Having shown my utter contempt for New Year detox plans earlier this week, I continue to poo in the fridge of frugal and righteous living. Here are 10 beers from the South West I have tried since I started this blog, and before, that you should try if you have not already. I’ve tried to include the whole South West, so hopefully there might be some you are not familiar with that will tickle your taste buds. It obviously isn’t an exhaustive list and I have no doubt you all know great local beers I should be tasting. So the more comments left here the better!
Fossil Fuel (4.1% Purbeck Brewery)
To use the hackneyed cliché, this is a Marmite beer that will polarise drinkers. It isn’t an easy sup if you like your beer session-y and light, with its strong whisky barrell tastes. But I liked it all the more for that when I tried it at the Castle Inn in Lulworth Cove, not a million miles from the brewery at Studland in Dorset.
Cornish Stinger (4.5% Woodswild)
Another interesting taste, this Cornish “beer” is made from nettles, which makes it a light refreshing summer
drink enjoyed well-chilled with a barbecue. I first tried it lounging in the summer sunshine at the Rock Oyster Festival and it was glorious.
An Howl (5.6% Penpont Brewery)
Another great summer drink, An Howl is from the small Penpont Brewery on Bodmin Moor, one of my favourites. An Howl is Kernewek for “the sun” and it is a powerful golden beer ideal for supping as the An Howl slips beyond the horizon! Plus 10p from each bottle goes to the Cornwall Rural Community Council.
Devon Pride (3.8% South Hams Brewery)
Whenever I go to watch Plymouth Albion play rugby at home, one of the highlights (sometimes the only one) is the South Hams Brewery concession to the right of the main stand. Here I can get a pint of Devon pride and drink while watching them los…sorry win. A top little session beer.
Milk Stout (4.5% Bristol Beer Factory)
A close call between this and the brewery’s No. 7 ale for the list, this burnt almost coffee-flavoured beer is a great heavy filler for a cold winter evening, full of flavour and warmth. You can see Andrew from the brewery
talking about its beers here.
Otter Amber (4.0% Otter Brewery)
One of East Devon’s finest in my opinion, not greatly widely available to my knowledge (at least on this side of Devon) and was lucky to have a pint at the Passage House Inn in Topsham with friends last May, as we ate dinner and watched the sun set over the Exe marshes. Glorious surrounding for a glorious amber beer.
Proper Job (4.5% St Austell Brewery)
In my opinion the best beer in the St Austell Brewery range, although it is also probably the most expensive. Nowhere near as fruity as the more widespread Tribute, which some find too overpowering, it is a very drinkable premium ale and the one I drink in a pub if it is on.
Doom Bar (4.3% Sharp’s Brewery)
Yeah ok it’s an obvious and widely available beer, hardly underground, but I like it – brewed at Sharp’s Brewery in Rock, North Cornwall. A good honest pint you can drink several pints of in a sitting. Should you be so inclined of course.
Dark Side (4.0% Bath Ales)
Another great burned and chocolate stout from a Bristol brewer. I had a great pint of this while nailing half a dozen oysters at Source Food Hall and Cafe and it was great, thick and satisfying and a contrast to the slippery salty oysters. Can’t say fairer than that.
Jail Ale (4.8% Dartmoor Brewery)
My dad got several bottles of this at Christmas time as part of a spanking great hamper of treats I got for my parents. It’s brewed in the middle of Dartmoor within a stone’s throw of the famous prison in Princetown and is one of the local reliables that can always be relied upon to be a good drop.
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY