Hartland ale crowned South West champion

Joseph Bulmer

A NORTH Devon ale has beaten hundreds beers to be crowned South West champion in its first ever regional competition. Litehouse, by the Hartland-based Forge Brewery was named overall champion at the 18th annual Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) South

A NORTH Devon ale has beaten hundreds beers to be crowned South West champion in its first ever regional competition.

Litehouse, by the Hartland-based Forge Brewery was named overall champion at the 18th annual Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) South West Beer Competition, held at Tucker's Maltings in Newton Abbott.

The 4.3 per cent real ale, which also won gold in the best bitter class, pipped Yeovil Ales' Posh IPA and Jail Ale, by the Dartmoor Brewery at the event which featured more than 330 different ales by 69 brewers from all over the South West.

Brewer Dave Lang, who only started the Forge Brewery in September 2008, said he and wife Liz were delighted to have received the award.

"The overall champion normally goes to a St Austell or a Skinners so to win the award in our first ever competition is a fantastic accolade," said Dave, who produces around 80 to 90 kegs of beer a week at full capacity.

Forge Brewery also picked up a bronze award for Dreckly in the premium bitters category, and a further bronze for Maid in Devon in the bitters and pale ales section.

Bideford's Country Life Brewery also came up trumps in this year's competition, winning gold in the strong ales category for its Devonshire 10der.

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