Cornish Pubs


There are over 650 pubs in the county of Cornwall, in the South West of England.  This web guide aims to be the most thorough inventory available and describes the Pubs and their Beers.  Written by real ale enthusiasts Stuart, Jackie (Miss Smirnoff), John and cider/authentic lager/pub plant specialist Sue (The Mouse), the guide will be updated frequently.  The descriptions were based on visits we made.  Marks are given together with our impressions, some are good and some are bad!  The list is not sponsored by any organisation. The opinions stated are those of the authors.  We have spent many years of ‘hard work’ researching the material !  


Click on links below once you’ve decided which town or village to visit.  NB.  Please allow time for the page to down load fully as there is a lot of information here!  Although we have visited many pubs in Cornwall, only those visited since January 1996 have detailed entries.  However, there are short entries with just the address for pubs visited before 1996.   Pubs do change frequently and it may be when you visit, it could be totally different.  That’s just part of the fun! As of 13th July 2008, 281 pubs are described in detail with a long entry. In addition, there are pubs listed with address only; as they were visited before 1996, and short notes on other interesting places to visit and drink as well.  There is also a group of beautiful Islands situated 28 miles off Lands End called the Isles of Scilly.  No pub guide of Cornwall would be complete without describing them!




A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z              Isles of Scilly Supplement.



For individual location maps use the postcodes supplied and goto




Newquay, Falmouth, Truro , Helston and Polkerris - Feb 2002

Padstow May 2002

Lanner, Falmouth and Perranporth September 2002

Falmouth, Crowlas and Penzance September 2003

Grampound Road, Lizard, Helston, Truro, Probus, Mevagissey March 2004

Porthlevan September 2004

For the best value food in Cornwallgoto the Miners Restaurant – Wendron! July 2008


Cornish Breweries


(See Isles of Scilly Map)  Ales of Scilly – New brewery selling its beer only on the islands, producing first rate beer which is difficult to get on the mainland except at the Cornish Beer festivals.  Maiden Voyage 3.8%, Scuppered 4.7% and Three Sheets 4.2%  Higher Trenowth, St Marys, Isles of Scilly.  Tel. 01720 422419


(1)  Bird in Hand – Based at Bird Paradise in Hayle and one of the earlier brewpubs in Cornwall.  Try the old speckled parrot!  Worth a visit.   Let the family see the animals whilst you drink and become one! (see list entry for details under Bird in Hand, Hayle).  Brewery tours by appointment.

Millers Ale 1045, Old Speckled Parrot 1052 and Wildly Wicked 1058.


(2)  Blue Anchor – Possibly the greatest brewpub in the country.  It’s appeared in every Good Beer Guide since its inception.  Having its roots in the 15th Century, this is not to be missed. (see list entry for details under Blue Anchor, Helston).

Spingo Middle 1050, Best 1053, Special 1066, Easter and Christmas special 1076.  What can I say!

(6) Doghouse Brewery

Brand new microbrewery that will serve the local trade around Redruth.  Very nice beers indeed.  Situated in a kennels at Scorrier; hence the name.! Wet Nose (3.5%), Doghouse Biter (4.0%) and Bow Wow (5.0%).

(3)  Driftwood – New brewery at the Driftwood spars pub in St.Agnes.  Brewing plant from the Horsebridge Inn brewery in Devon. (see list entry for details under Driftwood Spars, St.Agnes).

Cuckoo Ale 1047.


(4)  Keltek – Based on an industrial estate in Lostwithiel the brewery owns one pub in the town, The Globe.  It supplies over 50 outlets in Cornwall.  Unit 3A, Restormel Industrial Estate, Liddicoat Road, Lostwithiel. PL22 0HG. Tel. 01208 871199. 

Dark Mild 1038, Golden Lance 1038, Magik 1042 and King 1051.


(5)  Organic – Brand new brewery based at Higher Bochim Rural Workshop, Cury Cross Lanes near Mullion, Helston.  Tel. 01326 241555.  Specialising in organic beer using its own natural spring water.

