys in Teignmouth. Bottling has commenced and will be available soon.

    Roam Brewing Co. is Plymouth’s newest brewery, formed by the team behind award winning Tavy Ales.

    In early Spring 2018, Salcombe Brewery will release a Pale Ale, the first keg product to come from the brewery. The brewers have taken inspiration from the local area and have endeavoured to create a beer to represent this. A classic pale ale with a twist that has its heritage embedded in the Salcombe citrus fruit trade. Using ingredients which could have been found in Salcombe in the 19th century, they have produced a full bodied pale ale with a bouquet of orange, pink grapefruit and anise. This dry hopped pale ale boasts a robust structure and complex flavour. The two brewers, Sam & Chris have been working together to master this new brew. The latest triumph from this duo is that Devon Amber is now brewed using only British hops as the brewers continuously try and source the best British, local ingredients.

    South Hams Brewery are making great strides to reposition their Brewery. They are building it on the seaward side of the Shop. You can buy Growlers for £5 and for £5 you can get them refilled.

  • Pub news - Spring 2018 Tuesday 20 March 2018

    It’s the end of an era at The Maritime in Brixham. Pat Seddon has sold up and is retiring. We wish Pat, George, and Mr Tibbs a very happy retirement.

    The Queens Arms in Brixham raised more than £2,000 for local charity PATH homeless charity at their December charity beer festival.

    The Lord Nelson in Kingskerswell has been getting adventurous with their beer choice, as well as running their usual ales. On a recent visit, Adnams Broadside, Sharps Sea Fury, and Arundel Pickled Mouse were on the bar.

    James Gilbert is the new landlord of The Sandygate, in Kingsteignton. Otter, Legend, and Doombar were on the bar at a recent visit.

    The Ship in Kingswear has a new landlord, Kevin John, well known in the area for also running the Ship In Dock in Dartmouth. The pub reopened recently after a between-landlord refurbishment. Usual beers Otter, Salcombe Devon Amber and Sharps Doom Bar were joined by guest St Austell Proper Job on a recent visit.

    The Old Inn in Malborough completed their refurbishment and our reporter enjoyed Butcombe Original, Doom Bar and Devon Amber on a recent visit.

    There is a new manager at The Railway in Newton Abbot, after Mike Rowland left to take over the Palk Arms in Hennock. Martin Arliss has been involved with the pub for 6 years. He intends to continue promoting Platform 5 beers and live entertainment. The pub will be putting on a beer and music festival 25-27th May.

    A refurbishment has just been completed at The Ferry Inn in Salcombe. Beers on recently were Palmers Copper, Tally Ho and IPA.

    The Kings Arms in Strete will re-open soon as a free house. As we went to press the name of the new landlord was not known.

    The Green Dragon in Stoke Fleming will re-open on Friday, 29th March. The pub closed for a few weeks after the Crowthers left for the usual between-landlord refurb and Alan Jones and Georgie Varney have now taken over. We wish them the best with their new business.

    The Albert in Totnes held their beer festival recently where they showcased all their beers.

    The Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe-In-The-Moor, has been nominated for the BBC Countryfile's Country Pub of the Year. It is one of 5 in the final. We wish South Devon CAMRA pub of the year 2017 the best for the final. We hope to report their success in News & Brews Summer 2018!

  • Unique award for the Crown & Sceptre in St Marychurch Tuesday 13 February 2018

    Receiving his award for the longest number of years in GBG.At our South Devon CAMRA branch meeting on Tuesday, 13th February we presented David Wheeler, pictured right, with a very special long service award, the first of its kind for the branch.

    It was to recognise the fact that David, and his parents Roy and Heather Wheeler before him, have clocked up over 40 years running the Crown & Sceptre in St Marychurch, and have achieved a place in the GBG for 36 of those years.

    Roy and Heather took over the pub in 1975 back in CAMRA's formative years and ever since then it has not only been a hub for real ale in the Torquay area but has always been a community focussed pub with a strong local following. Sadly Roy and Heather passed away in 2012 and 2015 and were a hard act to follow but David has done a great job since taking over the role of landlord and the pub is still as popular as ever.

    Up to 8 real ales are served and although more food is served these days it is still very much a pub where conversation over a quality pint of real ale is king, and it is a pub that is packed full of character.

    If you've never been to the Crown, make sure you put it on your list to visit this year.

  • Champion Landlord and Landlady of the Rugglestone Tuesday 10 October 2017

    Landlord presentationThis is a new award made to landlords who have had a tenure of ten years or more and whose pub has been in the Good Beer Guide for the whole of that period.

    Richard and Vicki at the Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe-in-the-Moor have far exceeded the span of 10 years in the GBG.

    Landlord presentation night at the Rugglestone.This award was given to them on the 10th of October by Ian Packham, pictured left, ably assisted by many of the pub's local customers and by a minibus full of CAMRA members, pictured on the right enjoying the pub's excellent ales.

  • Champion Landlord presentation at the Exeter Inn, Ashburton Tuesday 10 October 2017

    Landlord presentationThis is a new award made to landlords who have a tenure of ten years or more and whose pub has been in the Good Beer Guide for the whole of that period.

    Ian Packham gave the award to Jim McNichol, the landlord of the Exeter Inn at Ashburton. It was well deserved as he has been at the pub for 31 years and has taken his pub into the GBG for the last 16 consecutive years.

    The presentation, pictured right, took place on Tuesday, 10th of October, 2017 in front of a large party of local CAMRA members and pub regulars.

  • Champion Landlord presentation to Colin and Heather Lang at The Ship Inn Kingswear Tuesday 26 September 2017

    This is a new award made to landlords who have had a tenure of ten years or more and whose pub has been in the Good Beer Guide for the whole of that period.

    In these days of constant change and variable beer quality this is a remarkable achievement and this was recognised at a presentation made by George and Tina Hemmings on Tuesday 26th September to Colin and Heather.

    Colin, pictured right receiving his award, has now decided to retire and this makes the award even more poignant.