Bude Brewery, Haven
Bude Brewery began life in 2011 as Frys Brewery in Launceston on the Devon / Cornwall border. Founded by three friends who wanted to make traditional beers for the local pubs and bars. Beers that would capture some of the local landscape and be true to that well known independent Cornish spirit. The only problem was that some of the beers were a bit, well… boring.
Then in 2014 the brewery relocated and established itself considerably further west in the picture postcard seaside town of Bude. With their new name came a new head brewer, Liam Cook, and a renewed commitment to making traditional local beers. Only this time the beers would have a nod towards the bigger, bolder flavours that were becoming the norm within the UK’s craft beer scene.
But life isn’t all tap takeovers of trendy bars, barrel aged stouts or collaborations with uber cool American craft brewers. Nosirree, making a living as a small independent brewer is hard work in the face of closing pubs and, in places like Cornwall, seasonal trade. In the early part of 2016 Bude Brewery were struggling to meet the challenges of demand and consistency with their existing equipment and it looked like their days were numbered.
Thankfully that spirit of Cornish independence and fierce localism held out during these difficult times. Under the direction of Thomas Rooke as their new Managing Director Bude Brewery were able to find interest and investment enough to relaunch the brewery earlier this year.
Since then there’s definitely been a change in appearance with a more contemporary feel to the branding and a decidedly more noticeable social media presence. But this isn’t at the expense of forgetting their local roots. The beers continue to be crafted with reference to the characteristics of the local landmarks they are named after. These include BlackRock with a bold dark chocolate notes or SummerLeaze with a decidedly light and hoppy summer feel to it (and a shark on the bottle!). Liam has had his work cut out to keep the beers updated too.
This week’s beer, Haven takes its name from Budehaven (ie. Bude) and is one of the original beers from the Bude range. But much like the brewery, this beer has gone through some changes. under Liam’s charge. Taking a traditional amber or red ale and tweaking it with some classic US hops. It’s the sort of beer that won’t offend the locals but might just surprise those folk on there holidays who were expecting a boring brown beer when drinking outside of the metropolis.
We asked Thomas if they got much chance to surf and live up to the stereotypical Cornish lifestyle now that the brewery was back in action.
“We Wish!!! Sadly we don’t get the chance to surf as we are so busy! Cornwall is very laid back though sadly we don’t get the chance to take full advantage of it!”. Their online shop sells beach balls and there are plenty of pictures of the beach on their Instagram feed. Just saying.