Boom times for beer lovers as number of breweries increases

We were very proud to be featured in this article by Martin Freeman at The Western Morning News:

Beer drinkers can raise a glass to another year of growth for the brewing industry in the SouthWest. The Good Beer Guide 2018, from the real ale campaigners Camra, shows that the number of breweries in Devon and Cornwall grew last year to 90, 11 more than in the previous 12 months. Cornwall gained five to a total of 39, with the arrival on the scene of Dowr Kammel, Fowey Brewery,Woodman’s Wild Ale, Treen’s Brewery, VerdantBrewing. Devon’s offering increased by six as Bale Ale, Bere Brewery, Fat Belly Brewery, Stannary Brewing, Woodbury Ales and Barnaby’s Brewhouse began operation.

With Devon having 51 producers now, ranging from tiny “nano” hobby operations, through micro-breweries to established large-scale concerns, that puts the county in a unique position. “Devon probably has more breweries per head of population than anywhere else in the UK,” said Barnaby Harris, of Barnaby’s Brewhouse.

The majority of newcomers in the South West make real ales which Camra defines as a traditionally beer brewed from traditional ingredients (malted barley, hops water and yeast), matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed,and served without the use of added carbon dioxide.Some also make ales in bottles, which continue to ferment, mature and condition once bottled.

Barnaby’s Brewhouse is bucking that trend by making organic craft lagers at their site in Staverton near Totnes. The trio include a rarity for the UK, a pilsner pale lager. Bere Brewery, of Bere Alston in the Tamar Valley, is also blazing a trail by planning to become self-sufficient in their home-grown hops,a crop more associated with warmer,drier areas such as Kent.

Barnaby’s is a five-barrel operation –the amount that can be made in a single batch – which supplies the bottled product mainly to restaurants and through the Riverford Organic supply network. The lagers are suitable for vegetarians and vegans as no animal or fish products are used to filter the drink. “We concentrate on beers that are matched with foods and we give tasting notes on the labels,”said Mr Harris who set up the brewery with business partner Tim Stacey on Riverford’s dairy farm. “It is going really well. We are looking to expand to 10 barrels at a time. I think there is definitely room for more niche products and brewers because retail outlets want local products.”

Buffy and Jerry Rickeard have a smaller operation at Bere Brewery with 1.3 barrel batches and five bottled beers offered, supplying local shops and pubs. “The South West is a bit damp and mouldy for growing hops but we are succeeding,” said Mrs Rickeard. “This grew out of background growing organic salad and veg. We are only small and we are struggling to keep up with demand.”

Read more at WMN here >

2017-09-22T08:54:47+00:00