Ok, we are certainly not suggesting that you drink your way around the Island, but with a reliable bus service and a fair few places to try, you could give it a good go!
Our trip takes you clockwise around the Island, looking at the various local producers who specialise in a great tipple or two…
On the north side of the Island, in Pondwell on the outskirts of Ryde, you will find the recently opened Isle of Wight Distillery. Home to Rock Sea Vodka and most famously, Mermaid Gin. Here you can watch the stills in action whilst sipping on arguably the best G&T on the Island.
If it is wine you are after, Rosemary Vineyard in Ashey covers over 30 acres, so they are adept in producing a bottle or two. From full-bodied English red wines, ciders and bottle fermented sparkling wines to liqueurs and country wines, there is something for everyone.
Brewing on the Isle of Wight for 25 years, Goddards Brewery are the oldest brewers around. Although you can’t actually visit the site, you can certainly sample its beers in many of the Island’s pubs, or pick up a bottle in some of the local supermarkets. We recommend Island Pride, the special edition celebrating IW Pride taking place in July.
Visit Adgestone Vineyard in Brading, one of the oldest commercial wine cellars in England. Enjoy the Grape to Glass experience, an hour long tour followed by a 30 minute wine tasting session, giving you all the knowledge you need to impress your friends at the next social gathering. Kids are welcome too with a special treasure hunt (and no wine!)
As you venture into pubs and bars across the Island, you can’t fail to notice Island Ales pump clips adorning many a bar. Producing a growing range of beers, you can choose your favourite. For the spring months, try Wight Gold – golden brown, with rounded malt and hops throughout, featuring a well-known Island landmark on its logo.
For those that love a quirky cocktail, Tipsy Wight provides both the taste and the quirk factor. Flavours are derived mainly from wild fruits and berries that grow on the family farm. You can buy a bottle from many of the Island’s farm shops. Try flavours such as Beech Leaf Vodka or Elderflower Vodka Liqueur, all presented in a decidedly ‘tipsy’ bottle!
The long-standing dream to own his very own brewery came true for Islander David Yates. Yates Brewery now supply most outlets the length and breadth of the Island. As well as an array of ales, they also produce the Islands only lager. Isle of Wight Lager, a pale golden refreshing lager brewed with saaz hops with a crisp and light finish, is available by the bottle or on tap at selected bars.
For a soft option, or maybe for the morning after, you can’t beat an Island Roasted coffee. Hand roasted here on the Island, try a delicious cuppa in the companies own café, Caffe Isola. Recently moving to larger premises, the café is a vibrant and buzzing hub for coffee lovers the Island over.