Tarka Four has just been named the UK’s ‘Best Regional Session Lager’ at SIBA’s (Society of Independent Brewers) 2019 National Independent Beer Awards.
24 hours later it then won the national ‘Gold Award for Session Lagers & Pilsners up to 4.4%’ – an amazing double that officially makes it the best session lager in the UK!
Following last year’s success at the same awards when Tarka Pure (4.8%) was named best in the UK after winning Gold in the ‘Premium Lager and Pilsners’ class, this takes Devon lager and all our dreams to a different level.
Tarka Four launched at the beginning of March 2018 and has already gained a lot of traction on bars across the South West. It’s been specifically designed for local pubs, clubs, hotels and music venues who want to offer a local alternative to the global beer brands and means that drinkers can now enjoy a couple of pints that have been made right here in Devon.
The beautiful Cherry Hinton Hall site has hosted the Cambridge Folk Festival since 1965 – this is now our fourth consecutive year of supplying beer (and on-site support) to them.
Otter Amber, Ale, Bitter and Bright will all be making the journey upstream for the famous 4-day event which attracts a host of national and international musicians and a sell-out crowd of some 14,000.
With our beers now well established on the busy UK festival circuit we already provide the cask ale infrastructure for the festival bars at Reading, Download, Bestival and Beautiful Days. Sophie Channon, Development Manager for Cambridge Live commented: “To this day the Festival shares much of the same philosophy from the early days, though it has never stopped moving forward and developing, incorporating new ideas and features. Otter with their impressive eco credentials, community spirit and superb beers were the natural fit for us. Here’s to a great festival and plenty of contented revellers.”
We’re very happy to be on board with this beer and music lovers paradise again and can’t wait for the summer to roll around.
Buy ticketes here: https://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/folk-festival/tickets
The brewery is pleased to announce that we’re one of this season’s 2018/19 Exeter Chiefs Foundation XV members.
Lining up with 15 other prominent Exeter-based businesses including South West Comms, Lympstone Manor, Mercure Southgate, Barratt Homes and Astley Media, for us it’s a natural progression of the long-standing relationship that we enjoy with the rugby club.
As part of our commitment we will be donating £150 from every home game which will go to help assist the work done by the Exeter Chiefs Foundation and all the affiliated charities, local organisations and projects that it supports. To date Foundation XV members have raised in excess of £130,000, £40,000 of this in the last season alone.
It’s great to be a part of such an ongoing success story as we share so many of the same values as the 2017 Premiership Champions. Sandy Park is also a home-from-home for us most weekends as Derek Otter helps to keep fans entertained at half-time.
For more information on the Foundation click here
Otter is proud to again be at the forefront of raising money for the Poppy Appeal as the country marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1.
In this our 9th year of supporting The Royal British Legion, we’re encouraging real ale fans across the region to raise a glass for the charity – every little drop will raise cash for those wonderful beneficiaries that the Poppy Appeal looks after.
We have a long-standing tradition of donating 5p from every pint of Poppy Otter sold in pubs throughout Devon, Dorset and Somerset during November and December. This has so far raised more than £12,000.
Carole Arnold, Community Fund Raiser for The Royal British Legion: “This Poppy Appeal, The Royal British Legion is leading the Nation in saying ‘Thank You’ to the First World War generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world. On behalf of Devon Poppy Appeal, I would like to thank Otter Brewery for once again choosing to help support us. The money they raise will make it possible for us to provide much-needed help and support to the many thousands of Serving and ex-Service men and women who call on us in their hour of need.”
Beer is definitely in the blood and there’s a history of brewing going back at least five generations on Mum’s side of the family. But we’re also a forward thinking business with innovation a key driver. Somehow it’s now been ten years since we dug down and the UK’s first eco cellar went up.
With a design that was both respectful to the environment around it and transformative to the backs of our workers, now that we’ve really bonded….. through deep snow, torrential rain and a couple of endless summers, it’s striking how future-proof the cellar still feels today.
Constructed over two years, half of it cleverly sits half underground and is built from honeycomb clay blocks more commonly used in the Alps. From concept to completion, by trapping the sun’s light and heat and building down rather than up, its construction is a testament to intelligent eco design in the 21st century – in the summer months the living sedum roof looks like a Swiss hillside!
With an almost cathedral-like quality it can comfortably hold over 5,000 casks and has all the properties of an ice store in the middle ages. Crowning the upper level is a living sedum roof which recycles rain water without us even knowing it. By going underground we can cleverly use the earth’s core temperature to naturally cool the lower level area to 12°C – the ideal storage temperature for cask ale. A set of inner and outer airtight doors ensures this is maintained throughout the year and really ratchets up its eco credentials.
This infrastructure replaces the need to have 8 chillers and compressors, running 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year – this saves over £27,000 (or around 6½ tonnes of CO2 emissions) per year and helped it win ‘Eco Building of the Year’ at the South West’s 2010 Commercial Property Awards.
Sure, we cannot single handedly save the plant, but we can set an example to others and demonstrate how processes can be managed ecologically and sustainably – the cellar is just one of a long list of green initiatives that you’ll see across our brewery.
The Brewery is proud to once again be a main sponsor of Ottery’s Tar Barrels as the town gets ready to put on another huge visual spectacle.
Every year on November 5th the world famous ‘Flaming Tar Barrels’ are carried through the streets of Ottery St Mary to the delight of thousands of townsfolk and visitors. Much of the behind-the-scenes work in organising everything is overseen by Mike and Jacqui Down, Landlords of The Volunteer Inn and two of the town’s ‘rolling’ veterans.
