As producers of some of the region’s most renowned digestible delights, Cornwall’s reputation as somewhere special to tuck into some top-notch grub and sink a tasty tipple continues to gain momentum.
Though I’m more of a champagne-quaffing lady than a beer-swilling maid, my authority on Cornwall’s real ale culture mostly emerges from other (highly reliable) sources; and I’ve conducted lengthy research on the subject over the years by both observation and debate in my quest for understanding the various behaviours of certain people, along with why drinking beer in general is such a popular pastime.
It still eludes me why you have to forcibly ‘acquire’ the taste over a period of time rather than instantly enjoy it, since hardly anyone I’ve asked has claimed to thoroughly appreciate their first pint, but it transpires that persistence truly is key in successfully establishing and developing your beer-drinking palate.
I’ve swilled, quizzed and market-researched my way around Cornwall’s popular ale scene in order to deliver what appears to largely be the top five offerings thus far…
Endless IPA – Black Rock Brewing, Falmouth
The 3.8% session IPA, I’m told, has a real zing to it courtesy of a decent dose of CITRA® hops. The flavour and aroma of the 2015 offering make it a highly swillable addition to any occasion, and is made in small batches along with their other core range at their Falmouth brewhouse (which also handily hosts a pop-up Saturday beer/coffee shop).
Also try: Black IPA, Black Rock Deep and Black Rock Pale
Tribute – St Austell Brewery
One of the UK’s fastest growing cask ale brands, Tribute continues to raise glasses throughout the southwest and beyond. The 4.2% pale ale is light, hoppy and full of fresh flavour. Fusing an orange and grapefruit taste with Cornish Gold and Maris Otter Pale malt, it’s the balance of bitter and sweet that confirms it as one of Cornwall’s most-wanted pints.
Also try: Menu Dhu six malt Cornish stout, Korev, Cornish Best and St Austell IPA.
Doom Bar – Sharp’s Brewery
A multiple-award-winning 4% amber ale, Doom Bar is the number one cask ale in the UK. Fusing sweet malt and delicate roasted nuts for a resounding fruitiness and caramel flavoured finish; Doom Bar is all about the fine balance and plenty of body.
Also try: Atlantic, Wolf Rock, Coaster and Cornish Pilsner
Boilers Golden Cornish Ale – St. Ives Brewery
The independent microbrewery’s flagship session ale, Boilers Golden Cornish Ale is a 4% easy-drinking little number boasting a sense-stirring hop aroma and fruity flavour. All of the ales are handcrafted using Cornish spring water, malted barley, English and European hops and a fine English ale yeast for premium, rich-tasting results.
Also try: Cornish Golden Lager, Knill By Mouth Cornish Pale Ale and The Artist’s Pint
Betty Stogs – Skinner’s Brewery
Gold winner of Champion Beer of Britain Awards for the Campaign For Real Ale’s Best Bitter category, Betty Stogs is a definite crowd pleaser. Skinner’s ‘Queen of Ales’ and best-selling beer is a 4.0%, easy-drinking cooper ale that combines citrus hops and malt with a slow-developing bitter finish.
Also try: Cornish Knocker, Cornish Trawler, Heligan Honey, River Cottage EPA and Lushingtons
Browse all our holiday cottages in Cornwall >