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St Austell Brewery

st austell brewery

Beer and Brews at St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre

Get an illuminating glimpse behind the scenes of Cornwall’s leading independent family brewer at the St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre, producers of favourites like Tribute Ale and Proper Job IPA. Their interactive experiences allow foodie families to discover the craft and science behind brewing traditional cask ales and refreshing fruit ciders spanning generations.

Read our guide on how to plan a visit exploring this frontier of Cornwall’s food and drink scene via behind-the-scenes tours, hop-inspired dining and tasting sessions in a beautifully converted old brewhouse surrounded by vintage wagons, steam engines and shires.

st austell beer

Getting to St Austell Brewery

St Austell Brewery’s Visitor Centre occupies a dedicated complex just behind their main brewing facility outside St Austell town itself. Use postcode PL26 7XU.

By Car – Exit the A391 towards St Austell then turn into Porthpean Road signposted for ‘Brewery Visitor Centre’. Free visitor parking on-site.

By Bus – Several First bus routes connect St Austell town and railway station to Charlestown Road with bus stops 5 minutes walk from the brewery entrance.

Opening Times and Entry Prices

The Visitor Centre and tours operate:

  • April – October: Daily 10am – 5pm (tours run 11am/12pm/2pm/3pm)
  • November – March: Weekends Only 11am – 4pm

Standard Tour Prices: Adults £14
Concessions £12
Children £7 (Aged 4 – 15) Family Ticket £38 (2 adults + 2 kids or 1 adult + 3 kids)

Book your tour online.

st austell brewery making beer

Go Behind the Scenes on an All-Access Brewery Tour

The ultimate adventure dives deep into St Austell’s famous brewing process on an in-depth 75 minute All-Access Tour. Groups don hard hats and hi-vis vests before exploring the inner workings of their computer-controlled brew house, venturing up alongside huge gleaming stainless steel hoppers, grinding mills and steaming copper kettles responsible for concocting 50 million pints annually!

Friendly guides talk visitors of all ages through each step of the brewing process using enticing sensory prompts from crunching malt kernels underfoot to inhaling boiling wort’s arresting sticky-toffee sweet aroma. Interactive activities illustrate core concepts around fermentation chemistry and quality control helping both kids and adults appreciate the exacting science required to extract maximum flavour. Expect amusing anecdotes about St Austell Brewery’s fascinating 160 year history along the way too.

The tour finale? Sampling a selection of the brewery’s signature beers in their light-filled tasting room overlooking the modern packaging lines where thousands of bottles trundle off to be enjoyed across the country. Cheers to that!

tour at st austell brewery

See Shire Horses Up Close

Younger children especially adore meeting the Brewery’s towering shire horses who deliver beer barrels to local pubs when not stealing the limelight as Cornwall’s most famous brewery beasts! Their spacious sand-covered paddock sits beside the Visitor Centre so families can observe gentle giants like Greg and Granger tucking into crunchy apples – great photo opportunities guaranteed.

shire horse

Learn about Brewing Heritage

Pop into the fascinating Victorian Brewing Museum housed in the original 19th century cellars tunneled below St Austell Brewery’s offices. This atmospheric space displays a treasure trove of historic documents, photographs and equipment relating to traditional Westcountry brewing from quirky handpumps to decades-old bottling machinery. Talks explain how important local alehouses were to isolated Cornish communities over the centuries too.

Gift Shop

Before departing, the extensive giftshop stocks tasty souvenir packs like bottle opener kits and branded hoodies alongside over 150 specialist bottled beers to toast fond family memories.

visitor centre st austell brewery

The Hicks Bar

Positioned at the heart of the Visitor Centre, the characterful Hicks Bar serves thirsty families refreshing cask ales, fruity ciders and craft lagers direct from stainless steel kegs against a backdrop of suspended hops.