Lizard Point 1042. 


(6)  Redruth – Starting to provide real ale once again for the local trade after a long absence caused by various take-overs.  Owned since 1995 by the Dramfield group from Hongkong who produce bottled beer for the Chinese market.  The 4 real ales are making their way back into local pubs although the original real ale Cornish, which disappeared over 10 years ago, is sadly missed.  Redruth Brewery 1742 Ltd. Redruth, TR15 1RB. Tel. 01209 212244. 

Crofty Cornish Bitter 1037, Miners Mild 1037, Cornish Original 1042 and Cornish Rebellion 1049.

Ring O'Bells (Launceston)

Ring o'Bells Brewery, Pennygillam Industrial Estate, Launceston PL15 7ED. Tel (01566) 777788. The Ring o'Bells, started up near Launceston in 1999.  Beers were in good condition at the St Ives Beer Festival in May 2001! Porker's Pride 3.8 %, Bodmin Boar 4.3 %


(7)  St Austell


Great family brewery based in – you guessed it – St Austell.  Hicks HSD and Mild (very rare now) are two classic beers from their range.  The addition of what was Daylight Robbery (something to do with the eclipse) now called Tribute has made up for the disappointing Trelawnys Pride which is normally served through a sparkler – Ughhh.  Bosuns bitter was one of the last boys bitter, a good quality but lowish alcohol beer for those who like that type of thing.  Note the 125 Navy Rum, which is imported by St Austells bonded warehouse.  One of the finest and strongest commercially available spirits in the UK. 125 refers  to degrees proof.  St Austell Brewery Co.Ltd. 63 Trevarthian Road, St Austell.  Tel 01726 74444. –  There is a visitors centre - Brewery tours by appointment.
Bosuns Bitter 1032, XXXX Mild 1037, Tinners Ale 1038, Tribute 1043, Trelawnys Pride 1044 and HSD (Hicks or High Speed Diesel) 1051 – Superb Beer!  1851 celebrates 150 years of Brewing – Excellent Strong Beer!


(8)           Sharps.



The Brewery was created in 1994 and is based at an industrial estate at Rock.   Bill Sharp created the first modern micro in Cornwall and the beers have established themselves across the South West.  The brewery has an annual turnover of £4m and now they have a distribution depot at Bristol so the beers can be found from Lands End to London. The beers are carefully crafted, using the finest ingredients and the settling process at the end of the production line helps them to be found in consistently good condition.  The beers are generally darker and fuller than say the Skinners range.  The Head brewer Stuart Howe and his team are committed to producing the finest real ales in Cornwall and they now have over 500 outlets nationwide (in 2004).  Sharps Brewery, Pityme Ind. Estate, Rock ,Wadebridge. PL27 6NU.  Tel 01208 862121. 

An excellent range of 6 drinkable beers, which are widely available include: Cornish Coaster 1037, Doom Bar 1040, Eden Ale 1043, Sharps Own 1043, Will’s Reserve 1046 and the excellent Special 1052.


(9)           Skinners. -


 Owner Steve and Mary Skinner moved from their excellent pair of Tipsy Toad pubs in Jersey to start a new business based in Truro, at Skinners Brewery, Riverside View, Newham, Truro. TR1 2SU.  Tel. 01872 271885.  Brewery tours by appointment. They have an excellent range of 6 beers:-

Coast Liner 1034, Spriggan Ale 1038, Betty Stogs Bitter 1040, Cornish Knocker Ale 1045, Figgys Brew 1045 and Who Put The Lights Out 1050.  They own one pub – Skinners Ale House in Newquay.



(10)  Star Inn – Crowlas.  A great Free House on A30 near Penzance.  We understand that a brewing plant has been installed there by a brewer from Cotleigh.  Watch Out! See Star Inn at Crowlas.



(11)          Wooden Hand Brewery (ex Ventonwyn which closed down in February 2001.)


Wooden hand brewery has recently opened (2003) out of the ‘ashes’ of Ventonwyn.


