Not remotely trendy

Moor beers, from their website

The Coun­ty Stores in Taunton is one of those shops which seems to have been there for­ev­er – the kind of place where you would­n’t be sur­prised to see Miss Marple fill­ing a wick­er bas­ket with short­bread and pack­ets of pow­dered egg. Like much in Som­er­set, it is res­olute­ly con­ser­v­a­tive and old-fash­ioned, but there is a point where that instinct over­laps with a fash­ion­able inter­est in small, local pro­duc­ers.

The result? Shelves stacked with beers from almost all of Som­er­set’s small brew­eries. Quan­tock, Ched­dar Ales and – per­haps most excit­ing­ly – Moor are all rep­re­sent­ed in a selec­tion which, per­haps unwit­ting­ly, echoes what you might see in a much trendi­er spe­cial­ist off-licence.

If you’re pass­ing through Som­er­set and want to stock your fridge with local beer, head here but, also, if you’re any­where else in the coun­try, keep an eye on your local fam­i­ly-run depart­ment store or farm shop – you nev­er know what might lurk with­in, beyond the cardi­gans, balls of wool and minia­ture porce­lain cot­tages.

12 thoughts on “Not remotely trendy”

  1. Great place, got my bot­tle of Illu­sion there over Xmas, they used to do the whole range of Sam Smith’s as well and there is a good old range of eth­ic spices and sauces towards the back. Darts Farm at Top­sham also has a good range of beers and ciders and mar­vel­lous fish and chips.

  2. We picked up a bot­tle of Illu­sion, too. Look­ing for­ward to try­ing it. I went in look­ing for Sam Smith’s and was pleased (I think) to note that they’d “gone all local”, despite yes­ter­day’s post ques­tion­ing whether local loy­al­ty is always a good thing.

    Pyne’s the Butcher’s big new farm shop at North Pether­ton also has a few local bot­tled beers (did­n’t try them on this occa­sion) as well as a decent range of local scrumpy.

  3. Loved illu­sion at ched­dar ales fest last year. Had old fred­dy and fusion at christ­mas. Was­n’t keen on the unfined con­fi­dence at fac­to­ber­fest. Had a love­ly Moor beer last week in Nichol­son’s though. Need to try more of the range.

  4. I have to dis­agree, I think that the Coun­ty Stores is a very cool place to go shop­ping, it’s Retro as hell and has all the cool stuff that nei­ther Super­mar­kets nor ‘trendy’ lit­tle deli’s have.

    Can’t fault you on the shouts for Ched­dar, Quan­tock and Moor though.

    Don’t know if you do the ‘Bee­ri­od­i­cal’ at the Sev­en Stars in Bris­tol or not, first Mon­day of the Month, but we did their ‘Lon­don’ selec­tion last month, they have Man­ches­ter beers on at the moment, and hope­ful­ly we’ll be doing an ‘Essex and Kent’ one with them for Feb­ru­ary. The Bee­ri­od­i­cal runs until the beer runs out, and has around 20 beers on over a rough­ly 5 day peri­od. well worth a train jour­ney from Taunton even with the hope­less­ness of South West Trains.

  5. Justin – we’re in Pen­zance, so Bris­tol might as well be Aberdeen… (My home­town is Bridg­wa­ter, so I was there for Christ­mas, hence the trip to Taunton.) What’s Bee­ri­od­i­cal all about, though? Sounds inter­est­ing. Got a link to some more info?

    That’s our point, by the way – that if you just go to self-con­scious­ly cool shops and bars, you miss out on a lot of cool stuff!

    Steve – you’ll have to pop into the Coun­ty Stores next time you’re home in Som­er­set!

  6. Steve, Jem and I are hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion this week about how to make this year’s Ched­dar Ales fes­ti­val big­ger and bet­ter than before. 😀

    Bai­ley, There isn’t a lot of stuff about ‘bee­ri­od­i­cal’ about at the moment, we are try­ing to get Paul at the Sev­en Stars to let us help him pro­mote it at the Stars, and to roll the con­cept out to oth­er inter­est­ed Land­lords. The idea is pret­ty sim­ple, we sup­ply 20–22 casks of Ale from a spe­cif­ic area or of a spe­cif­ic style (I’m angling for an IPA-fest in the Sum­mer for instance), and they run a 5 day beer fes­ti­val just using their exist­ing hand pumps and a small stil­lage behind the bar. The joy is that it works in any size booz­er and there are dif­fer­ent beers ‘on’ over the five day peri­od so the Thurs­day night is dif­fer­ent to the Mon­day.

    I have to go to Pen­zance soon, appar­ent­ly there are a cou­ple of pubs that want to buy from our new *top secret* sup­pli­er. You will like this. 😀

  7. @Bailey sounds like I will indeed, I picked last lot up from West Coun­try Ales in Ched­dar (well worth a vis­it).

    @Justin I’ve heard good things about it from my Dad (who I intro­duced to the Sev­en stars orig­i­nal­ly). He has a habit of ring­ing me mid drink­ing ses­sion to tell me what’s on, just to wind me up I reck­on!

    Not sure if I’ll make it to Ched­dar fest this year but intend to for 2013 (ide­al for a pre-glas­to warm up!)

    As remote as it may seem to you guys, remem­ber Corn­wall isn’t as bad as North­ern Ire­land pubs and beer wise!

  8. I love Moor. There’s a big bot­tle of Fusion in one of the fridges at The Bull in High­gate. I need to team up with some­one and drink the hell out of it.

  9. What you’re talk­ing about here is the spir­it of beer-hunt­ing! I’m always drop­ping in at super­mar­kets, offies and delis in strange and new places that I may find myself, ‘just in case’. My hit-rate’s pret­ty good! in fact, even my wife keeps an eye out when trav­el­ling with work for me! Can’t say bet­ter than that.

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