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

  • Summer News and Brews Thursday 11 June 2020

    Due to covid-19 restrictions, there will be no Summer 2020 News & Brews magazine. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Stay healthy!’

  • Spring 202 Pub News Tuesday 10 March 2020

    Pub news

    Every Friday is cheese night at The Old Workshop in Bishopsteignton. The Red Rock Brewery Tap Bar offers a cheese plate with a glass of Port for £7.00. The first Saturday of each month is live music night with their own beer from £2.50 per pint. Their annual Easter Sunday event has inflatable fun provided by Mane Events from 12noon, Easter bonnet competition at 1.30pm followed by the famous egg hunt at 2.30. Lamb roast is available in the beer garden. New landlord at The Bullers Arms in Brixham. Matt Stevens and team dispense Doom Bar, Tribute and a guest beer, sometimes London Pride.

    New owner The Greenway Group has invested £250,000 in The Prince William on Brixham harbour marina side, reopening with a complete refurbishment and reconfiguration of the bar and restaurant area.

    The Queens Arms in Brixham raised £5,572.11 at their December charity beer festival to fund the defibrillator in the phone box outside the pub (News & Brews Pub in Focus Autumn 2019). A packed pub (and road!) witnessed it commissioned on 31st January. The pub was acclaimed in the House by new Totnes MP Anthony Mangnall who lauded its community and charity focus. He had visited the pub during the charity beer festival as Totnes parliamentary candidate, with the then cabinet member Andrea Leadsom.

    St Austell is the new owner of The Royal Castle in Dartmouth.

    The Union Inn at Denbury has planned a series of Morris Dancing evenings for the spring and early summer on the historic and beautiful green outside. When our reporter visited, Proper Job was guest beer.

    The Palk Arms in Hennock is looking for a chef to join the successful pub team. Aspiring applicants can contact the pub at: Meanwhile renovations continue for the lounge/restaurant area and are about to begin in the bar. Planning is also well advanced for the one-day music & beer festival at the pub on May 30th.

    The Thatched Tavern in Maidencombe has reopened after the fire that closed it last year. New operators the Lyndon and Naylor families have carried out a complete refurbishment.

    The Cider Bar in Newton Abbot has a new owner. The partnership of Mike and Sadie Rowland and Julian Marsh from The Palk Arms in Hennock has taken over. Their intention is to run it as the recognisable cider bar it has been for centuries. We wish them well with their new enterprise.

    The 24 hour Scalextric challenge at The Railway Brewhouse in Newton Abbot raised £1,002.68 for Devon Air Ambulance. All the cars made it, although a bit battered at the end.

    Henrys bar in Paignton has reopened after a winter refurbishment complete with new flooring.

    The Isaac Merritt in Paignton has been sold by JD Wetherspoon. Supporting the real ale scene in The Bay since opening in 1998, most of their time saw the pub in the Good Beer Guide and gaining South Devon CAMRA Pub of the Year awards. The new owner keeps the pub name, reopening with 9 beers on the bar at £1.99 a pint. Our best wishes go to manager Chris Reece and team, though CAMRA members reckon they’re off to a flying start with the beers.

    Watch out for a new addition to the pub staff at The Albert Inn in Totnes. Pixie, a rescue dog, will shortly be accompanying Albert on his customary inspections of both the pub and its regulars.

    The Bay Horse Inn in Totnes has announced a slight departure from their normal beer festival dates. The Easter Beer Festival is moving to the weekend of the first Spring Bank Holiday 7 -10 May (from 1800h on 7th), and on 8th from 1100h to 2000h the pub will co-host a food and drink festival with The Kitchen Table in the Rotherfold (at the top of the main street just down from the Bay Horse pub) on the Friday. Geetie Singh-Watson’s first organic pub outside London is now open. The Bull Inn in Totnes has had an extensive renovation. On a recent visit our reporter enjoyed the organic Tom Long bitter from Stroud Brewery and his introduction to organic dining.

    St Austell is the new owner of The Royal Seven Stars in Totnes.

  • Spring 2020 Brewery News Tuesday 10 March 2020

    Brewery news

    Bays Brewery is delighted to be launching a second product to their ‘Craft’ Keg range this April. Following the huge success of their award winning ‘Devon Rock Craft Lager’, ‘Devon Cove Pale Ale’ is the ultimate modern pale ale, combining an array of English malts and five aromatic American hops creating a smooth, refreshingly balanced pale ale with hints of mango, passion fruit and pineapple.

    Black Tor are bringing back three popular limited edition beers in cask from April: Saison 4% abv, Spring Pale 4.4% abv & New Zealand IPA 5.2% abv. They will be serving their cask ales at the new Black Tor Bar at this year’s Devon County Show. Raven 4.2% abv best bitter is being judged in the SIBA National Beer Competition at BeerEx in Liverpool in March.

    George (Ed) Langabeer, head brewer at Bridgetown Brewery’s latest creations - a Red Rye bitter and an Oatmeal Stout - were voted a success at the Albert Inn's Winter Beer Festival. More creations are on the way, including a mild - watch this space. Meanwhile the brewery - which has recently joined SIBA - is delighted that three of its beers - Albert Ale, Cheeky Blonde and Shark Island Stout - will be available at the forthcoming Maltings Beer Festival.

