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Real Ale Guide to the Isle of Wight

Real Ale Guide to the Isle of Wight 2000 1333 The Editor

Real Ale Guide to the Isle of Wight

Gone are the days when real ale was confined to being drunk by men of a certain age in social clubs, now, and rightly so, many people are getting on the proverbial wagon…

Local breweries:

Did you know that the Island is home to not one, not two but THREE local independent breweries? Goddards, Island Brewery and Yates’.

Goddards Brewery, technically the oldest of the three, brew with local barley and have a brand new beer on the market called Planet Lager, as well as a full range of classic real ales such as the popular Fuggle-Dee-Dum or the award-winning Quarr Abbey Ale, brewed in collaboration with the Benedictine monks of Quarr Abbey using the abbey’s own coriander and sweet gale.

Island Brewery, based on the west of the Island, have always had quality at the forefront of everything they do…and brew! Look out for Nipper Bitter – straw coloured, light and refreshing, Wight Gold as the name suggests is a lovely crystal malt brew and Yachtsman’s Ale is the darkest of the three – has the disclaimer that even the landlubbers will enjoy it.

Lastly, Yates’ who have been brewing out of Newchurch since the millennium, have got something for all tastes, whether it’s a light refreshing summer drink like Beachcomber or Golden Bitter, or a dark coloured wintery ale like Islander.

6 Island Real Ale pubs:

Many of the Island’s pubs will have a couple of real ales on offer, but there are some that really aim to please with their choices:

  1. The Bargeman’s Rest is one such place. Situated on the quay in Newport, it is famed for its real ale offering. Here, you will find a traditional pub, home to an ever-changing selection of beers and local ales.
  2. The Buddle is a 16th-century freehouse (and reportedly a smugglers inn at one point) complete with ancient flagstones and beams. It has a strong following for the real ale connoisseurs, with six available.
  3. In Sandown, The Castle Inn has six real ales, including the best from local breweries. They love their ale so much that they hold a couple of beer festivals each year and have an extended happy hour most evenings.
  4. Ye Olde Village Inn, Bembridge has reputedly been pulling pints since 1787 and shows no sign of stopping. Sourcing real ales from across the country, there are always four real ales on pump and a selection on rotation.
  5. Sip a pint of real ale overlooking the Solent at The Boathouse in Seaview. In the winter, take a seat by the roaring fire, but when the summer is here, it has to be a seat outside looking across to the mainland.
  6. The Anchor Inn, Cowes is extremely popular during the summer months when the pub spills out onto the pavement (especially during Cowes Week). There are usually four real ales on in rotation.

Real Ale Events:

Lots of our pubs will hold their own real events throughout the year, but the star of the calendar has got to be the annual Beer, Busses and Walks Weekend.

Taking place on the 12-13 October 2019, nearly 100 pubs are set to take part with at least 80 restored classic buses dating from 1940 to 2000 servicing the routes, including one coming from Belgium! What better way to tour the Island’s idyllic landscape than in true style, atop an old Routemaster. Many of these fine establishments do a little extra on this special weekend, whether that’s a few additional guest ales on tap for travellers to enjoy, a special food menu to line those stomachs or even some local live entertainment to get the party started.

Routes start from either the IW Bus museum in Ryde – ideal for those arriving by Wightlink FastCat or at Newport Quay in the centre of the Island. There are more routes than ever this year, running more regularly, plus a route that includes East Cowes for the first time.

Beer & Buses

The Editor

Taste of the Wight is the Isle of Wight’s free local guide to food and drink. Now in its fifth year, it has cemented itself as the number one, independent companion for eating out on the Island.

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Taste of the Wight is the Isle of Wight’s free local guide to food and drink. Now in its sixth year, it has cemented itself as the number one, independent companion for eating out on the Island.