Posted tagged ‘St Austell’

Cornish campers get a pizza the action with Kernow Forno and its mobile wood-burning oven

June 7, 2015

As land-locked Midlanders, my husband and I are always keen to escape to the coast. A recent jaunt took us to the Meadows campsite in the Pentewan Valley, just outside St Austell for a weekend of coastal walks, plenty of food, and some good old Cornish cider.

Child-free, dog-friendly, and recently featured in the Guardian in a list of 15 ‘pitch-perfect’ campsites, The Meadows was perfect for us. Even more perfect when they announced that on the Saturday night, we would be treated to a visit from a cocktail van, and pizza experts Kernow Forno. Pizzas? On a campsite?

Yes, indeed. All will become clear.

Kernow Forno is a mobile pizza-making mecca, taking a wood-fired oven to all sorts of events across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. Husband and wife team Simon and Sarah Pryce (who in a previous life clocked up a joint 32 years with the RNLI) set up the business in what they describe on their website as a “you only live once” decision. They upped sticks, moved to Cornwall, and started their travelling wood-fired pizza oven business.

With a menu ranging from traditional margherita to more speciality toppings, and even dessert pizzas, they boast of using an authentic Italian dough recipe to get a thin, crispy base and pizzas that cook in less than two minutes in the 500-degree oven.

Eager to see their handiwork, we arrived back at the campsite from a long, lovely coastal walk to find the pizza-cooking well under way and fellow campers trotting back to their tents with their delicious-looking dinners.

In a confession that will indicate that these pizzas are really rather good, I have to admit that while we started of planning to order two between six of us (since we had a full barbecue dinner planned as well), but ended up buying four more after we’d tried them. The best-laid plans hey!

This pizza overload was due, in part, to the great offerings on the menu. As well as a simple but tasty margherita we couldn’t resist the meat feast, topped with sausage, Cornish salami, home-cooked ham and roast chicken. We also couldn’t walk away without trying the Cornish line-caught mackerel marinated in soy, horseradish and ginger, with red onion and chive. The mackerel was fresh and tasty, its flavour enhanced by the oriental marinade.

With all of the pizzas the dough was light, thin, and just the right level of crispy round the outside. Nowhere was its quality more obvious than in the form of irresistible garlic bread. 

The smell alone was enough to make you nod your head helplessly when asked if you’d like one, while the taste was simply out of this world. I mean, who doesn’t love cooked garlic for starters? But mix with salty butter, all soaking into a light pizza base. A true winner.

Kernow Forno isn’t just about the quality of its food, much of which is a showcase of what the south west has to offer. This is theatre at work, and no doubt one of the reasons these guys are so popular at festivals and fetes. Simon rolls and tosses the bases while you watch, bringing an open-kitchen style to the whole affair, while you can peer into the wood-fired oven to see the roaring flames as you loiter with intent waiting for your pizza.

And the piece de resistance? They appear to have some control over the weather, at least at the Meadows anyway. As Kernow Forno arrived, so did the sun (something Simon assures me has happened before when they’ve staged one of their pop-up pizza nights), meaning we could bask in the heat, munching on our pizza and sipping on cocktails.

In an age where pop-ups and street food are all the rage, Kernow Forno are cashing in on a trend that looks unlikely to wane anytime soon. But they’re not just doing it, they’re doing it well, and stand out from the crowd. Bravo Simon and Sarah, that decision was certainly worth taking.

Ellen Branagh is a journalist who blogs about food rather well at <!–


Cornwall’s St Austell Brewery launches Tribute with something Extra

March 12, 2014

St Austell Brewery in Cornwall has launched Tribute Extra, a bigger and bolder version of its top-selling Tribute beer.


The new 5.2% ale will go on sale in 500ml bottles after gaining what the brewer said was a “growing cult following” when released as a limited-edition seasonal ale.


St Austell Brewery’s Korev Cornish lager now only outsold by Tribute as sales rocket

September 10, 2013

Some interesting news for beer fans – St Austell Brewery’s Cornish lager Korev is now its second highest-selling beer behind Tribute just three years after being launched.

The growth seems to have been helped by some strong pick-up on draught, with the brewery signing an exclusive deal with the Browns brasserie chain in the summer to serve the 4.8% lager – whose name is the Cornish for beer – in all of its 27 locations across the UK.

It is also the only draught lager served Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall and the only lager the Tanner brothers serve in their excellent Barbican Kitchen restaurant in Plymouth.