    With Otter Brewery proudly celebrating 30 years as a Devon independent this summer, a steady flow of new brews, as well as the core range of ales and two award winning lagers, continue to keep South West drinkers happy. Say hello to New Wave, the latest Otterfest seasonal - a tasty and fresh range that celebrates their love of music & beer. Deep gold in colour, tangerine & peach on the nose, clean, crisp & fruity on the tongue.

    This year sees the 28th SIBA Tuckers Maltings Beer Festival and as always, Red Rock Brewery are proud to be supporting the event. This year they have their Traditional Red Rock Bitter, Capstan ESB, Award Winning Pilsner, Limited Edition Summer Daze and our Award-Winning Slow Honey. In addition, a one-off brew, brewed solely for this event, Watermelon and Lime Gosa, available in 330ml bottles. Salcombe Brewery has won a silver medal at the European Beer Challenge for Island Street Porter. They are also delighted to announce the launch of Ocean Cider, a premium cider available from the 1st February on draught across the country and 1st March available in 500ml bottles. Ocean Cider (abv 4.5%) is a full-bodied traditional cider with a medium dry taste and a light sparkle. Ocean Cider is produced for Salcombe Brewery by Sheppy’s, one of the oldest cider making families in the world and will be available across the country.

    20th June is South Hams Brewery Mid-Summer Fayre which is a food and craft Fayre where they will be doing time slots for brewery tours and we are working with AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty). They will be again at Devon county show at the Contented Cow bar and brewing the show special ale celebrating 125 years of the show.

    At Summerskills Brewery trade picked up during the autumn and they had a busy Christmas period. Tamar featured in the JD Wetherspoon National Guest Ale programme between January and March and has been popping up in their outlets far and wide, as well as some closer to home. Their Dragon Pioneer IPA has been well received in cask and EcoKegs and they are achieving a more consistent level of secondary fermentation in the latter format. Christmas beers Turkey’s Delight and Christmouse sold well in cask, bottle and mini-keg. Indiana’s Bones has been selling well as has Plymouth Porter, both of which featured alongside Bunker Hill at the CAMRA Great British Beer Festival Winter.

    Since starting brewing in 2019, Teignmouth Brewery’s brewer John has also introduced bottle conditioned beers from his existing range. He has a new beer called Devon Dipper and is planning another called Conversion aimed at the Six Nations Rugby championship season. Both these beers are around 4 – 4.5% ABV but other beers are planned. There are plans to expand the brewing equipment by addition of a conditioning tank and more casks and the current bottling arrangements are to be revised to enable greater production.

  • Brewery News December 2019 Sunday 5 January 2020

    Brewery News

    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.

  • Pub News December 2019 Sunday 5 January 2020

    Pub news Robin and Caroline Lewis are the new landlords of the Cromwell Arms in Bovey Tracey.

    Participants at a recent branch meeting at The Old Coaching Inn in Brixham enjoyed 3 beers straight from the cask - Dartmoor Best, Otter Ale and Palmers 200.

    Coombe Cellars in Combeinteignhead had Butcombe Rare Breed and Doom Bar on a recent visit and were found to be on form.

    The Cott Inn in Dartingtion took the Top British pub 2019 award in The Great British Pub awards.

    Renovations continue apace at The Palk Arms in Hennock ready for the Xmas period.

    The Ship in Kingswear has changed exterior colour from white to a grey and blue livery. Our reporter found the Jail, Trelawny and Exmoor Gold to be on good form.

    Gary and Julie Roberts (of Cromwell Arms, Bovey Tracey fame) have moved to the Kestor Inn in Manaton. This next chapter of their life sees them running a free of tie pub, and with plans for a microbrewery.

    The Live & Let Live at Landscove has a new manager, Tom. His intention is to replace one of the 2 local beers served by handpump with an ever changing nationally sourced ale.

    Rock for Rowcroft raised £2,481.92 at The Railway Brewhouse in Newton Abbot.

    The Taphouse & Bottle Shop in Newton Abbot has just celebrated its 3rd birthday as an ‘on licensed’ premises. To coincide it has made changes to the bar layout, enabling the introduction of more beer taps. This includes an extra handpump, bringing the number of real ales able to be served to four. As usual, the bar will be open 7 days a week in the fortnight leading up to Christmas. The new upstairs facilities are available for hire.

    Roger Cudlip was visibly moved when presented with the CAMRA Regional Pub of the Year award by Regional Director Gareth McDonald in a packed pub. The Tom Cobley in Spreyton now goes on to be considered for the National award, a trophy they are familiar with from the past!

    The Blue Anchor in Teignmouth has won the 2019 Herald Express Pub of the Year competition, retaining the title it won in 2018!

    Skinners Betty Stoggs has made a reappearance in The Old Church House in Torbryan and our reporter found it in excellent condition.

    Over in Totnes, the Halloween Beer Festival at The Albert Inn was a great success despite the atrocious weather which destroyed the pub gazebo! The next Beer Festival will be 24-26 January 2020.