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27th November 2015 | Regional News

Real or Fake Ale

A list of some of the best breweries in Devon

It’s fair to say real ale is having a moment. More and more people are drinking British brews – 82% of beer sold here is made here. Real ale has doubled its market share in the past 10 years, according to CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and the UK now has the most breweries per person than any other country in the world. Makes you proud to be British. With all these boutique breweries springing up, we normally only get to sample our local fare, so going on holiday can be a great opportunity to discover some new favourites. Here are some of the best to try in Devon.

Red Rock Brewery

Just eight miles away from the Torquay Holiday Park, this delightful brewery based in a barn in Bishopsteignton prides itself on using only spring water, malt, whole hops and wet yeast. On Thursdays to Sundays you can sample its seven award-winning beers in the friendly venue next door, The Old Workshop. Oh, and if you’re interested in the brewing process, you can also book a tour on Thursdays and Fridays to see how it’s done. http://www.redrockbrewery.co.uk

Red Rock Brewery

Red Rock Brewery Logo

Otter Brewery

A 40-mile drive north from Torquay Holiday park gets you to the lovely village of Luppitt in the middle of the Blackdown Hills, home to this family-run brewery. Two of their offerings, Otter Head and Otter Bright picked up awards at the 2015 Taste of the West Awards, so you know you’re in good hands. http://www.otterbrewery.com/

Otter Brewery

Otter Brewery

Bays Brewery

It’s a slick operation these days, but this boutique brewery hasn’t lost its personal touch. Seven miles south of Torquay Holiday Park is Bays Brewery in Torbay. Their shop is stocked with all their beers, plus local ciders and other gifts, and you can also take a tour to see how the stuff’s made (bonus: you’ll get free tastings throughout!). http://baysbrewery.co.uk/ For a less-boozy educational experience try the nearby Geoplay park, on the Paignton seafront. It’s a brilliantly designed wooden play park based on the English Riviera’s geological history.

Bays Brewery

Bays Brewery

Country Life Brewery

This truly has something for all the family. Just 21 miles from Ruda Holiday Park, the brewery is set in The Big Sheep tourist park, where you can watch fun farmyard displays like lamb feeding or sheep racing, then run off steam in the adventure playground. The award-winning beers are named in honour of its agricultural home: Golden Pig, Country Bumpkin, Black Boar and the best-selling Old Appledore. Try them on site or buy them in the shop to take home.
http://www.countrylifebrewery.co.uk/

country life brewery

country life brewery

Holsworthy Ales

This busy brewery is constantly making new, seasonal ales to tempt locals. And it clearly works – it’s now been voted Brewery of the Year 2014 and 2015 by North Devon CAMRA. To visit, it’s a 42-mile drive from Ruda Holiday Park  – the brewery shop is open every Saturday 2-6pm April to October, for details of open nights when the beer is paired with local food check the website. While you’re there, check out the historic town of Holsworthy – it’s particularly good on Wednesday when it has a bustling outdoor pannier market. http://www.holsworthyales.co.uk/

Holsworthy Ales

Holsworthy Ales

Quercus Devon Ales

Try Quercus’s cask ales such as Harry’s, Devon Amber or Shingle Bay in local pubs or visit the brewery shop to buy bottles and gift packs – it’s only six miles from Challaborough Holiday Park. Top local spots to try their cask ales are the Royal Oak in Kingsbridge or the Winking Prawn in beautiful Salcombe. Then walk it off with a stunning 3-mile circular walk from Salcombe to Bolt Head. It takes you through a tropical paradise of palms and banana trees to a coastal path along the rocky cliffs where you can watch seabirds circling and diving.
http://www.quercusdevonales.com/

Dartmoor Brewery

If you’re taking a trip to Dartmoor during your South Devon holiday, why not swing by Britain’s highest brewery? Set in the heart of the National Park in Princetown, Dartmoor Brewery has grown in success over the years – largely thanks to the popularity of its Jail Ale and IPA brews – and now produces 2.8 million pints a year. It’s about an hour’s drive away from both Challaborough and Torquay Holiday Parks and it’s a good idea to call ahead to visit the brewery shop – the perfect end to a day walking or climbing in legendary Dartmoor.

For more real ale trails, head to http://greatscenicrailways.co.uk/great-days-out/rail-ale-trails/

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