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Devonians are spoilt for choice when it comes to local beer, with independent breweries popping up all over the place, microbreweries in the basements of pubs and an incredible landscape from which to draw flavours and inspiration. With saisons and IPAs, stouts and lager all brewing nicely in Devon, you can’t go wrong with a good local pint. Here are the county’s best breweries for keeping it local and full of taste.
Tucked away in the transitional town of Totnes, New Lion Brewery is a small independent brewery with experimental and limited-edition beers. There are a few beers and ales which are in constant circulation, but the beauty of New Lion is in the community and spirit of the place. Friends of the brewery grow hops at home and then bring them back to Totnes at harvest time, and there is a bar which opens in the evenings at weekends that serves every available beer currently bottled.
At this family-run brewery in the heart of the Devon countryside, they put their hearts and souls into making delicious ales with the finest local ingredients. These guys pride themselves on packing a whole load more flavour into their beers than the average pint. Hunter’s is at the forefront of bringing bottle conditioning—when live yeast is allowed to ferment in the bottle to create natural carbonation—back into the beer industry, a technique that creates deeper and richer flavours.
Dartmoor Brewery, which sits in the National Park, is England’s highest brewery at 446 metres (1,465 ft) above sea level. Clean and clear Dartmoor water is one of the main ingredients in the beer that comes out of Dartmoor Brewery, as well as English hops, their own strain of yeast and local malts. At the heart of the community, this brewery has wild and rugged Dartmoor running through its veins.
Nestled in the hilly South Hams, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Red Rock Microbrewery brews artisan beers with precision and love. This father-son-daughter setup aims to brew innovative beers with deep flavours. A variety of beers and ales come out of Red Rock, from the Craft range, to their traditional and quintessentially English range, to the slow range, which has been inspired by the local landscape and produce.
This brewery has the whole family involved, and where there is this much love to go around, there is bound to be great taste. Only the best ingredients are used in Otter beers and ales, and they have the utmost respect for the environment in which they work. Otter is eco-friendly all the way down to their hoppy roots and have the Devon countryside in mind through each step of the brewing process.