Home to dozens of different independent breweries, innumerable traditional pubs (as well as modern gastropubs), and a relaxed atmosphere that goes splendidly with some suds, Dorset is an ideal destination for brew-y getaways. Begin your journey at The Acorn Inn, where you’ll find you won’t have to travel far to come face-to-face with a refreshing pint at these top Dorset breweries and brewpubs.
Independent Breweries in Dorset
First, a bit of beery education: Dorset is something of a haven when it comes to traditional English beer styles, which makes the county a favourite CAMRA destination. Otherwise known as the Campaign for Real Ales, CAMRA was founded back in the 1970s as a way to promote real ales, or beer that’s made from traditional ingredients and twice fermented, so no forced carbonation is necessary. Whether served in casks or in bottles, this is British beer as it was meant to be, minus any meddling.
For those after traditional, real ale, you won’t have to look far. One of the top Dorset breweries to try is the beloved Dorset Brewing Company. A local presence since 1996, the brewery combines traditional brewing practices with several current trends, offering styles like Triple IPAs and Pumpkin Ales alongside its classic bitters. The curious can stop by for a brewery tour and a tipple (be sure to book ahead).
And that’s certainly not all when it comes to Dorset breweries – the thirsty, happily, have many more to choose from. Other county favourites include Piddle Brewery, Corfe Castle Brewery, and Sixpenny Brewery.
Gastropubs in Dorset
If you’re looking to enjoy a brew or two alongside some delectable eats, you’re in the right place. You can begin, of course, with the Acorn Inn – within our rustic, refined pub, diners can sample delectable dishes alongside award-winning real ales. The Acorn Inn’s pub has earned a gold Taste of the West award in the category of Best Dining Pub, which means diners are in for a gourmet treat: dishes like guinea fowl breast stuffed with brie and rocket on sweet potato purée are perfect for special occasions, while our light and crispy beer battered local fish of the day with triple cooked chips and mushy peas couldn’t be fresher – or a better accompaniment for those local ales.
From there, a number of other local gastropubs tempt with their pints and their plates. The Queens Arms, set on the border of Dorset and Somerset, has been awarded a Cask Marque for its impressive real ale selection, and has been shortlisted for CAMRA regional pub awards. For a pint with a view, The Anchor Inn in Seatown offers a truly exceptional beer garden looking out onto the English Channel – the surf and sand are particularly enjoyable when washed down with a frothy pint. And then there’s The White Post at Rimpton, which overlooks the picturesque hills of Dorset and Somerset. While real ales are the order of the day, there’s plenty of West Country cider on offer as well, not to mention a delectable menu of plates like crab arancini, venison burgers, and new season asparagus topped with an egg and wild garlic butter.
The Best Beer Shops in Dorset
Looking to take a few bottles home with you? Despite its name, the Dorset Wine Company is one good bet for those seeking a stock of local products, with its selection of regional ales and ciders. Sixpenny Brewery, meanwhile, operates the Sixpenny Tap, where their full range of brews is also available to take home in bottle.
Header Image © The White Post