CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) has managed to halt the decline the small breweries. Twenty years ago there were just three breweries in Cornwall. Devenish (Redruth), St. Austell, and the Blue Anchor brew-pub in Helston. Devenish later became part of Whitbread, passed through different owners and it closed in March 2004.
Today there are 13, all fighting to get pump space in the county’s pubs.
Ian Spencer-Brown has done. Ian co-owns The Doghouse Brewery near Redruth bought The Hawkins Arms in the village of Zelah. ‘‘.. it was the only way of finding a guaranteed outlet’’, Ian said ‘‘We can get into more than 200 free houses across the county, but only as a guest beer. Typically that means a pub taking just a single barrel at a time just a couple of times a year."
The Blue Anchor at Helston, Britain’s oldest brewpub. The beer is produced on the premises, as it has been since the 15th century. There is just one brewer – Tim Sears - who works totally alone - at night -producing seven barrels, or in this case, kilderkins, per shift. That’s just over 1,000 pints. The Blue Anchor’s beers are generically known as ‘Spingo’ which has a highly individual taste.
Ring o Bells Brewery Ring o Bells Brewery, Launceston. Their beers include Tipsy Trotter, Dreckly, Porkers Pride, Surf Boar, Sozzled Swine, Bodmin Boar. The easily recognised 'Black Piggy' mascot has become a welcome sight to beer lovers everywhere.
Sharps Brewery is a brewery based at Rock Cornwall. Real ale made from barley grown in Cornwall. The Sharp’s brewing process incorporates all the best practices from traditional ale brewing with modern German brewing equipment allied with stringent hygiene standards and some unique steps to produce top quality and consistent beer.
St Austell Brewery The largest of the local brewers. Cornwall's independent family brewers of HSD, Tribute, Tinners and IPA. Established in 1851.
Organic Brewhouse, Higher Bochym Rural Workshop, Curry Cross Lanes, near Mullion TR12 7AZ tel +44 01326 241555. Micro-brewery producing solely organic real ales. Four ales currently brewed: Lizard Point 4% ABV, Serpentine 4.5% ABV, Wolf Rock 5% ABV and Black Rock Stout 4.7% ABV.
Skinners Brewery, Riverside View, Newham, Truro TR1 2SU. Skinner's Brewing Co. Ltd. was founded by Steve and Sarah Skinner in 1997. The company currently produces a range of six brands named after characters from Cornish folklore, the most popular being the multi-award-winning Cornish Knocker Ale and Betty Stogs Bitter.
Driftwood Brewery Driftwood Spars Hotel, Quay Road, Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes TR5 0RT. Regular brewing usually starts in April with the arrival of the Cuckoo! and fizzles out at the end of July when demand outstrips supply. Brews are confirmed after this period on a spasmodic basis. A new or more modern set-up is hoped to be bought soon, to coincide with a long awaited holiday 'up North'."
Blue Anchor 50 Coinagehall Street, Helston TR13 8EL. The Blue Anchor is one of the oldest original Inns in Britain that continues to maintain a working brewery. Dating back to the 15th century, the Inn boasts 600 years of brewing! Originally a monks rest house, which produced a strong honey based mead, it now produces a variety of 'Spingo Ales' to traditional recipes.
Wheal Ale Brewery, Bird in Hand, nr. Paradise Park, Trelissick Road, Hayle TR27 4HY. Brewing first started in May 1981 under the name Paradise Brewery, named after its location, the Paradise Bird Park. A 5 barrel brew plant is used. The brewery closed for a period in 1982 and brews mainly only in the summer months when tourist trade is higher. The name was changed to Wheal Ale in 1995.
Doghouse Brewery, Doghouse Brewery, Scorrier, Cornwall TR16 5BN. is brewed in one of the former the kennels at their pets hotel. Naturally, the brewery was named Doghouse, and all three of its first beers have a doggy theme, as do the many seasonal and 'house' brews they produce for pubs (the Blisland edition is called 'Old Arfer'!).
Bathtub Brewery Bathtub Brewery operates from the back of the Seven Stars Inn, Stithians which has developed three distinctive ales for sale within the pub. It started operations late in 2004. Availability at the pub tends to be intermittent because the beer sells out faster than it can be brewed, but their plan is to get ahead in production so that it becomes available nearly all the time.