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Posted by on in The Clearwater Brewery


It's Pete-G's Electric Open Mic at the Champ every Thursday from 2nd April


Wednesday 1st April

Small Town Jones

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Posted by on in The Clearwater Brewery

The Champ, Appledore


We’re delighted to announce that we will be running The Champ in Appledore. We like The Champ because it is quirky, intimate and fun.  The Champ is well known for good food and music and we hope to add to this mix an excellent offer of real ale, craft and Belgian beers, lager, cider, soft drinks, spirits and wine.

What makes a good pub? We’d all have different answers and it depends on your mood and your plans for the night but it probably comes down to the atmosphere. At The Champ customers can expect: a range of high quality drinks, good food, live music (not piped Muzak), respect and friendliness. We are aiming to provide:


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Posted by on in The Clearwater Brewery

 CBROn 19th February I went to Craft Beer Rising, Old Truman Brewery in London – the bi-annual beer festival exclusively (well more about that later) for craft beer breweries. CBR is a regular event  showcasing craft beers from around the world but mainly the UK. Craft beer is (in my stereotypical version of the world) populated by hip young things fermenting beer in a dustbin in their (or probably someone else’s) garage. Some of the beer is great, some rather ordinary, much of it too hoppy and unbalanced. Was my stereotype right?

Taking two school friends and my brother-in-law (that’s him in the picture) I decided that I needed my son to give us some much needed street cred. Greeted with “let’s get you up the stairs and whack on some wristbands” I wondered if this was really going to be a small glimpse into Hell and whether I’d be better off in a dingy backstreet pub nursing (why is it always nursing?) a half of mild. Expecting a wide array of similar tasting over-hopped and unbalanced beers I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere, the enthusiasm and the taste of the beers on offer. By the way my attempt at street cred fell somewhat when I asked my son to take a selfie of me.

Clearly craft beer is moving away from American IPA as there was a wide variety of beer styles. I was particularly interested in the New Zealand co-operative of five breweries though Earl Grey and beer didn’t seem to me to be a great combination. I enjoyed some Oatmeal stouts (must mention this to our Head brewer) and sampled a Honey Beer that wasn’t a patch on Clearwater’s.

One thing you need to know about my brother-in-law: he works for Heineken. I’ve read a lot of craft beer blogs that state that Heineken lager was the reason for their existence; (not as an inspiration but as an antidote). But, you know what, for all that, a lot of the craft brewers at CBR were really interested in how they could tap into Heineken’s distribution channels.

Although “exclusively for craft brewers” Wadworths had a stand. Now I’ve got nothing against Wadworths but don’t tell me 6X is a craft beer. I know the distinction between Real Ale and Craft Beer is loose and ill-defined but, well, really - 6X! “Yer ‘avin a larf”.  

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clearwater-brewery-pumpsDEVON is being put on the beer drinking map thanks to a local brewery close to the county's northern coast.

Paul Stewart-Reed, head brewer and brewery manager at the Clearwater Brewery in Manteo Way, Bideford, has launched an initiative to highlight the origins of the company's beers.

"Covering all of our five regular plus one seasonal cask conditioned beers, we have started to introduce an additional pump clip," says Paul. "Each clip describes the taste and look of the beer to the customer plus its origins by  emphasising it is 'Devonitely' from Devon!

"As our beers are now travelling from the West across the South of England, into the Midlands plus some parts of the North, it is important to be clear where our beers are from.

“Research shows that younger beer drinkers can be put off real ale by the complexity of the product and not being sure what it is they are ordering. Our Devonitely badges give a clear and simple message for customers. I Devonitely think we are doing the right thing!"

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Posted by on in The Clearwater Brewery

This is the first blog of two looking at the relationship between beer and food. This blog is general advice but will be followed by a blog which describes (IMO) the perfect 4 course meal - 6 beer - combination; menu, recipes, beers and where to get them from all to be contained in the next installment.

Wine is the normal accompaniment to dinner, be that in a restaurant or at home. But why? Most people order 1 (OK maybe 2!) bottles to drink with all their courses - red meat has red wine, fish has white wine. But the courses could (and should) be very different so how can one wine accompany them all? Smaller bottles of beer lend themselves to be drunk with a different beer for each course. So, that's the first point, each course has a different beer.

What puts people off? Well, quantity is one problem. If your guests think beer comes only in straight, heavy pint glasses then a good 4 course meal will have at least 4 pints of liquid. But, not so - small quantities is key.

Linked to quantity is glassware. If you're planning a classy meal then straight pint glasses just won't go so the beer needs to be served in different glasses. But that doesn't necessarily mean buying new glasses. The meal I will be suggesting will use champagne flutes, red wine glasses and brandy glasses.

Other points to note are that the beer should generally follow a bitter to sweet order, low strength to high strength and light to dark. Of course to follow this rule slavishly will limit your choices hugely but it is a principle to bear in mind.

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Posted by on in The Clearwater Brewery

What are the differences between alehouses, inns, taverns and pubs?”

We use these words interchangeably but they mean different places. Ale houses were common from the Middle Ages. Most households brewed ale, some brewed more than they could drink and some brewed better ale than others; these could sell their ale from their houses! Richard II decreed that those selling beer had to advertise it via ale stakes which were later converted to pub signs. Later on commercial “houses” were created and many remained in use until the early C20th Century.

Inns were larger institutions where travellers could stay overnight and be fed whilst their horses were stabled. Chaucer’s pilgrims started their journey in an inn. Plusher, more expensive though with communal sleeping areas for most guests, an inn was a cut above an ale house. Noblemen/women could eat/sleep in their own rooms thus avoiding the dormitory misery of their fellow guests. The heyday of inns was from 1663 when Turnpike Acts made roads more navigable and mid C19th when railways allowed people to complete their travel in one day.

Taverns have been present in Britain since Roman times when they were called Taberna. Selling wine as opposed to ale, often to those who had travelled and usually located in towns, taverns were frequented by the upper classes whereas working people (mostly men) would be drinking at the ale house. They were most popular between the Middle Ages and late C18th Century, their popularity declining as wine became more easily available.

Now we use the term public house, or “pub” to describe all three establishments though class has always been an important element in determining where one drank. Until recently this was maintained through separate public bars and saloons in the same building. With thanks to Pete Brown whose work I have shamelessly plagiarised. 

Tagged in: Ale house Beer Inn Pub Tavern
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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Julian Summerhayes
    Julian Summerhayes says #
    Where would we be without the pub? They are what makes this Country great that and the weather! I know it's not the place of the p