Pints and Pubs reported on yet more new brewery activity in my home town this week.

And of course, you can never have too many breweries, as they show the strength of our Campaign in 2017.  As the CAMRA press release says,

“Festival-goers have witnessed nearly a tenfold increase in the number of independent breweries operating in the UK, from 171 to 1,540 today

Pub Curmudgeon notes our success, trumpeted by all (except Marble) at the GBBF and GBG launch.

Until you can’t get your beer into any local chain pubs, free houses or Spoons because there’s just too much bewildering choice (and the opposition are cheaper). A lack of availability Boak and Bailey allude to here;

To illustrate the “success” of our brewery explosion, I give you Wiveliscombe.  In a town of less than 3,000,we have four breweries, two pubs, and one GBG entry.

Those four are Exmoor, Cotleigh, Black Bear and Tanners. Two you’ll know, the others I didn’t. Because they’re brew pubs, of course.

My son Matthew has a friend in Bridgwater, which gives us an excuse to pop down to Somerset we hardly need.  The views of the Quantocks from Enmore almost make up for the dismal Bridgwater pub scene.

You’re in real Somerset when you get to places called Wiveliscombe.


You can walk the bounds in ten minutes if you like visiting breweries.

Wive 2

But you need a little longer to appreciate some attractive architecture and a tribute to this great imbiber.





The Bear looks the part, and with 10.30am opening meets most of my criteria for a proper pub. Apart from the scaffolding.


Inside it’s all classic Somerset boozer. But a hefty cask range of their own home-brew looks ambitious.


And the stock beer (Grizzly, NBSS 1.5) is the sort you’d take back in a Spoons but wouldn’t make a fuss over in a rural pub full of locals.  You can probably assess the quality yourself from the photo.


Nice Otter glass, of course, and good banter from a group of retired blokes on Thatchers, mostly about ancient Glasto trips to see the Kinks.

Ray Davies wrote a song about me, you know.”

They seek him here, they seek him there“.

OK, I’ve heard better too.

Oddly, the soundtrack was the sort of alternative Americana I get at the End of the Road.

I was glad I’d resisted taking a half back when I saw where they stick complainers. Outside loos, stocks AND a brewery !


An elegant brewery, at that.


It was certainly a lively looking drinking town, though the best tiling was reserved for the butchers, one of a number of proper shops (no Quinoa salad though).


A walk down the narrow streets to the east of town takes you to some very basic brewery shops for Cotleigh and Exmoor.


Sadly, Cotleigh was unable to provide a bottle of 8% IPA for Mrs RM; a gap in the range perhaps ?




  1. Outdoor toilets and vintage buses make a winning combination. Two new brewpubs to me there too- forward thinking on your part. Brewpubs are a great way of ensuring they have an outlet for their own beer but too often disappoint in beer quality.


  2. The common failing of homebrew pubs is brewing a range of eight often very similar beers and having all of them on sale in their pub. They ought to look at how Ma Pardoe’s and the All Nationas used to do it 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d forgot the All Nations with their lone beer (I think),drunk in vast quantities. It’s not just the cask range, of course, these pubs feel obliged to have several lagers ciders, fruit wines, coffee etc etc


  3. Keith Floyd, definitely a legend in his own lunchtime. “Just a quick slurp! ”

    The Cotleigh Brewery building reminds me of the canteen at my old Primary school. 55 years ago??

    Liked by 1 person

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