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Established in 1990, Otter Brewery began brewing its beer from a farmhouse location in the heart of Devon’s Blackdown Hills. Since then, the whole family has been involved in developing our award-winning range of beers and our widely recognised Otter brand.
With over five generations of brewers in the family, the building of Otter Brewery was, and still is, without a doubt, a labour of love. We believe this is why our beer tastes so great and why more and more people are drinking it. Our product offering is constantly evolving to suit the needs of both traditional and modern ‘craft’ drinkers. A range that provides something for everyone.
By 2003, we realised that we were rapidly outgrowing our original production facilities and we took the plunge to invest in a fantastic new, state of the art, brewery and cellar – both of which are award-winning in their own right. The business still occupies the same rural site and now the old brewery barns are used to feed the troops rather than brew beer. In 2007 we built the underground cellar which was certainly the first of its scale in Devon.
Most importantly, all our growth has been organic and we remain proud to be family run.
We use whole hops in the main with English varieties gracing our core range of cask ales. Otherwise globe hopping is an activity enjoyed by our head brewer. The worldwide availability of hops gives us massive scope to brew beers with flavours and aromas to suit the modern palate.
Then there are two other ingredients that are unique to us and help define and differentiate Otter from the rest. Firstly, our yeast culture is our own and quite unusual because of its origin (I’m not at liberty to say any more!) Lastly and possibly most importantly our water. Drawn from our own wells that are sprung through the aquifer from the head springs of the River Otter. Perfect for beer and purely created for Tarka.
The current brewery was commissioned in August 2005 and is about as high tech as a ‘small hands’ on brewery gets. Recently, the addition of maturation tanks, sterile filtration and a centrifuge have paved the way for the authentic production of lager and the exciting development of ‘kegged’ beers.
The brewery also gives us ultimate flexibility, as it houses two plants. This means we can brew individual runs of 40 or 60 barrels of specialist beers or a total length of 100 barrels for the regular favourites.