The West Dorset Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale

Dorset Breweries

More than a dozen real ale breweries have opened in Dorset in the last ten years.

After a long period marked mainly by take-overs (Devenish) and closures (Eldridge Pope) it is good indeed to see a well established trend in the other direction.  

On this page we try to give short introduction to each brewer and a link to their own web sites.

Click on the Name or Logo to visit the brewers own web site. 

APEX BREWERY

A nano craft brewery based on the Somerset Dorset border.

Brewhouse & Kitchen Dorchester

BREWHOUSE & KITCHEN – DORCHESTER

This new micro-brewery is part of the redeveloped pub (previously Station Masters House). Opened in May 2014 as part of the Brewhouse and Kitchen group, the brewery is located within the public area of the building so customers can watch the brewing process in action.

Cerne Abbas Brewery

CERNE ABBAS BREWERY – CERNE ABBAS

The brewery won first prize with “Cerne Abbas Ale” at Weymouth Octoberfest a few months after brewing started in 2014. After 18 months of brewing at the ex-Art Brew Chideock site, they moved the plant and brewing operations to Cerne Abbas during October 2016. Two further awards were won at Weymouth Octoberfest in 2016 for another two of their ales!

COPPER STREET BREWERY – DORCHESTER

A family-run brewery, bottle shop and tap room in the heart of Brewery Square, Dorchester. Ann and Anthony Buckton established Copper Street Brewery in Dorchester in 2018 bringing brewing back to Dorset’s historic county town. Winners of Beer of Festival at Dorchester Beerex 2019 for their Dark Ages beer.

Dorset Brewing Company

DORSET BREWING COMPANY

Originally called the Quay brewery in 1996 then renamed Dorset Brewing Company. A change of name took place to reflect the expanding range of pubs the brewery was reaching. Since 2011 it has been brewing in the Jurassic Brewhouse at Crossways near Dorchester. Their Brewhouse now has an on-site tap room (contact brewery for hours) and runs brewery tours. DBC beers can now be found in various Weymouth pubs in the harbour area, in Dorchester and in rural pubs.

Eight Arch Brewing Co

EIGHT ARCH BREWING CO. – WIMBORNE

Eight Arch Brewing Co is named by reference to nearby Julian’s Bridge and started brewing early in 2015. They are the first new brewery in a town which once had as many as five. Their open their brewery tap room of Fridays 4-8pm. Twelve months after starting brewing Eight Arch beer is about to be available in the House of Commons.

Isle of Purbeck Brewery

ISLE OF PURBECK

The brewery is located in the Bankes Arms pub that overlooks Studland bay. The brewery was founded in 2003 and supplies the free trade as well as the pub. The equipment is a 10-barrel plant, originally from the closed Poole brewery.

Gyle 59

GYLE 59 – SADBOROW, W. DORSET

This new brewery has been set up in a farm building in a rural location – near the Devon Border, north of Lyme Regis. First publicly announced brew in late August 2013.

Hall & Woodhouse

HALL AND WOODHOUSE

Trading as Badger Ales they are the biggest brewery in Dorset. Founded in 1777 in the village of Ansty they moved to their present site in Blandford in 1900, where they have continued to expand ever since. The brewery has a tied estate of 260 pubs all of which serve real ale. They are members of the Independent Family Brewers of Britain.

Lyme Regis Brewery

LYME REGIS BREWERY 

The microbrewery is situated in the Malthouse extension which projects over the River Lym and was originally built in 1924 to house the batteries which provided Lyme’s overnight electricity. The microbrewery complements the other activities of the Town Mill area and expects to be able to provide some local employment. There is strong demand in the local area for their Ales: Cobb at 3.9% ABV; Lyme Gold 4.2% and Black Ven 4.5%.

Palmers

PALMERS

Britain’s only thatched brewery that dates from 1794 and situated by the river Brit in Bridport is still run by the great-grandsons of Robert Henry and John Cleeves Palmer. The Palmer family bought the brewery in 1896 and today brothers John and Cleeves own 57 pubs and supply over 240 free trade outlets. Set in the original brewery buildings this is an excellent example of traditional tower brewing.n 4.5%.

Piddle Brewery

PIDDLE BREWERY

Set on the old Piddlehinton army camp a few miles outside of Dorchester, Dorset Piddle began life in late 2007 brewing with an 8-barrel plant originally for the Olde George Inn, Christchurch. It didn’t take long for local pubs to take an interest. Since then business has grown and two buildings are now used by the brewery. A new team took over the running of the brewery in 2014 and production continues.

Remedy Oak Brewing Company

REMEDY OAK BREWERY – WOODLANDS

Located in the old barn in the grounds of Remedy Oak golf club, the Remedy Oak Brewing Company aims to create a selection of both traditional real ales and craft beers using the freshest ingredients and hops from around the world. Their first beer “1552” is an Amber Ale and was first commercially brewed in October 2020. They hope to open a taproom on site in July 2021.

Sandbanks Brewery

SANDBANKS BREWERY – POOLE

A small brewery based near Poole established February 2018.

SHERBORNE BREWERY

Sherborne started brewing In 2005 on a 2.5-barrel kit, and is located behind the Abbey Fryer chip shop in the centre of town. The brewery brews two beers 257 and Cheap Street.

Sixpenny Brewery

SIXPENNY BREWERY

The former Wayland’s Brewery now known as Sixpenny Brewery moved from North Surrey to East Dorset in 2010.  It is situated in Cranborne Chase, which is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. After a second move in 2016 from Sixpenny Handley (hence the name) the brewery is now located at Holwell Farm, near Cranborne.

Small Pauls Brewery

SMALL PAULS

Small by name, small by nature. The beers are brewed only twice a month on a half-barrel plant in Gillingham. Started as an off-shoot of home brew in 2006 the beers were so good that pubs wanted to take Paul’s stock, he now supplies 15-20 outlets.

Southbourne Ales

SOUTHBOURNE BREWERY – SOUTHBOURNE

First Brew for this Brewery was New Years Day 2014, since when it has shot to prominence in the area. Brewster Jennifer Tingay set the business up after working for several years as Quality Manager at Ringwood Brewery and then as Brewer at at Town Mill Brewery in Lyme Regis. Brewing is currently done using spare capacity at the Lyme Regis plant, but there are plans to open a new brewery in Southbourne.

Wriggle Valley Brewery

WRIGGLE VALLEY BREWERY – RYME INTRINSECA

Chris Clark and Jane Reeves started production with their three barrel plant in 2014. Their first beer, Copper Hoppa, can be seen in several local pubs. They are supplying pubs, Farm shops and off licences, and also sell direct to the public with free delivery within the Wriggle Valley.

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