Discover great beer AT

Two Belly

The Victoria Ale House

The Pursuit of Hoppiness, Bridport

The Portcullis

The Old Firehouse

The Miner's Arms

The Hillgrove Porter Stores

The Green Man

The Cork

The (Dawkins) Brewery Tap

The Beer Cellar

Steam Packet Inn

The Pursuit of Hoppiness, Exeter

Mr Small's Cornish Taphouse

Maltings Taphouse

Little Drop Of Poison

Coffee + Beer

Cellar 59

Beer & Bird

All Hail Ale

Established
2018
beers stocked
34 in keg and cask, while there is a well-stocked fridge with cans and bottles
takeout Available
Yes

Cheese and beer are the twin passions of Lara Issa, who with her husband Dominic Pulsford opened Two Belly in 2018. As well as a pulsating selection of world class cheeses (Montgomery’s Cheddar anyone?), there are eminent examples from the world of craft beer and cider waiting to be picked from fridges, as well as a quartet of draft beers. Beer launches and tap takeovers occur, while you can sit in have a cheese and beer flight, cheese and meat boards and toasties.

On the corner it stands, next to the historic Lido (you might want to pop in for the odd pint after a refreshing dip), The Victoria Ale House is a Lilliputian gem of a pub. No food but plenty of beer and a place where you might want to contemplate your glass, a Dawkins Bristol Blonde or Best perhaps, or a guest from the likes of Good Chemistry or Ashley Down. Cheers!

Alasdair McNab set up The Pursuit of Hoppiness in the small market town of Bridport in 2016. From the start the aim was to provide a comfortable pub ambience where beer-lovers could relax and enjoy a sparkling range of craft beers as well as a well-chosen line of ciders, wines and spirits. ‘Most of our staff were customers first,’ he says, which shows the way Bridport has taken this perfect pub to its heart. There are also regular tap takeovers, meet the brewer events and a monthly beer club guided tastings with a different beer style, while tasty bar snacks such as pork pies keep hunger at bay.

Here’s a rarity, a pub that was originally a house during the time of the Georgians, but then in the 1820s it became a pub and has remained one ever since then, though when Dawkins took it over in 2007 it had been closed after its last incarnation as a bistro/wine bar. There are two drinking spaces, the main bar and an upstairs room whose walls are covered with comics; meanwhile every autumn sees a Belgian beer festival, while at other times you can drink deeply of Dawkins Bristol Blonde and Best, Exmoor Beast and Cheddar Gorge Best.

Even though The Old Firehouse might look as if it has been a pub forever, it only opened in 1986 — prior to that it had been a firehouse in the 19th century, a military recruiting office in World War II and a storage space for railway equipment. Now it’s a lively place for sampling local ales straight from the cask, whether in the cosy three-story bar or outside in the courtyard when the weather is warm.

You might be in Bristol but the name of the pub alludes to the coal and pennant stone mining that once went on in the area, while the name of the road the Miner’s Arms stands on is actually a reference to a General Mina who served with Wellington. The miners and general are long gone, but The Miner’s a solid corner pub from the 19th century, remains is a thriving outlet for Dawkins Ales such as Easton IPA and Miner’s Gold.

When it opened in the 1850s with the first licensee being one Mary Stone, the original name of this lively community pub was The Dublin Porter Stores, which gives you a clue as to what was its best-selling beverage. You’ll still find porter being sold here, alongside IPAs, stouts, pale ales and best bitters, while do take time to explore the various nooks and crannies and scan the hundreds of pump clips for past beers on the walls. Then return to your beer and enjoy.

If you’d have come to the Green Man in the early 1850s, when no doubt porter was the tipple of choice, the governor in charge would have been the wonderfully named Cornelius Meaker. Times change and Meaker has long met his maker, but the Green Man continues to thrive, a lively community pub with plenty of wood panelling and well-worn wooden floors, while at the bar you can choose from six cask beers and a selection of keg, while those with a penchant for the botanical can go for a gin, of which there are nearly 100 different varieties.

Engaging city centre pub that once upon a time was a debtors’ prison. Now though, this is a place to relax, grab some grub, hang out with friends, watch live sport or even organise your own party in one of the two party pod booths, which comes with its own TV and karaoke system. Plenty of good beers can be contemplated (the Cork is Cask Marque accredited) included those from Bristol Beer Factory, Red Cat and the Irish craft brewery White Hag.

By drinking at Dawkins’ Brewery Tap, you can get right to the heart of the place where beers such as Easton IPA and Resolution are made with some of the lowest beer miles you have ever experienced. And if the sight of all that stainless steel makes your heart race, then maybe a brewery tour should be booked, whilst looking out for regular meet the brewer events. The Brewery Tap is also on the East Bristol brewery trail, which includes four other breweries in the area.

The Beer Cellar was the first bar in Exeter to offer a choice from the vibrant craft beer scene and it continues to celebrate all things beer with a selection that includes hoppy pales, imperial stouts and sours. Various events such as meet the brewer and tap takeovers also occur, while the dedicated knowledgeable staff (all of whom have hop tattoos!) are always happy to offer advice on what to drink to those new to craft beer.

Come off the ferry from Dartmouth to Kingswear and walk a little bit up the hill and you’ll arrive at this comfortable and homely pub, painted a striking blue with its rowed of pane windows offering views over the River Dart. Inside, there’s a constantly rotating beer selection, which will include ales from South Hams, Salcombe, Dartmoor and Powderkeg, while Butcombe Bitter is the house beer. This is a place to while away time, and eat, drink and wait for the last ferry.

