Exclusive: First review of new limited edition St Austell beer
Last night I was one of a select few who were allowed to road test the latest St Austell beer at a secret Westcountry location.
Called Tun50 (not Tun150 as I inebriatedly tweeted last night), it is a special beer produced in association with my proper employer, the Western Morning News.
The beer has been produced for the paper’s 150th anniversary this year, during which it is planning to raise money for the Devon and Cornwall Community Foundations, two charities which, in their respective counties, raise money for community projects and the like.
The deal is this: for every pint sold a proportion of the money is donated to the charities and goes towards the goal of raising £1 million across the two counties this year for the Grassroots Challenge scheme.
The beer is officially launched at the Devon County Show on Thursday, but we got a sneak preview at the Fishermans Arms, down on Plymouth’s Barbican.
I had never been to the pub before, but it’s a nice place, hidden away a bit close by the Citadel but with a decent arrange of St Austell beers of draught and what looks to be a decent wine selection, though I can’t be more sure as I didn’t try any.
What we did try was an advance barrel of the Tun50 (a play on the words tun – used to brew beer- and ton, if you’re still befuddled). And you may obviously cry “he’s biased as hell!”, but it is a very very good beer. A session ale at 3.8%, it doffs its cap to its stablemate Tribute but is nowhere near as fruity. What it is is a smooth, very drinkable ale. In fact it is a drinking pint, if you know what I mean, you can sit down, or stand as we did, and sup multiple pints with mates. A summer day in a beer garden would be great, either just as a beer or with some light summery food.
One drinker in the Fishermans, who doesn’t owe his continued employment to the South West Media Group was heard to say “It’s better than Tribute”, but don’t take my word for it if you doubt my impartiality, get out there and try a pint for yourself, you’ll be helping a good cause in the process.
You can get a sneak preview of the beer by heading down to the Barbican this week and trying the beer – be warned there is just the one pre-festival barrel there, so run!
Failing that, it is launched at the Devon County Show from Thursday to Saturday this week (May 20 – 22), after which it is going to be on draught at a selection of pubs across the South West. I will post a list when I get one that is as close to definitive as makes no difference.
What I would personally love is if we could do an Admirals Ale and take what was meant to be a limited edition beer and make it a permanent fixture, it is certainly good enough.
PS – My thanks also to Martyn, landlord and chef at the Fishermans Arms for giving Foodies South West “massive props” over the pub quiz PA system! The pub’s website is down at the moment, but they are in the process of rectfying that. But you can currently find the pub on facebook and on Twitter @fishermansarms