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

  • 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

    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

    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

    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


    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.