Dartmoor Brewery partners with Dartmoor farmer
A Dartmoor farmer is helping Dartmoor Brewery boost the provenance of its Dartmoor IPA, one of the Brewery’s most popular beers. Cereal farmer, Tim Cox is supplying the Princetown based brewery with the first ever malting barley grown in the National Park, and in so doing, improving the Brewery’s green credentials by reducing its beer miles.
Tim Cox was commissioned by Dartmoor Brewery in 2012 to grow malting barley on his farm in the Dartmoor National Park, and this week the first pints of this 100% Dartmoor Malted IPA with its reduced carbon footprint will roll out to pubs and restaurants throughout the West Country.
The Brewery had been looking to source malted barley locally to use in its Dartmoor branded beer, with a view to creating a beer that had a true taste of Dartmoor. “Malted barley is the main ingredient for brewing and although we were already using Dartmoor water, we really wanted Dartmoor barley, but could only source Devon barley. Barley from within the Dartmoor National Park gives our beer more provenance and makes it more carbon friendly too. After many years searching for a supplier we commissioned experienced cereal farmer Tim Cox to grow for the Brewery” said Mike Lunney, Head Brewer at Dartmoor Brewery.
Despite a very wet summer and a delayed harvest, Tim was still able to produce grain that passed Dartmoor Brewery’s maltsters exacting standards. The Brewery use Tucker’s Malting’s at Newton Abbot, one of only four Malthouses in the country that produce floor malted barley in the traditional way.
“Tim’s land at Drewsteignton, a mix of Devon clays and grit, is in the rain shadow area of Dartmoor. It is one of the few areas on Dartmoor capable of growing grain to a high enough standard. It is a tribute to Tim’s skill as a farmer that in a far from easy growing year the malt passed all the tests. We’re really proud of this malt used for the Dartmoor IPA as it travels less than 45 miles from the fields to the maltster and then to our Brewery. As a Dartmoor business we’re committed to supporting and protecting our environment and with this barley we are able to reduce our beer miles and support another Dartmoor business” added Mike.
Farmer Tim’s 100% Dartmoor malted barley will only be used in the Brewery’s Dartmoor IPA real ale. “Malt in the brewing process is used to create the flavour and alcohol in the beer, as well as providing body and colour. We do not expect drinkers to distinguish any difference in the taste, we just want to give beer lovers the best pint and one that is genuine to its name. Dartmoor IPA is as genuine to Dartmoor as it possibly could be ” said Mike.
The Brewery has an ongoing commitment to local sourcing, and whilst many UK breweries are sourcing hops from America or Australia, Dartmoor Brewery use only English hops. The first brew of Dartmoor barley brewed Dartmoor IPA launched at the Royal Oak, Meavy this week and is extra special as it uses some Dartmoor grown hops. Local hop expert Wyndham Monk has been able to grow a small quantity of high quality hops on Dartmoor at Drewsteignton, near Tim Cox’s farm. “It is impossible to grow hops commercially in the West Country due to their susceptibility to mildew and our damp conditions,” explained Mike. “However hop fanatic Wyndham Monk persists in trying to grow small quantities and has produced enough for us to use in a few very selective brews. Quite an achievement – the first time Dartmoor grown barley and hops have been used to produce beer – it really is the true taste of Dartmoor” concluded Mike.
Sales of Dartmoor IPA were up 56% in 2012, with the Brewery producing over 400,000 pints of the cask ale last year.
Dartmoor Brewery, the highest brewery in England, has been brewing Dartmoor IPA and Jail Ale since 1994 from the heart of Dartmoor National Park. The award winning craft brewery also produces Legend and is capable of brewing up to 118,000 pints of beer a week.