This year’s event has been the most challenging yet to organise. To cover all the necessary insurance, security, toilet hire and car park lighting, a minimum of £30,000 has to be raised. This is done entirely by the local community throughout the year via communal activities and individual endeavours. Several new developments for 2018 will see the addition of two official outside bars – one at the main bonfire site and one at the Catholic Church – to streamline how refreshments are sold. A reusable cup is also being introduced for the first time to help reduce waste and make the event safer.
Mike explains: “Even though the Tar Barrels has become its own entity and draws in thousands of visitors, every year the paperwork increases and it becomes more difficult to pull off. The town has really gone above and beyond again to help with the fundraising – from sponsored bike rides and long-distance runs to special themed nights in the various pubs. With our position on the committee, Jacqui and I try to help the event move with the times. This year we’ve introduced reusable plastic glasses which will massively reduce litter, reduce trip hazards and save money. Crowd safety is paramount. We also want to safeguard this event for future generations – we both ‘barrel roll’ as do our two sons. The new outside bars that are being run under the umbrella of Ottery Carnival will really help the money generated on the night to stay in the town and then help with the following year.”
This tradition is hundreds of years old and the village of Ottery St Mary is right on our doorstep. As part of our work to help support the local community and its pubs we’re proud to be on board once again this year – we think events like this should be preserved. We’ve also brewed an official beer for the event – Flaming Ale – that will be available in local pubs.
After 25 years of producing our range of traditional cask ales we wanted to set ourselves a new challenge – to develop and launch Devon’s first premium lager.
That was back in 2013. The success of Tarka Lager (4.8%) following its launch in 2015 proved that Devon drinkers would be receptive to a locally made, premium lager that had provenance and integrity. Earlier this year, it was named best in the UK after winning Gold in the ‘Premium Lager and Pilsners’ class at SIBA’s National Independent Beer Awards. What a night that was! Now 3 years on, we find ourselves with a new 4% ‘session’ lager in the Otter stable.
After 18 months in development, Tarka Four launched to the trade at the beginning of March. It’s specifically been designed for local pubs, clubs, hotels and music venues and extends our commitment to supporting landlords by offering them something a bit different that is also rich in provenance.
This summer was definitely lager weather and so far the reception from local drinkers has exceeded all our expectations. England’s run at the World Cup coupled with Tarka Four being on the bar at Beautiful Days, Chagstock, Port Eliot, Exeter Beats, Smoked & Uncut and Sidmouth Folk Festival all undoubtedly helped it win over even more fans along the way.
So thanks for all the support so far – we’re glad you love it as much as we do.
The Landlord’s take:
“Who’d have thought it? A local lager that’s so good it’s loved by everyone. Tarka Four has put Devon on the lager map and now outsells our major brands. It’s full flavoured – a massive hit with the holidaymakers and a must-have for our regulars. As Landlords, having a Devon lager on tap means we’re able to offer something different and also something that has a real provenance and quality behind it.”
Dave & Debbie Beechey, Two Mile Oak Inn near Newton Abbot, Devon.
Our full cask line up (aka ‘The Famous Five’) will be available at this weekend’s Abbfest in South Devon.
Held every September since 2004 behind Fermoy’s Garden Centre, Ipplepen, this is another extremely well-supported beer festival that keeps going from strength to strength.
Otter Bitter, Amber, Bright, Ale, Head as well as our seasonal special for the Royal British Legion ‘Poppy Otter’ will be joining around 200 other local beers and ciders on the bar.
The driving force behind the festival is to raise money for the local community, charities & good causes including: Rowcroft Hospice, South Devon Samaritans, McMillan Cancer Care, Devon Air Ambulance, Abbotskerswell Primary School, Denbury Football Club and many more.
Over £220,000 has been raised in the last 14 years and it’s great to be a part of that.
For more info & how to get there please visit: https://www.abbfest.org/
Autumn’s here and so is the next in our tasty new range of seasonal specials made using different hops from around the globe.
With the cooler weather and shorter evenings in mind, for ‘Oregon Fall’ Head Brewer Keith has used American hops to deliver a rich russet brown beer with hints of fruit and spice.
We think it will make a great addition to any bar and should slip down nicely whilst providing that extra bit of warmth we all crave. Available through September, October and into early November.
Call us on 01404 891285 to add it to your normal order.
Despite a long list of music festivals (and the odd cricket match) to help keep us entertained over the summer months, nothing beats the return of Premiership rugby to Devon in early September.
Sandy Park is a home-from-home for us. Many a pint of Hiawotter has been raised (and spilt!) as Henry Slade, Jack Nowell and co dive over the line before Steeno’s boot invariably adds the extra points.
Back in May the Chiefs lost in a close final to Saracens. The season before we were again at Twickenham but this time watching the boys being crowned Premiership Champions of England. In 2016 they were also finalists – so that’s 3 finals in 3 years, not bad. This year after a juicy opener on home turf against Leicester and a difficult away trip to Wasps they’ve made another solid start scoring maximum points along the way. Having only been in rugby’s top flight for a relatively short amount of time, as successful promotion stories go the Chiefs’ one is right up there.
As this pre-season came to an end, Derek the Otter was still a little off his target weight but training hard and back on the fish. His ‘Benny Hill’ antics at Sandy Park attract everyone and anyone who has dreamed of slotting the ball through the posts or just taking down a well-built otter in front of a full house. The crowd love it and so do we. These half-time fun and games have established themselves as a real fixture at every home game and each year we try to ‘evolve’ things a little more….. the chance to get muddy and win free beer never seems to lose its appeal!
Here’s to another tasty season boys.