St Austell Proper Job, Moor Revival, Cotswold Spring Old Sodbury Mild and Butcombe Bitter among awards at 2013 Great British Beer Festival

August 14, 2013

St Austell – Proper Job Moor’s RevivalCotswold Spring’s Old Sodbury Mild and Butcombe Bitter were among the winners at the 2013 Great British Beer Festival at Olympia in London.

They didn’t win the top prize of Best Beer in Britain, which went to Yorkshire brewery Elland’s 1872 Porter, but there were wins in the bottled and cask beer categories.


Competition: Win tickets to the Celtic Beer Festival at St Austell Brewery in Cornwall

November 22, 2010

Like beer? Can you get to St Austell on Saturday morning? Then you might be interested in this latest Foodies South West competition.

I have two tickets to the excellent Celtic Beer Festival, being held in the bowels of the St Austell Brewery this coming Saturday, November 27, from 11am to 11pm. There are scores of beers to choose from, not just from Cornwall but from all countries of the world with a tenuous Celtic link. There is also the secret weapon, Grandma’s Weapons Grade Ginger Beer. Not to be trifled with.

Details here, if you squint.

You’ll still have to queue I’m afraid, but get to the front of the queue (which gets very long after 12 noon) and your names will be on the guest list, so it is ideal for a couple of you going with a group of friends. All money goes to charity so drink deep and do some good!

What is more, chart-bothering shanty minstrels Fishermen’s Friends are among the bands playing.

So how do you enter? Simple. You are all, I assume, on Facebook, so all you have to do is “like” the Foodies South West page and write the name of one of St Austell Brewery’s family of beers on the wall. Deadlien is Thursday afternoon at 2pm, after which I will pick one lucky winner and sent them a message to tell them they have won.

So it is dead simple. Get on Facebook to be in with a chance of winning. Good luck!

Celtic Beer Festival time at St Austell Brewery in Cornwall

November 16, 2010


Beer and music lovers are gearing up for one of the biggest parties of the year as preparations take place for the 12th annual St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer Festival on Saturday, November 27.

Real ale fans are in for an extra special treat as award-winning head brewer Roger Ryman and his team will be using the event as a test-run for a new ale, as yet unnamed, which St Austell Brewery plans to launch in 2011. The new beer is a 3.8% abv full-bodied and easy drinking ale brewed with Cornish water and Cornish-grown barley and featuring peach aromas from Galaxy hops grown near Launceston (Tasmania).

Festival goers will also have the chance to try St Austell Brewery’s Cornish lager Korev (Cornish for Beer) on draught for the first time, along with a fantastic selection of seasonal and specially-brewed ales.

Included among Roger’s special brews are:

•    Raisin’s to be cheerful – A spiced Christmas ale with real raisins.  Strong, fruity and very festive.
•    James’ Flemish Red – A carefully nurture blend of oak aged red ales selected by Master Blender James Vincent.  Typical of Flemish Red ales of Flanders in Belgium with a complex vineous aroma and tart, refreshing palate.
•    Chocolate Wheat – A Bavarian style Dunkel Weiss, with added whole chocolate, cinnamon and Caraco orange.
•    Bullseye Bitter – A medium bodied pale ale with golding and English Target hops.  Here’s what you could have won!

Together with the Brewery’s range of award winning ales there will be more than 100 great beers from across the UK and Europe’s Celtic regions at the festival, which also features a line-up of eight live bands from midday to 11pm.

The event will be held in the atmospheric surroundings of the old wine cellars and vaults beneath the Victorian brewery and its historic rum store.

Last year the hugely popular event attracted a record 3,000 beer and music lovers, and raised an amazing £12,000 for the St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust, which donates thousands of pounds to deserving causes across Devon and Cornwall each year.

Roger said: “We are all looking forward to this year’s beer festival, which has become a must-visit event in Cornwall’s social diary. It’s one of the biggest parties of the year – last year people were queuing out of the door – and there’s always a fantastic atmosphere.

“The brewing team have all been working hard coming up with new brews to delight the crowds and we can’t wait to hear what people think!”

Live music on the day will come from 3 Daft Monkeys, Martin Skewes, Mr Postman, Mosquitoes, 3 Minute Warning, Mark and the Acrobats, Grey Dog, Gallow Glass and Lenny’s Sing-a-long.

Food will be provided by a team of Brewery chefs – all using fresh Cornish produce.

The St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer Festival takes place between 11am and 11pm on Saturday November 27.  Tickets are £10 per person (available at the door) and include a polycarbonate commemorative pint glass, programme and three drinks tokens.  Extra drinks tokens are available at £1.25 for each half pint / £2.50 a pint.