In 2019 Cotleigh Brewery will be celebrating its 40th anniversary and in the words of owner Stephen Heptinstall ‘we intend to be here for another 40 years.
At the heart of our mission is to make the best beer we can.
Originally founded in a farmhouse over the border in Devon, the brewery moved to its current home of Wiveliscombe in 1980 and its first ever beer Tawny Owl remains a popular beer throughout the county. ‘The first pub we sold to was the Mason's Arms in Knowstone,’ says Heptinstall. ‘It is now a Michelin Star restaurant but we have been there without interruption for 40 years and Tawny is the only real ale sold there.’
In the brewhouse, whole head hops are used, while the yeast is changed twice a year to keep it in excellent condition. Brewing staff are also sent on courses regularly to find out the latest ideas and trends, while in the rare occurrence of a beer being less than perfect it is tipped away. ‘In the current environment,’ says Heptinstall, ‘only a top quality beer will give our sales people the confidence to build a great relationship with their customers, which is why pubs see Cotleigh as a “go to guest beer” — i.e. quality, consistency and a name that consumers recognise as being synonymous with craft quality.’