5 great brewery tours in Devon to try if you love real ale
We’ve found five great brewery tours in Devon, where you can see how local brewers make their finest beers.
High in the heart of the Blackdown Hills, this family-run brewery has been producing beer for over 25 years. With five generations involved in the business, it really has been a family affair. They use the best malting barley from UK maltsters, English varieties of mainly whole hops in their core cask ales, an unusual and top secret yeast culture as well as water drawn from their own wells directly from the head springs of the River Otter. They have won multiple awards including the CAMRA Regional Champion Beer of Britain, Great Taste Awards and Taste of the West. You can book a tour of the brewery for a weekday evening only as a group of 15 to 25 people. For more information, please email email@example.com or call 01404 891285.
A relatively new kid on the block, Salcombe Brewery was founded by John and Gerry Tiner in 2016 after they decided to pack their bags and move to the area to pursue their dream of running a brewery. The Salcombe Brewery can be found nestled in the south Devon hills, overlooking beautiful countryside towards the Salcombe Ria. Tours start at 3pm on Thursdays and include samplings in the brewery’s taproom. You can book a brewery tour online or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a group of six or more. Fancy having a go yourself? You can even book a brew day, where you make some Salcombe Beer with brewers Sam and Chris. Random fact: The Salcombe estuary is one of the few places in the UK you can find the seahorse, hence their logo.
Dan Taylor and Jim Bungard bought the O’Hanlons brewery business in 2013, moving production and all staff and expertise to Dan’s family farm. They use the best quality UK hops and barley, as well as water from their Devon hills to produce their multi-award winning Port Stout, Yellow Hammer, Firefly Bitter and Stormstay Ale. There’s a bar on site that opens on Friday nights (5pm to 11pm) where you can enjoy a pint of Hanlon’s beer, fresh food and vibrant atmosphere. They have regular events so you might get some live music or a guest chef to go with that award-winning ale. Keep an eye on their events page for brewery tours.
The Exeter Brewery
From their site in Cowley Bridge Road, the Exeter Brewery produces a range of beers including best-selling Ferryman, Avocet (Devon’s original organic real ale), Darkness Port Stout and award-winning Lighterman. They have a bar on-site called The Tap Room, which is open every Thursday evening from 5pm to 11pm, where you can enjoy a pint of beer and award winning Tom’s Pies with mash, minted peas and proper gravy. The bar is also open on the last Friday of the month for curry night. You can contact the brewery directly to arrange a brewery tour for groups of 15 or more (call 01392 259059 or email email@example.com). You begin in the Tap Room for drinks, followed by a tour of the brewery, then back to the Tap Room for pie, mash peas & gravy and more beers.
Red Rock Brewery
Run by John Parkes and his children Lewis and Hollie, Red Rock Brewery makes an extensive range of traditional cask ales from an old barn on Higher Humber Farm. They use the finest ingredients including the farm’s own pure spring water. You can take a tour of this hand built micro-brewery to see how Red Rock’s award winning beers are brewed. You can taste the malts, barleys and wheats, sniff the various varieties of hops and see the fermentation vats bubbling away whilst learning about the processes involved. After the tour, you can enjoy a tasting and a delicious local handmade pie in The Old Workshop, their brewery tap bar. Brewery tours are for groups of 10 or more people and can be held on Thursday or Friday afternoons from 4pm. To arrange a tour, call 01626 879738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Old Workshop is open Thursday to Sunday (see website for opening times) and is well stocked with Red Rock beers and local award-winning cider from Sandford Orchards. Enjoy a quiet pint in the garden with stunning views over Dartmoor, or if there is a chill in the air, settle inside by the roaring wood-burning stove. Thursday nights are acoustic open mike nights.