Glasses of light and dark beer on a pub background.

South West beer businesses named among the UK’s best

A crafty lot

The users of Ratebeer.com (think IMDB but for brews) have spoken, handing awards to some of our fave local beer businesses.

Independent Spirit of Bath continues its five-year winning streak, winning Best Bottle Shop in Somerset. On the win, owner Chris Scullion said, “It’s an honour to once again be recognised by beer fans for our range and as part of the beer community. As we celebrate our seventh birthday it’s great to be able to look back at the impact we seem to have made on the Somerset beer scene and the great bars and breweries that make it what it is.”

Elsewhere, Wild Beer Co scooped Best Brewer and Best Beer for Wildebeest, an imperial stout that packs big chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavours. Best New Brewer in Somerset went to Yonder Brewing and Blending, a relatively unknown operation, but one tipped by Independent Spirit owner Chris Scullion to make it big (there might be some left in the shop if you get down there pronto). 

Yonder brewers Stuart Winstone and Jasper Tupman’s latest seasonal beer is Loop, which is brewed and aged in oak barrels then blended with whatever wild seasonal ingredients are forageable at that time. Ballsy tactic.

Bath’s pubs also enjoyed success in with the Royal Oak winning Best Brewpub in Somerset and The Raven winning Best Bar in the Somerset category, while the Deya Brewing Company won Best Brewer Tap Room in Gloucestershire. In Bristol, the ever-popular Small Bar picked up Best Bar in Gloucestershire. (No, not a typo.)

We’ll forgive the artistic interpretation of county borders and congratulate all those who topped their categories. Cheers to that!