Adjoining, their restaurant spikes locally-sourced light lunches and West Country cream teas with subtle beer influences across menu items like steak and ale pies, beer-battered cod goujons and Hop House beer bread. Worthy of repeat tastings!

hicks bar

St Austell Brewery: A Cornish Icon

The St Austell Brewery is a family-owned brewery in Cornwall, England, with a rich history dating back to 1851. It’s not just a brewery; it’s a Cornish institution, deeply woven into the fabric of the local community.

Pub Powerhouse

St Austell boasts an impressive pub chain of over 200 pubs across the South West, each one known for offering a warm welcome and a hearty selection of St Austell brews. From traditional country inns to stylish city bars, there’s a St Austell pub for every taste. The flagship “Tribute Ale” is a Cornish favorite, a pale ale known for its smooth, easy-drinking character.

Beer with a Cornish Soul

Beyond Tribute, St Austell produces a diverse range of beers, from the crisp Korev Lager to the hoppy Proper Job IPA. They also embrace the Cornish spirit with seasonal brews like the Fisherman’s Ale and limited-edition collaborations with local producers.

A Friendly Cornish Spirit

St Austell’s image is one of friendly hospitality, Cornish pride, and community spirit. The brewery is actively involved in supporting local causes and events, and its pubs are known for their welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re a seasoned beer aficionado or a casual pint-enjoyer, you’re sure to feel at home at a St Austell pub.

From Humble Beginnings to Brewing Brilliance

The St Austell story began in 1851 when Walter Hicks opened a wine and spirits shop in St Austell. Twelve years later, he started brewing his own beer, and the St Austell Brewery was born. Over the decades, the brewery has grown and evolved, but its commitment to quality, community, and Cornish identity has remained constant.

sab logo

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed? Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the outdoor areas but not inside the Visitor Centre or Shop.

Is the Visitor Centre wheelchair accessible? Yes, the Visitor Centre and Hicks Bar are fully accessible. For the tour, some sections involve stairs and uneven surfaces, so contact them in advance if you require assistance.

Are there any special tours for beer enthusiasts? Yes, they offer VIP Experiences with in-depth brewing sessions, barrel tastings, and exclusive beer releases.

How long is the tour? Approximately 75 minutes.

Local Family Attractions Nearby

Pair a fascinating glimpse into Cornwall’s brewing heritage at St Austell with…

  • The Lost Gardens of Heligan – Just 10 minutes drive from the Brewery Centre, explore these restored historic gardens containing exotic plants from the Southern Hemisphere & jungle areas, with features like the giant’s head sculpture.
  • Charlestown Harbour – This picturesque Grade II listed harbour was built in the 19th century for the copper and china clay industry. Today the tall ships in its docks can be seen in Poldark and Alice in Wonderland amongst other TV & films.
  • Pentewan Beach – Found 5 minutes from St Austell, this Blue Flag award-winning beach offers a large expanse of golden sands and a secluded location with facilities that include a seasonal cafe and watersports hire shop.
  • The Eden Project – This eco attraction is just a 20 minute drive from the Brewery Centre and consists of huge biomes housing impressive global plant life displays from tropical regions worldwide.
  • Holywell Bay Beach – A very popular surfing beach located on the North Cornwall coast between Newquay and Perranporth, around 20 minutes drive away.
  • Wheal Martyn Clay Works – A museum showcasing the history of the Cornwall china clay industry, detailing how granite rock was transformed on a huge scale through displays, historical machinery and trails.
  • Carlyon Bay Beach – Found close to St Austell, this sweeping sandy Cornish beach is surrounded by cliffs featuring caves and rock pools to discover when the tide is out. Beachside restaurants and cafes nearby.
  • Polgoon Vineyard and Winery – Producing award-winning English white, red, rosé and sparkling wines, this family-run Cornish vineyard offers tours and wine tasting with beautiful views of the rolling countryside.

From potent hop aromas to playful shire horses, St Austell Brewery’s visitor experience helps families discover and appreciate the skilful craftsmanship behind Cornwall’s beloved brewing history.

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