We feel very lucky to have a brewery just down the road from The Grange, and not just any, one producing award winning beer! As it happens I’m not really much of a beer drinker myself but my family are and they highly rate RCH for their delicious beers, love the stuff. I don’t remember a family party or gathering without it making an appearance.
RCH started in the early 1980’s and has been run by the Davey family since 1984. Along side their brewer Graham Dunbavan they have developed various excitingly tasty beers. Brothers Paul & Mark work together at the site in Hewish, their business has grown and expanded other the years you may have seen their beers shelved at local pubs & supermarkets such as; Sainsburys. In Hewish RCH supply The Full Quart you can also sample their beer in Wetherspoons pubs, they are also involved in beer festivals. The beers have won numerous awards at various CAMRA beer festivals as well as the Tuckers Malting’s Beer Festival.
Graham has been brewing at RCH for 22 years, his passion for the beer making process was clear as he talked me through the various stages and ingredients that are used. To my pleasant surprise they mainly use Barley not Wheat, good news for a wheat intolerant! The different grades of barley are oven baked giving them a nutty taste; The Pale, Black, Chocolate & Crystal give the ales different tastes of bitterness and depth of colour. The Hops (they use real hops not pellets) also add to the level of bitterness and are used at the beginning and end of the process.
Looking at all the equipment used such as the Mash Tun, Copper & Fermentation tanks there is obviously a science behind the process but by using the ingredients in different measure there is a more creative side.
The live yeast has the all important job of adding the alcohol to the brew by fermentation. The whole process from start to finish takes approximately a week before it is ready to be bottled or put into kegs. Metal barrel kegs are used opposed to wood for hygiene and safety reasons. There are different type of hops that are used such as; Fuggles, Pilgram, Admiral, Boadicea, Progress, Goldings & Bramline Cross. Nothing goes to waste the left over barley mash is enjoyed by the neighbours cattle.
The Beers- Our Top Family Favourites
Hewish IPA ABV 3.6%; A lightly, hopped bitter with a subtle sweetness and fruitful taste. Floral, citrus hop aroma all of which lasts well to the finish. A light brown colour.
P.G. Steam ABV 3.9%;This complex multi layered ale has a floral hop aroma with medium bodied hop, bitter taste with some fruit and sweetness.
East Street Cream ABV 5.0%; First brewed to celebrate the 500th guest beer at the Dartmouth Inn, Newton Abbot, and was named by a customer in a competition. It went down so well that it has become a regular beer. This enigmatic full bodied beer with malty hoppy fruit bitter with a sweet taste which all vie for dominance in this complex and well crafted premium chestnut coloured ale.
Other Mouth Watering Beers
Pitchfork ABV 4.3%; The name comes from the Pitchfork rebellion of 1685 the last battle to be fought on English soil of the Civil War. A golden bitter with floral citric hop aroma. It has a hoppy predominate taste which is slightly sweet and fruity and leaves you wanting more.
Old Slug Porter ABV 4.5%; As the beer leaves a trail down the glass as you drink it like a slug, that’s how the beer was named.A delicious traditional porter with a full bodied taste of chocolate, coffee, blackcurrant and black cherry with a good aroma. A near black colour with a good white head when served through a tight sparkler.
Firebox ABV 6.0%; Being rail enthusiasts the beer is named after the firebox in a steam engine. A reddish deep brown coloured beer which is a deceptively drinkable strong bitter with a fine combination of citrus hops and cherry fruit bittersweet flavours which gives a strong dry bitter finish.
Double Header ABV 5.3%; Again a railway themed name after the name for two engines pulling a train. A golden brew made only with pale ale malt and Goldings hops giving it a well balanced hoppy flavour.
They also brew special beers.
A couple barrels of beer are a perfect feature for any wedding bar we stock RCH for our onsite bar, for DIY bars we can get some for you & your guests to enjoy! All this talk of beer is making me thirsty.