Cornwall’s great craft beer scene
Sun, sea, sand and shanties, a craggy coastline with quaint fishing villages clinging to the cliffs, it’s no surprise Cornwall is one of the UK’s top destinations. And now you can add beer to the list of reasons to make the journey to the far South West.
This time Phil Mellows, a specialist writer about pubs and breweries and founder of the blog British Beer Breaks – designed to join the dots between beer and travel – talks about some of his favourite beer destinations in Cornwall.
Everything you need to know about Cornish Craft Beer
St Austell Brewery is still going strong, and in the 1990s it was joined by Sharp’s, now part of global brewer Molson Coors. But while it’s fair to say the tide of craft beer that swept around the world a decade or so ago washed up a little late on Cornish shores, they’re certainly making up for lost time with microbreweries, bars and bottle shops popping up all over.
If there’s one word to sum up why a modern beer lover should visit Cornwall that word is Verdant. The craft scene is fast-changing and volatile. There’s always something new. But Verdant Brewing is one of those brands drinkers in the know always return to. And the firm now runs three very different venues in the county where you can sample its characteristically hazy and fruity hop-forward beers. For the freshest experience, Verdant’s new brewery in Penryn has a tap room with 16 keg lines and four cask, plus Neapolitan-style pizzas and events most
evenings, from DJ sets to comedy to board game tournaments.
Over in Falmouth, the Verdant Seafood Bar pairs its beers with small plates of delicacies straight from the sea – like the crab dish above – and at Verdant’s own pub in Newquay, the Sink Inn, you can gaze out to sea from the terrace while sipping your pint or two-thirds.
Another of Cornwall’s craft beer pioneers is Harbour Brewing. Based on a farm, Harbour specialises in beers that draw on the natural resources around it – in a surprising array of styles. The best place to give them a try, while taking in a fabulous view, is the Atlantic Bar & Kitchen , a joint venture with the Polzeath Beach House hotel.
Among the many newcomers to Cornwall’s brewing scene Black Flag in Perranporth and the small batch Pipeline are both worth checking out – but both tap rooms have limited opening hours. At the other end of the scale, St Austell has a full-on visitor centre offering 30-minute and 90-minute tours for those who’d like to find out more about the brewing process.
And if you want to taste your way around the county in one spot, the Red Elephant Beer Cellar & Tasting Room (above) in Truro is a bar and bottle shop that aims to showcase as many Cornish beers as it can find space for. Or there are some classic traditional pubs, of course, such as the Blue Anchor
in Helston, home of Spingo Ales, the Ship Inn at picturesque Porthleven harbour, and the historic Seven Stars in Falmouth.
One more great place to visit for all kinds of reasons, including the fact it’s got its own brewery, is Driftwood Spars, an unpretentious, welcoming pub at Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes. The brewery offers tours and tastings and, if you can spare a whole day, you can do some brewing yourself.Got a wedding coming up? The head brewer will help you design and make a special beer for the occasion. Almost worth getting married for.
Great places to stay in Cornwall
So in-between checking out these Top Places to try Beer in Cornwall, how about somewhere to stay? Further Afield has some fantastic places to stay in Cornwall, so Check out all of our great places to stay in Cornwall.