I intend to leave the review of Ventonwyn brewery here for sentimental reasons. NB.  James started brewing again for Ring O’Bells but has now given it up !  The quality of his beers pays tribute to his skills. 


Brewer James Vincent is getting a name for producing some fine real ales, which are christened after tin mines.  Following a fire at his brewery at Grampound, he has started brewing again at Grampound Road.  Old Pendeen and Levant Golden are definitely worth a try.  The beers are principally sold in clubs although some pubs now stock them.  Ventonwyn Brewing Co., Unit 2B, Grampound Road Ind. Estate, Nr Truro. Tel. 01726 884367.

Levant Golden 1040 and Old Pendeen 1040.  Plus Bodmin Bent – Oct 2000.  Very good beers – worth seeking out!



(12) Blackawton – A very recent arrival from the land across the Tamar.  Blackawton Brewery, Woodside Stables, Carkeel, Saltash PL12 6PH Tel 01752 848777.

Blackawton Bitter, Devon Gold, 44 special, Exhibition, Headstrong.



Key to Pub Facilities


GBG = CAMRA Good Beer Guide pub  

R = Real Ale

F = Food

P = Parking

B = Bus Stop nearby

S = Railway Station nearby

C = Children Permitted

G = Games – Darts, Pool Table etc.

M = Mouse Mark out of 10 - otherwise mark by John and Stuart


The Past


Circa 1610 and displayed over the doorway on an Inn in Liskeard.


Be Merry my guests, God keepe you from ill,

And pay for that you take you shall be welcome still.



The modern pub is a recent phenomenon.   If we travelled back in time we would see a very different establishment.  There were the Alehouses, which were the ‘lowest of the low’.  No more than a licensed room in someone’s house serving dubious beverages.  Although, the alternative of drinking water, was something that was rather risky.  (Something’s never change!) They required a license, but little else and were often closed as quickly as they became licensed. Women rarely entered and were mainly restricted to serving beer.



An old Alehouse circa 1890


Higher in status were the Inns and Taverns.  These premises were slightly better in quality.  Many of the Inns had sprung up along the great coaching routes and the distinction between these and the Taverns was a legal one.  The Inns not only provided accommodation and refreshment, but also stables for the horses.  The Inns of Cornwall had a particularly bad reputation amongst travellers.  John Norden wrote about travelling in Cornwall in 1584    “A straynger traveller in those partes can hardlye finde contentmente in ordinaire inns in lodging or dyet……”



The Keigwin Arms at Mousehole.  Although long since closed as a public house, this picture was taken the end of 19th Century when it was fully operational.


It was during the First World War that our stupid licensing laws were introduced.  The government decided to restrict the hours, when people could consume, so that munitions workers would not be affected by the demon drink. David Lloyd George was an enthusiastic teetotaller – if such a thing exists – and pushed through the legislation. A law called D.O.R.A. - The 1915 Defence of the Realm Act stipulated when it was permissible for people to drink. This law was consolidated into the 1921 Licensing Act.  Although it did NOT apply to the House of Commons bars!  What’s good for the goose is NOT good for the gander?


The late 1930’s saw the rise of commercialism and the introduction of Keg beer and with it the start of the decline of real ale.  The massive bombing raids by the Luftwafe destroyed many city pubs.  By the 1960’s the availability of real ale was minimal.  Fortunately the growth of lobby groups such as CAMRA – Campaign for Real Ale, stemmed the tide and pubs which don’t serve Real Ale are now firmly in the minority.  But what of those classic pubs?  Well the growth of the multi-national brewers has not only reduced the selection of ales but has ‘succeeded’ in destroying many pubs, turning them into clones – with shelves of books (that’s what libraries are for), TV screens, fruit machines and worst of all poor beer, food and service.


This site is dedicated to those pubs in Cornwall, which remain true to their name.




There is a web site run by the Cornish branch of Camra, which I recommend.


See the great Web site run by Sue and the late Richard Barnicoat for everything about Cornwall !


For holiday information please visit


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