Somerset is particularly well known for its cider, of which there are many fantastic producers. However, there are also over twenty craft breweries within the county, creating delicious real ales and unusual craft beers.
Set up in 1978, this is one of the older craft breweries within Somerset and it helped paved the way for many more in later years. For the first 21 years, they brewed just one type of beer – Butcombe Bitter – which has become something of an icon. It’s grown considerably since the early days and is capable of producing 85 barrels. They also own a number of pubs throughout Somerset. Their range has widened considerably and nowadays they offer a mixture of classic English bitters and more intense modern alternatives as well as styles from around the world.
Black Bear Brewery
Down at the bottom of the garden at the Bear Inn, Wiveliscombe, is the tiny Black Bear Brewery. They produce a small range of finely crafted, well balanced ales. The locals favourite, Black Bear Bitter, is an easy drinking, malty brown ale. Their ales are always on tap at the Bear, and are slowly spreading out to more pubs in the area.
Wild Beer Co
The guys at Wild Beer do things slightly differently to most British craft brewers. With a love of fermentation, barrel aging and flavor, they use a strain of wild yeast, borrowed from a local cider farm, to create a range of unique beers. With flavors foraged from the wild, their range encompasses anything from sour lambics, to mushroom flavored ales and everything in between. They’re fast becoming one of the UK’s leading craft beer brewers.
Secret Orchard Cider
Made from the juice of 100% Exmoor apples and fermented with wild yeasts, the cider from Secret Orchard is sure to excite the palate. They produce small batches, each lovingly crafted and blended to create a range of outstanding ciders.