Cornwall is becoming increasingly well known for its beers, but few outside of the Duchy realise just how many absolutely world-class breweries reside within the county. As well as the hugely famous “Big Three” (Sharp’s, Skinner’s and St. Austell), there are also a host of micro and interesting craft-breweries, most of them welcoming visitors with open arms and offering tours of their premises with beer tasting included. Cornwall is rapidly becoming a top destination for beer afficionados and casual drinkers alike.
Their flagship brand Doom Bar is named after an infamous sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary, and is the No.1 cask ale in the UK, available seemingly everywhere. Sharp’s Cornish Pilsner lager is also award-winning.
Makers of famous ales available all over the UK, with names like Betty Stogs and the amusingly titled “Betty’s Brazilian”. Skinner’s also make Skindog lager and Press Gang cider. Situated in the beautiful cathedral city of Truro, their working brewery runs tours for groups or individuals.
A family brewery since 1851 and based unsurprisingly in St Austell, this large brewery produces a range of cask and bottled ales as well as the very popular Cornish lager, Korev. The beautiful old building also contains a great visitor centre with a shop, bar and restaurant, and the brewery tours are regular and interesting. If you prefer not to take a guided tour, there is also a fantastic interactive museum.
One of the most interesting brewing stories in the county. 852 feet above the sea at Trebarwith Strand, a redundant milking parlour on a farm has been converted into Tintagel Brewery. Powered by wind turbine, it produces award-winning real ales and tours are available to groups if arranged in advance.
Based in Redruth but boasting another Tintagel connection, the Keltek brewery began life in a small stable on the Roseland Peninsula, more as a hobby than a business. But after winning a number of regional, national and even international awards, the brewery has expanded considerably. Their hand-brewed ales are a tribute to Cornwall’s Celtic heritage, and celebrate the tale of King Arthur who according to legend was born at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall.
The Blue Anchor pub in Helston is one of the oldest original inns in Britain and unusually, continues to maintain a working brewery. Dating back to the 15th century, the inn can boast six centuries of brewing. Originally a monks’ rest house producing a strong, honey-based mead, it now makes a variety of ‘Spingo Ales’ to traditional recipes.
Established in 2012, the idea was to brew proper beer which reflected the Cornish environment, with the concept of the beer evolving from the sea, hence the name ‘Harbour’. This award-winning innovative brewery is based on the outskirts of Bodmin in north Cornwall, and its beers are available throughout the county in stores, pub and restaurants.
Home to the only head brewster (female brewer) in Cornwall, their custom-built brewery is located on the outskirts of Padstow, where you can visit for brewery tours and experiences. Founded in 2013 using a home kit in an old surf-shower, Padstow Brewing Co. has now gone on to win many industry awards and is sold in many Cornish pubs and restaurants.