Taking a tour of a brewery in Devon or visiting a cider farm can be an educational fun day out for all the family. There are sure to be some breweries close to your Devon holiday cottage, so checkout the nearest or enjoy sampling the local produce in the many rural pubs which have guest beers on tap.
Teignworthy Brewery, Newton Abbot
One of the best places to take a tour and enjoy tasting a selection of prize-winning beers is at Teignworthy Brewery in the historic Tuckers Maltings in Newton Abbot, which is over 100 years old. Regular tours of the family-run operation are offered from Easter to the end of October. The brewery produces 30-35 barrels a week using locally produced malt from Tuckers and supplies 75 local pubs and inns including the Queens Hotel and the Wolborough Inn in Newton Abbot. Finish the visit in the Tuckers Maltings shop where most of their beers are available in bottles. If you are visiting Devon in April, the brewery hosts a Beer Festival in mid-April.
Bays Brewery, Paignton
Founded in 2007, Bays Brewery produces three brews, Bays Best, Bays Gold and the latest and strongest at 4.7% ABV, Bays Breaker. Co-owner Will Freeland was previously head brewer at Skinners Brewery in Truro so he knows what goes into making a successful pint. As well as offering informative tours of the premises, the onsite shop has some great merchandise including mugs, T-shirts, hoodies or fleeces along with ale for sale by the bottle or cask.
Dartmoor Brewery, Princetown
If you believe that altitude improves brewing, Dartmoor Brewery at Princetown is the highest brewery in England at 1400 feet above sea level. Although it does not offer tours, its three ales (Jail Ale, Dartmoor IPA and Hop Jack) can be sampled in many local inns around Princetown, Tavistock, Horrabridge, Wembury, Chagford and Two Bridges. Chances are that on a day out on Dartmoor you will come across one of its outlets to enjoy its full-bodied ale. The aptly named Jail Ale has a particularly moorish aftertaste from the local water.
Dartmouth Brewery, Newton Abbot
The only place to sample Devon Ranger, Golden Showers and Big 5, all brewed by the Dartmouth Brewery, is at the Dartmouth Inn on East Street, Newton Abbot where it is brewed onsite.
South Hams Brewery, Stokenham
South Hams Brewery offers brewery tours by appointment and supplies more than 60 outlets around Plymouth and the scenic South Hams. It brews five regular beers, including Devon Pride and Eddystone, at Stokeley Barton Barns in Stokenham. A seasonal summer beer is Wild Blonde which has a fruity aroma and flavour. Once you have enjoyed the tour, head into the village and enjoy a pint in the cosy ambiance of the thatched Tradesmans Arms which has a lovely beer garden and log fires in the winter.