Today is one of those great days when your local has five excellent beers – three from Devon and two from Cornwall. The two best beers, in my view, were from Newton Abbot, and that’s not just me being biased (although I probably am!). The Union in Newton Abbot usually has a good selection of beers, but this was exceptional, and something you will not see anywhere else in the country, which of course is a good reason to travel to another town or city. Too often we visit places and end up with bland national beers and food that give no sense of place or difference.
Clearly, in the south west we like our beers strong and full bodied; a pub in Leicester or Leeds might well have a good selection of local beers, but they will often be around 3-4%. In Devon it is rare to find beers lower than 4%, with 4-5% being much more common. There is nothing wrong with Leicester or Leeds or Newton Abbot – I’ve had very good beer in all of them. But our taste is for the more fortified varieties, which makes us different, which is a good thing.
Anyway! Both Teignworthy beers were excellent – five stars. The Pumpkin Ale at 5.2% is very rich and tasty without being clawing, and is brewed for Halloween. Likewise, Climate Change is a seasonal beer at 5% and very enjoyable; I wish they’d brew this more often though – waiting for October is just too much. I apologise for the very poor quality photograph; I’d already had a few beers and the iPhone 4 camera is not up to indoor photography.