Teignworthy Brewery has become as much a part of the local drinks scene as our thatched pubs and cheery landlords, says Jennie Cooper
You won’t have to visit too many pubs in Devon before you come across a Teignworthy ale. Light, dark, golden, bottled, cask and special, the brewery produces a range of both seasonal ales and those that are available all year.
Based at The Maltings in Newton Abbot, this successful enterprise has been growing its business over the past 20 years to become one of Devon’s top breweries. It hasn’t fared too badly either, with 32 different awards for its beers so far.
The brewery sticks to its core values of using local ingredients – malt, hops, yeast and water – as well as local staff; together with owner John Lawton, Heather Dade helps run the brewery and sales, while Chris and Brett Robins are the head brewers.
So, how exactly does Teignworthy produce such popular ale? Brewing takes place on most week days, using traditional methods. The Maltings’ brewery is based on a 'tower' principle, as used in Victorian times, where the malt is infused with hot liquor to make malt extract, which is in turn boiled with English hops.
In brief, once the infusing, fermenting (for three days) and adding of yeast is complete, the ale is then cooled for a week. The casks of liquid are rolled gently into the cellars and kept for a further week. Finally, just before the barrels of ale are lifted onto the dray, small quantities of finings are added to clarify and help it clear quickly when stored. A cask has a shelf-life of up to eight weeks, if left unopened.
Ever community-minded, Teignworthy has forged strong links with local pubs and clubs in the area, and has campaigned avidly for a cut in beer duty, something that has been achieved again this year. “This is pleasing as there are 7,000 young people employed in this industry. Cheers – and here’s to the next 20 years,” John enthuses.
If there is a message from Teignworthy, it is to encourage a happy future for brewing ales and to keep on supporting local pubs. I’ll drink to that!
Where to get a pint? Teignworthy Brewery supplies the following pubs and hotels:
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