It’s National Beer Day!

It’s National Beer Day or Beer Day Britain, an annual celebration of our national drink from traditional real ales and mainstream lagers to craft beer and small scale brewing, this day celebrates beer in all its wonderful forms.

In 2020 there were a record number of breweries in the UK with over 3000 being registered, since then numbers have continued to increase despite, or perhaps because of, the Covid-19 pandemic with more people than ever turning to brewing as a career. Britain has always been a producer of fantastic beers and recently with the increase in micro and craft breweries combined with new and innovative techniques and a fresh approach to flavours and methods, the brewing scene shows no sign of slowing.

We recently started stocking a variety of locally brewed beers and today seems as good a day as any to showcase these and their wonderful producers.

HANLONS BREWERY

Hanlons are a family owned craft brewery based in the beautiful mid-Devon countryside. They use the best quality barley and hops and water from the rolling Devonshire hills alongside innovative brewing processes to create an extensive range of beers.

Yellow Hammer is their bestselling beer and for good reason, it is golden and zesty with an aromatic pineapple and banana fruitiness and a delicate hoppy finish.

Port Stout is a dark chestnut beer with bitter chocolate and dark malt flavours courtesy of the roast barley with the addition of soft fruitiness from rich Ruby Port. Definitely one to try with a creamy blue cheese.

Stormstay Ale is a dark amber beer with toffee and biscuit flavours and hints of tangerine, the late addition of citrus hops cuts through the sweetness creating a wonderfully balanced ale.

BAYS BREWERY

Bays Brewery was established in March 2007 by founders Will Freeland, Mark Salmon and Peter Salmon. Based in Paignton on the beautiful Torbay coast the team produce a range of traditional ales as well as craft bottles and ciders using the finest local ingredients whilst supporting the community and protecting the environment.

Gold is head brewer Will’s favourite and Bays’ biggest seller, a light golden ale this is an easy drinking option with citrus lemon overtones.

Devon Dumpling is a strong golden beer with a smooth taste and well balanced flavour. The characterful hops make this a pleasure to drink and a proper Devon beer.

Devon Rock is a craft lager brewed with specially selected hops and local malt resulting in a flavoursome lager with a crisp, refreshing twist.

These beers are all available in individual bottles and cases, and for this week all beer is available with 10% off! Visit our Facebook page via the link below for the code or click here to view our entire range of beers, spirits, wine and cider.

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Three of the Best Farm Shops to Visit this Spring

The weather is improving, Covid restrictions are easing and we’re all itching to get out of the houses we’ve been stuck in for more than a year so what better first step back to normality than a farm shop? Bursting with home grown fruit and vegetables, local cheese and meat counters, home made gifts from small scale producers, onsite cafes with alfresco dining, play areas for the kids and in some cases roaming animals to chase (kidding, obviously), farm shops offer a unique day out full of opportunity. Here we highlight three great local farm shops to visit this spring.

THORNES FARM SHOP

Let’s start with Thornes Farm Shop. Located just outside Crediton Thorne Farm has been owned by Anthony Thorne since 1986 but it wasn’t until the early 90’s, when locals began asking to buy produce directly, that the idea to open a shop arose. Opened in 1992, the shop specialises in home grown fresh produce straight from the fields as well as locally baked bread and pies, meats, local cheeses and chutneys, local wines, spirits and of course cider. Thornes has also become known for its ‘Pick Your Own’ fields where, as the name suggests, customers can pick their own produce to take home – we can’t wait to pick our own strawberries there later this year. Visit https://www.thornesfarmshop.co.uk/ for opening times and more info.

EXE VALLEY FARM SHOP

Exe Valley Farm Shop in Thorverton just outside of Exeter has been owned and run by the May family since 1990. The shop underwent an extensive renovation three years ago when the shop was extended to almost three times the size and a new butchery counter installed as well as refurbishment of the Ruby Red Cafe. The dedicated butchery counter specialises in livestock bred on the farm while the farm shop itself sources a majority of local products from surrounding producers including cheeses, sliced and cured meats and locally smoked fish as well as a variety of dips and salads. All of the farm’s own Ruby Red cattle, beef, lamb, pork and potatoes are also available from the cafe menu which features a range of breakfasts, burgers and jacket potatoes as well as sandwiches and soups – something for even the pickiest eater. There is plenty of outside seating to adhere to current Covid restrictions and plenty of space for the kids to let off some steam, for more info visit https://exevalleyfarmshop.co.uk/ .

HALBERTON COURT FARM SHOP

Halberton Court Farm Shop was originally established in 2001 by the Stevens family selling home grown vegetables from an honesty box at the end of the road. By 2007 the business had expanded dramatically and the time had come to invest in a larger shop and an onsite cafe. Today the farm shop stocks a range of home grown fruit and vegetables as well as locally sourced creams, yogurts and cheeses, fresh meat and pies and pasties as well as locally sourced wines, beer, cider and spirits. Following the slight easing of Covid restrictions Halberton’s onsite cafe The Swans Neck Cafe is now open for takeaway treats to enjoy in the sunny garden (weather permitting of course!), visit http://www.halbertoncourtfarmshop.co.uk/index.htm#top for more info.

These farm shops epitomise one of our core business mantras ‘support local’. With the year we’ve all just experienced it’s more important than ever to support your local small business. Most went above and beyond for their customers both old and new during the lockdown(s) and we hope that many of these new found customers will continue to enjoy the benefits of shopping at their local farm shop.

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