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.”