St Austell: Kings of Cornwall


Cornwall is a rotten place if you want to try new beers. In short, if you don’t like St Austell, Sharps or Skinner’s, you’ll have to work hard to find a pint to your taste.

St Austell in particular seem to have the county in a Darth Vader-like grip. Their golden castle logo is on every second pub frontage, and their bottled beers are in every gift shop, off licence and convenience store.

In some ways, it’s not such a bad thing. Tribute is becoming one of our all time favourites and is reliably good in St Austell pubs in Cornwall. Proper Job IPA and Admiral’s Ale are two of Britain’s best bottle-conditioned beers, in our humble opinions.

Sparkler spotters may be interested to know that St Austell beers were served by default with a sparkler in all the St Austell pubs we visited.  So it’s not just a northern thing, then?

8 replies on “St Austell: Kings of Cornwall”

As someone that loves St Austell, Sharps or Skinner’s, particularly St Austell I’d be quite happy, at least for a while. I suppose familiarity can breed contempt, can’t it? So I might get fed up with them eventually.

All was going well until you mentioned the ‘S’ word – thinking about it I’d probably get fed up with them sooner rather than later!

I noticed the sparkler as well. I only fell for it once and had it removed for each succesive pint.

Sparklers are out in force in the New Forest area as well.

I’m not a fan of whipped cream presentation

I’m just catching up with your Cornwall posts. I’m going to St Ives next month (often go twice a year). When I saw this picture I got very excited that it was The Ship Inn at Porthleven, but that’s a freehouse, not a St Austell pub (they own The Harbour on the other side of the, er, harbour). If you haven’t been there, you really should go. A fantastic pub, although only serving the pre-requisite Doom Bar (which, in general, I really like anyway), and serves an amazing crab sandwich.

Do you have any pub recommendations outside of St Ives that you found on your travels?

Sadly, we didn’t find many pubs of note, despite a good nose around. The Tinner’s Arms in Zennor looked interesting, but wasn’t open when we were there. Adrian Tierney Jones recommends the Blue Anchor but we managed to completely miss it.

New beer or good beer? That’s the question you should really be asking. My local hasn’t had Proper Job on for a couple of weeks but has gone for a couple of new beers from well-established micros in Somerset and Devon. They were crap, I’m afraid, one of them being a delicious example of phenolic luv. As for the Blue Anchor, I’m always reminded of Einstein’s theory of beer relativity: you leave when you leave (sort of).

I have been to the Tinners Arms. It’s a lovely pub, and where I first found a copy of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (the handiest book in the world).

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