History – Exmoor Ales



Wiveliscombe, a Famous Brewing Town

In 1807 the Hancock family founded what was to become one of the biggest breweries in the Southwest.

Hancock’s employed over half the town of Wiveliscombe’s workforce and owned most of its 36 pubs.

 Hancock’s Brewery closed in 1960.

Delivery Cart Driven by a Horse

Photo: Copyright Nick Thompson



Exmoor Ales is Founded

Exmoor Ales was originally called ‘Golden Hill Brewery,’ named after it’s hilltop location, part of the old Hancock’s site. The Victorian Brewery tower and chimney still dominate the skyline.

The first beer brewed was called ‘Exmoor Ale.’

Victorian built chimney on Golden Hill



Exmoor Ale Wins Best Bitter

After only its 13th brew, Exmoor Ale won the 1980 Champion Beer of Britain Best Bitter at the CAMRA Great British Beer Festival in Alexander Palace London.

It’s become one of the most well-known session beers in the Southwest and increasingly around the country.

Exmoor Ales Label and award



Britain’s Original Golden Ale, Exmoor Gold Debuts

Exmoor Gold is the first original ‘Golden Ale’ and is also our most famous beer. This beer started the Golden Ale category; now virtually all breweries have one or more Golden Ales in their range.

Exmoor Gold has won many CAMRA awards, including Gold Champion.

Exmoor Gold Pump Clip with Award



The Beast is Born

Beast, our famous Dark Porter, has a cult-like following. It’s also the beer HRH Prince Charles asked to try during a visit to Exmoor in July, 2019

Beast is a lush, heady beer and at 6.6%, the strongest we brew. Beast has scooped up countless awards over the years. 

Beast Pump Clip



New Brewery Site Opens

Investment in a new, larger brewery more than doubles production capacity.

New Exmoor Ales Brewery



EXILE Ales are Introduced

The EXILE brand of ‘Craft Cask’ Ales launches with Urban Fox as the first in the series.

EXILE beers are a more modern, ‘hop-forward’ style of beer than traditional Exmoor beers. They also include unique collaborations between our brewers and other local producers such as Wicked Wolf Gin and Brazier Coffee Roasters.

Exile brand logo and Urban Fox clip

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