We love an independently brewed beer, be it from cask, keg, or can. So, if you share our passion for indie gems make sure you check out these West Country breweries, taprooms and bottle shops…
Hiding in Kernick Industrial Estate Penryn is Verdant (pictured above), the brewery which is right next to their taproom, not (too) far from the centre of Falmouth. It’s in this modern and open industrial warehouse space that Verdant serve up their fresh tasting, hoppy, hazy beers. It’s not uncommon for there to be a dj so expect a lively, sociable atmosphere. Craft beers are poured alongside their perfect partner, wood-fired pizzas. There’s plenty of cask and keg lines so choice and taste are paramount here.
Craft kegs and award-winning real ales. Head to South Hams Brewery, previously known as Sutton Brewing, for a laid-back drink on benches in the sunshine, sometimes with live music (at their summer sessions). The Brewery is nestled in the South Hams countryside in Stokeley Barton, overlooking the bay. It’s the perfect place for a pint of their Devon Pride in the fresh coastal air.
There are two Tasting Rooms in Padstow and they’re both typically chic – one on Duke Street, another on Broad Street. And as its namesake suggests, it’s a venue for trying different hoppy flavours. Flights of beer look enticing anyway and in the Tasting Room they offer three different thirds of their pints so you can pick your favourite. Follow the three glasses of different amber nectar with a fancy antipasti platter or half a crab. These modern bars are light and airy with a buzzy ambience.
Local heroes Topsham Brewery provide the best spot in Exeter to taste the crème of Devon’s cider crop (Sandford Orchards). Try their Goat Walk Cask IPA or taste one of their small-batch beers, perfect for supping by the boats on the water at the historic quayside. Relatively recent to Exeter, their pizza van, outdoor beer garden and friendly no-frills inside means Topsham Brewery has made a lasting mark on the city already.
North Devon’s Madrigal Brewery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Find it in an unassuming Edwardian building, off the coastal path in Hele, just beyond Ilfracombe. Beer and craft ales made at the little artisan brewery are naturally unfiltered (meaning they’re also vegan-friendly). Visit their bottle shop to pick up some of their beers, named after North Devon folklore stories and local landmarks.
Roam Brewery make delicious hazy pale ales, silky stouts and wincing sours (above). Keep going back to sample their newest batch or to try the last of one of their niche experiments before they run out. They also make sourdough pizzas in-house to go with their IPAs, or you can pick up a couple of their colourful cans to take home. A friendly, no-nonsense taproom in Plymouth.
Finally, one for those interested in taking up brewing. Also in Falmouth is Lauter, a cracking little bottleshop and brewspace. First thing you notice are the alluring fridges that hold shelves upon shelves of chilled craft beer, but you can also pick up home brewing gear or attend a lesson in store. Sit al fresco with a juicy IPA or there’s a lovely relaxed ambience inside, usually with a dog or two.