Hartland brewer produces second champion ale just three years after learning how to make beer
A NORTH Devon brewer has carted home another barrel-full of awards from a regional beer competition â€“ less than three years after brewing his first beer.
Dave Lang, of the Forge Brewery in Hartland, was crowned overall champion for the second year in a row at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) South West Region Beer Competition.
Judges at the Tuckerâ€™s Maltings Festival in Newton Abbott described Handsome as an â€œextremely well-balancedâ€ beer. In a competition that featured more than 250 regional beers, last yearâ€™s winner, Litehouse, came third overall. Both Forge beers scooped gold in their respective Strong Bitters and Best Bitters categories.
The news follows Litehouseâ€™s silver medal-winning triumph in SIBAâ€™s national best bitter competition last month.
Dave, who runs the Forge Brewery with wife Liz, only began brewing in September 2008 after being taught how to make beer by a friend.
â€œYou could say itâ€™s beginnerâ€™s luck but weâ€™ve won the South West competition for the second time in two years so we must be doing something right,â€ he said.
â€œI havenâ€™t done any courses or anything like that; I just bought a brewery and stated brewing. A mate of mine showed me what to do so I suppose the success is down to him really.â€
Dave and Liz brew four times a week but say that their success has meant that demand is outstripping supply.
â€œWe canâ€™t keep up,â€ said Dave. â€œAs soon as we make it, itâ€™s gone but at least that means itâ€™s always fresh.
â€œWe currently brew to capacity â€“ around 6,600 litres â€“ but are hoping to double that in the next couple of weeks.â€
Readers wanting to sample a pint might get lucky at The Anchor in Hartland; The White Hart in Bideford, The Royal Exchange in Torrington; The Thatched Inn at Abbotsham; and The Hoops Inn at Bucks Cross.
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