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Update: Postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, hopefully the event will be held 24th, 25th, 26th September 2020.
One of my favourite festivals, mainly because it really is all about the beer, the selection is crazy and even the hard-core drinkers would struggle to try one of each of the almost 300 available. It’s also the cheapest beer festival around at only a fiver entry, which includes a proper glass half pint tankard, not a plastic glass like most festivals. Though with a half pint, you can’t get the added bonus of receiving that little bit extra in your glass. Always ask to try a little bit first and don’t be afraid to try 3 or 4 before you settle on one.
I do have a few favourite beers, St Austell Big Job and Devonshire 10’der, which you do have to be careful with as it’s really easy to drink, almost like a session beer, but at 10% you’ll be hammered very soon. Stonehenge’s Sign of Spring always goes down well and there is no mistaking what your drinking as it comes bright green!
I have been on both Friday & Saturday for a few years now and I would say Friday is probably the better day. However it is split into two, everyone is kicked out come 5pm and if you want to re-enter you have to pay the more expensive £7 re entry fee, this is to help pay for the evening’s entertainment.
They really ought to offer an all day entry fee for a tenner or something, to encourage those of us back after being kicked out. We usually just head on into town and don’t bother to return. For 2019 they have now added an all day Friday ticket for £10, hurrah. Like Saturdays from previous years you should be given a wristband that will grant you re-entry if you choose to leave.
Saturday they do tend to run out of many of the beers especially the winners from Thursdays competition, there is some entertainment with numerous bands playing to keep you entertained and it’s just £5 entry for all day with free re-entry with your wristbands until 10pm. For 2019 they have promised to hold back extra barrels of the winners for each day so if you’re in for the start you still get to try the best.
Not many people realise that they don’t mind you taking in your own food or a picnic. Some this year had their entire table covered in food bringing with them a whole chicken, baguette the works 😂. We took in a few of our own snacks this year and my girlfriend took a bottle of wine, as she’s not all to keen on the ale bless her.
Next years dates are Thursday 16th – Saturday 18th April 2020.
For 2019 the festival will be run entirely under marquee located on the green outside the old Tuckers Maltings.
Tuckers Maltings was founded by Parnell Tucker and work began on its construction in January 1900 and it officially opened for business on Monday the 5th November 1900. Before sadly closing in 2018, It was one of only four malt houses in the country which still produced malt in the traditional manner, supplying over 30 breweries in the south west.
The festival runs over 4 days starting on the Thursday competition day. This is when all the beers fight for the best beer of the year awards and is also broken down into categories, so you have amber, gold, brown, dark and even speciality beers. The beers come from breweries all over the south west of England from Bristol, Channel Isles, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire.
Tucker’s Maltings was the venue for the very first regional beer festival and competition. There were 67 beers at the first festival back in 1993 and this increased year by year until there were more than 300. However it became clear that the more beers there were, the less space there was for customers so the number was limited to around 280.
The festival has always been run on a voluntary basis by the brewers, with great help from CAMRA, and provided there are always enough volunteers the future looks good for the festival to continue for many years to come.
No children should be in the bar area and that they must not be anywhere on site after 8pm; therefore in respect of children, they will be allowed in without an entrance fee before 8pm; they must be accompanied by an adult at all times and have come through the entrance to get a wristband, a contact phone number to be written on the wrist band. They must not approach the bar and sit in the area away from the bar (towards the stage) or in the grassed area immediately surrounding the main marquees.
Dogs will be allowed in on leads, a contact phone number must be on their collar. They should not be taken to the bar since they could be a trip hazard.
Reserve the right to ask any who misbehave to leave along with those who accompany them
- All weather family marque.
- T-shirts available, including ladies sizes.
The previous overall champions of the competition. I could only find info dating back to 2006, if anyone knows of any more past winners please comment below.
|Overall Champion of the Cask Beer Awards|
|2019||Palmers Brewery||Tally Ho
|2018||Dorset Brewing Company||Jurassic Dark
|2016||St Austell Brewery
|2015||Plain Ales Brewery Ltd||Inncognito||4.8|
|2014||Quantock Brewery||Wills Neck||4.3|
|2013||Hunters Brewery||Royal Hunt||5.5|
|2009||RCH||East Street Cream||5.0|
|2008||Skinner’s Brewing Co Ltd||Cornish Knocker Ale||4.5|
|2007||St Austell Brewery||Tribute||4.2|
There are 2 Friday sessions with separate ticket & wrist bands per session. The festival area will be vacated between sessions.
- Thursday 5pm-11pm, £5 per ticket.
- Friday 11am-5pm, £5 per ticket.
- Friday 6pm-11pm, £7 per ticket.
- Friday All Day, £10 per ticket. New for 2019
- Saturday 11am-10pm, £5 per ticket. (note earlier finish)
All tickets to be purchased on the door.
- £1 reduction for CAMRA members or own glass.
- Cash only, no cards.
- £6 for 10 half pint tokens. (Refundable for £1 each).
There are around 280 beers to choose from that have been brewed throughout the South West of the UK.
- £6 for 10 half pint tokens. (Refundable for £1 each)
- All the beers are colour coded into beer types.
- Tip: Don’t worry if you’re not keen on beer, you can always head to the Tap House where they have wines, ciders, gins, vodka, lagers and soft drinks available.
There are a few choices at the festival, but you can easily head into town as it’s not far to grab a bite. You can even take in your own food and drink if you like.
- Pork Rolls & Crackling
- Hot dogs
- Handmade Ice Cream
- Train: This is the way I usually come, the station is only a 2 minute walk around the corner. It cost me £3.30 for off-peak return with group save discount from Paignton.
- Car: Parking is very limited, Osborne car park is right next to the festival, but this is 3 hours max during daytime hours. I would suggest parking around Brunel estate Collet Way, TQ12 4PH. This is free leaving with a short 10 minute walk.
- Bus: Depending on your direction, you’ll want to get off at the bus stop nearest the train station or Avenue Church, just a 2 minute walk from there. Both stops are on the No. 12 route.
- £1 reduction for CAMRA members or own glass.
- Cash only, no cards.
- £6 for 10 half pint tokens (Refundable for £1 each)
- Always ask to try a little bit first and don’t be afraid to try 3 or 4 before you settle on one.
- No children should be in the bar area and that they must not be anywhere on site after 8pm.
- From 2019 Dogs will be allowed in on leads, a contact phone number must be on their collar. They should not be taken to the bar since they could be a trip hazard.
No Dogs allowed (except guide dogs).
- Take a chair with you as there are limiting seats available.
- Some people take their own food and enjoy picnic on a table or the grass.
- If you’re not keen on the beer, you can go into the Tap House where you can buy ciders, gin, wine, lager and soft drinks etc.
- If you’re not keen on the food, then you can head into town for a pub lunch or take away etc. As long as you have your wristband you can get back in.
- There are 2 Friday sessions with a separate ticket & wrist bands per session. The festival area is vacated between sessions. (From 2019 you can purchase an all day wristband for both sessions)
- Dates for 2020 will be Thursday 16th April – Saturday 18th April 2020.
- For more info go to tuckersmaltings.co.uk or themaltingstaphouse.co.uk or facebook.