Whether you prefer an alcoholic tipple or a good old-fashioned cup of tea, the South West offers a vast array of drinks and beverages to suit all tastes. The region is home to many breweries and Somerset in particular is famous for its apple harvest, resulting in some of the finest ciders in the country.
But we start with wine and the Camel Valley Vineyard, which is renowned for its Pinot Brut. The company has been producing award-winning, world-class wines for over 20 years in Cornwall. The excellent Cornish grapes along the Camel river are a result of the soil and climate and the vineyard combines a modern approach with traditional vineyard practices to provide wines that are comparable to those from elsewhere in the world.
Beer and Breweries
Local breweries are booming and the choice exceptional in the South West. The Dartmoor Brewery claims to be the highest brewery in England, located in at 1400 feet above sea level in the Dartmoor National Park. Although brewing only started in 1994 in a converted pub in Princetown, the company now produces some of the finest real ale. These include Jail Ale, a full bodied mid-brown beer with a well-rounded flavour and a sweet moorish aftertaste and Legend, which combines pure Dartmoor Water, the finest Devon grown malted barley and the best of English hops.
Brewing since 1979 is the Cotleigh Brewery using only the freshest ingredients for all of their beers. The company draws on international ingredients: Australian hops for Kookaburra Premium Ale, American hops for Blue Jay Best Bitter and Herefordshire hops for the New Harvest Ale.
The Teignworthy Brewery deserves a mention. Established in 1994, the brewery can now brew up to 100 barrels of beer a week, that’s 28,800 pints! Based in Newton Abbot, South Devon, the regular beers are Reel Ale, Spring Tide, Old Moggie and Beachcomber as well as 16 other seasonal brews.
A more recent brewery but already winning awards is Hillside Brewery in Gloucestershire which began in 2014. It delivers ales including Legend of Hillside, Pinnacle, Legless Cow, Over the Hill and Severn Surge as well as seasonal specials from new and traditional ingredients.
For those who prefer soft drinks, look no further than the award-winning Lovely Drinks . Here all drinks are made by hand from ingredients such as elderflowers, lemons, fresh ginger, locally pressed apples and English fruits and flowers. The company likes to source ingredients sourced within Somerset using local suppliers. Jamie Oliver would approve: the company uses as little sugar as possible and wouldn’t dream of incorporating preservatives, concentrates or artificial flavourings. The drinks are made, bottled and packed in a converted sawmill in the village of Barrow Gurney in Somerset. Choose from sparkling elderflower and rose, sparkling elderflower pressé or ginger beer or the traditional sparkling dandelion and burdock.
The South West is famous for its scrumpy and a mention of the region wouldn’t be complete without an introduction to Yarde Cider, a small family business based on the edge of the River Dart, South Devon. Yard cider brandy, apple juice and elderflower cordial are all made from hand-picked apples from local orchards with a low nitrogen soil allowing a slow fermentation. All products are made within a two mile radius of the company’s headquarters.
Finally, there is a treat for tea lovers. Tregothan Tea, English Tea from Cornwall offering an assortment of teas, was the first company to grow the tea genus in the UK over 200 years ago. With 14 teas in the collection, the teas are served as far as Claridges and Fortnum & Mason’s in London.
For drinks, AC Services believes the message is clear South West drinks producers supply the widest possible choice of locally sourced drinks