The A-Z of Cornwall, What you can expect!
Over the next few months we will be showing you an A-Z of Cornwall. It will be a selection of things to do, places to eat and everything we think you need to know about Cornwall so you don’t miss anything on your trip. Cornwall is wonderful, no one can deny it. There is so much to do in our beautiful County, it was really hard to narrow it down. Sometimes we just couldn’t as we felt that there was more than one place deserved a mention!
Today for our first blog we begin with A, keep reading below to see all the things to do! As we post about our favourite things to do, we would love for you to get involved. If you think we have missed out a location, attraction or activity that you think our others guests need to know about, send us a message and let us know! We really hope you find this series of blog posts useful when planning your trip to stay!
St Austell Brewery
The History of St Austell Brewery
St Austell Brewery was our first thought when thinking of something beginning with A. Many of our guests plan a trip to St Austell Brewery whilst they stay with us. Some book in on the tours, others go for lunch and a few take the chance to buy their favourite beer to be able to take it home with them. Whichever category you fall into, you will definitely have a good day out.
St Austell Brewery first came about in 1851 by a man called Walter Hicks. It was then known as Walter Hicks Wines and Spirits and was located on Church Street. Beers and ales were introduced to the company at a later date. Today the brewery is still independent and completely family owned even though they employ over 1000 employees all together!
What are they famous for?
Over the years the brewery has won many awards for their Beers and Ales. A few of their most well known beers, you may have heard of even if you haven’t been to Cornwall. Proper Job is a popular Cornish IPA that is brewed using Cornish spring water, Maris otter Barley and a blend of different hops. The brewery believe its the forerunner of all IPA’s in the UK and we have to agree its the perfect pint for any day.
In their pubs alone they get through around 12000 pints of it a week. Proper Job came about in 2006 and was originally brewed at 5.5% in line with the 19th century guidelines and later reduced to 4.5%. Since 2011 Proper Job has been sold in UK Supermarkets and is even being sold in Hong Kong, Australia, Madrid and many more places. So I think it is safe to say that this IPA has certainly made it’s mark!
They claimed that it took them 160 years of brewing to create Korev, have you tried it? Do you think it was worth the wait? I know that it is an extremely popular lager down here, especially as in 2015 they signed a deal to make Korev the official lager of Surfing GB. They also sponsor Luke Dillon, a local surfer who is also the current British National Open Surfing champion!
The other ale we have to mention is Tribute. This is by far there best selling ale, making up around 80% of their sales. Tribute was first brewed in 1999 to commemorate the total eclipse and was originally named Daylight Robbery. It was so popular that in 2001 they decided to re introduce it as Tribute. The new name came around due to the Brewery’s 150th anniversary and by 2002 they had already brewed their 1 millionth pint! Since the first award for Tribute in 2004 it has come a long way, winning many more awards since.
This is just a small selection of what’s brewed at St Austell’s Brewery if you head to their website, you can see their extended range if ales, lagers and small batch brews.
Tours of the Brewery
St Austell’s Brewery offers tours from Monday through to Saturday and offer two different types of tours. They are very popular with our guests and many others that are visiting Cornwall. You can pick from either the Brewing Experience Tour or the Brewhouse Tour, both of which we will go into more detail of below. The Brewing Experience takes place twice a day and the Brewhouse Tour only once.
Brewing Experience Tour
The Brewing Experience tour gives you an insight into St Austell’s Small Batch Brews. This tour takes around 90 minutes to complete. On your arrival you will be offered a welcome drink from the Small Batch Bar before the first talk begins. You will first be talked through the brewing experience and will then be shown how the Small Batch Brews have been developed over the last 3 years. St Austell’s Master Brewer, Roger Ryman, goes into more detail of their preferred hops, malts and barley and why they have been selected for the specific ales.
The tour delves further into the history of beer production and as you go through Cooper’s Workshop you will be able to test out some of the original equipment and machinery. This equipment would have been used back when St Austell Brewery first started brewing beers and when they used the method of steam brewing. After seeing the original equipment that was used, you will then be shown the Cask Racking Plant. This gives you an insight into how they prepare the beer for sales and the production process that they use today.
To end the tour you will be offered to take part in the Beer Sampling Session. This will give you the opportunity to sample up to 8 of their premium beers. Don’t worry, if this sounds like a lot you don’t have to try them all! It’s completely up to you!
The Brewhouse Tour
The Brewhouse Tour is the more in depth tour as they give you an insight into the full process of their beer from grain to glass, showing everything in between! Similar to the Brewing Experience Tour you will be welcomed with a drink and introduced to their Small Batch Brews and how they came about.
This is where the tours differences show as you will now be taken to the Victorian Brewhouse. The Victorian Brewhouse is where the magic happens and where you really get to see the ins and outs of all things Beer! They start with the mashing of the hops and carry on through the fermentation vessels and finally end at the begging plant. The tour is so informative and really opens your eyes to the efforts that go into making beer.
You will then continue with a trip down memory lane of how the beers used to be made at Coopers Workshop before making your way back to the Small Batch Bar. Here you will have the opportunity to sample 8 of their premium brews and also enjoy a delicious Cornish Pasty.
The overall consensus from our guests is that The Brewhouse Tour is definitely worth the money and is usually favoured over the slightly shorter tour. They loved having the opportunity to see the whole process of the beer as opposed to just a quick insight.
How do I get there?
There are a few options when it comes to getting to St Austell if you don’t have your own car or don’t want to drive so that you can enjoy a drink.
By far the easiest and quickest method is to get a taxi, we can arrange this for you so just let us know if you would like one booked. The other two options are either by train or bus, I will include links for both of these to enable you to plan your journey easier. If you decide to get a train you will need to change at Par. Follow the links to find a break down of times and bus numbers.