Two years after opening The Pursuit of Hoppiness in Bridport, Alasdair McNab turned north and opened another Pursuit in Exeter, in a row of terraced houses in what used to be a language school. Twelve months on it has become an essential stop for craft beer lovers, with its impeccable selection of beers, alongside regular beer tasting tutorials, tape takeovers and meet the brewer events, while pork pies from the butcher next door Hartnell help to keep hunger at bay.

In a bold move to bring some different beers to the people of St. Austell, Kelly Fegan opened his micropub bang in the middle of the town’s centre with the sole ambition of delivering premium Cornish beers made by small independent craft breweries across the whole of Cornwall. In fact, everything he does is unashamedly local including his food as he explains, ‘We exist to make people happier and do this by connecting our customers to premium local products delivered through excellent customer service in a comfortable, relaxing environment.’ There is a bottle shop at the back and freshly poured beers can be taken away in growlers.

Even though the historical Tuckers Maltings is now closed, the Maltings Taphouse keeps its spirit alive in part of the old building. Owned by Jonathan Webber and Richard Goodfellow and managed by Becks Connett, this is a cosy place to investigate some of the best beers in the UK and beyond. The bar is full of old photographs of both Newton Abbot and Tuckers Maltings, while the beer garden at the back looks out towards the railway station. There are also regular tap take-over events.

Fore Street is seen as Exeter’s independent shopping quarter and Little Drop of Poison is one of its highlights. Opened in 2018, where there used to be a sports bar called the Mint, this has fast become a lively hangout for craft beer fans, where events such as meet the brewer, new brewery launches and bottle shares are regularly held. There is also a good range of gins, rums, wines and cider and for aficionados of the chalked cue there is a free pool table.

Coffee + Beer as the name suggests deals with two of the most popular drinks in the UK at the moment, and is a place where you can buy speciality coffee or craft beer, while also sampling them before you make your choice. As founder Dan Williams says, ‘there are not many places where you can find top quality specialty coffee and craft beer under one roof. We want to be a friendly, approachable and engaging bottle shop that offers both quality and value for money.’

There’s a lot going on at Cellar 59, which was set up by brewery Gyle 59. Not only is there an ample range of great beers on draught and many more in bottle and can from local, national and international brewers, there are wines, selected local ciders and spirits including a house gin. Bar snacks from local producers complement the beer along with regular events. Oh and the gorgeous Jurassic Coast is on the doorstep. What are you waiting for?

Prepare to arrive thirsty and hungry at this family-run business in the centre of St Ives. Alongside an accomplished array of craft beers from the likes of Verdant, Black Flag and Cloudwater, free-range, locally-sourced fried chicken is on the menu (burgers, wings, tacos, you name it), making Beer & Bird a unique gustatory experience. Add to this wine, spirits and the company’s own cider, regular tap takeovers and an annual Oktoberfest jamboree and you have the makings of a great hen night.

Peter Hector was taking part in a run in East London in 2014 and was looking for somewhere to eat and drink; he was recommended Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick. The visit was revelatory and he decided that opening a bottle store selling great craft beer was his future. All Hail Ale is his first step on that journey, being a micro-pub selling beers from the likes of Vibrant Forest, Siren and Eight Arch, while plans for that bottle store are firmly in hand.

Buzzy and bustling bottle shop close to the Barbican, where beers can be taken away or drank at the shop where there are six rotating beers on tap; glass growlers can also be filled as the shop has a machine that can fill bottles without the beer coming into contact with air, making it stay fresh and carbonated for at least two weeks. Lots of events also occur and in 2018 the venue’s own beer festival in Plymouth had 20 of the country’s best breweries pouring their own beers.

The historic surroundings of Barnstaple’s Butchers Row is home to the Crafty Beer Shop, which was set up by Alan Gidman and Lisa Jayne Timpson in 2019. Fancy a Lost & Grounded Keller Pils? You got it. Or maybe you want to cross the Channel and take home an Orval or the iconic Franconian Rauchbier from Schlenkerla? You got that as well. Add speciality gins and rums plus regular meet the brewer events and life for North Devon craft aficionados has never been better.

There is no shop, and you won’t meet any brewers. West Country Craft is an online business, which delivers the selection of beers you have chosen to Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Cardiff and Newport postcodes. There is free delivery on orders above £25, and the focus is very much on the exemplary beers brewed in Bristol and the surrounding area, from breweries such as Tiny Rebel, Yonder and Arbor. Check the website regularly for offers and information.

Founded by James Mills in 2014 with an avowed goal of providing Truronians with a vast variety of great beers, you could say that he has succeeded, given the packed shelves on the walls of the Red Elephant Beer Cellar are lined with the likes of Verdant, Black Flag, Left Handed Giant and Westmalle. And for those with a taste for locally-produced firewater, there is also a selection of gin and rum. Connection with a wider world of brewing is provided with popular meet the brewer events.

Beercosm is the bottle shop at The Brewers Droop, a long established home-brew shop. The original founder had his own brewery and in 1997 broke the Guinness World Record for the world’s strongest beer, which was 21% and named Uncle Igor's Famous Falling Over Water. Now under new management, it’s a compact but richly stocked Aladdin’s Cave of beers, from Bristol’s ever growing craft scene, the UK and the wider world of great beer. Tasting sessions and brewing workshops are also organised.

Address
154 Fore Street, Exeter EX4 3AT
opening times
4pm - 11pm Tues - Thurs, Fri 4pm - 12am, 12pm - 12am Sat, closed Sun - Mon