Former Cotleigh head brewer Peter Elvin always had a return to brewing in mind when he was looking for a freehouse pub at the end of the 1990s. In The Star, at Crowlas, he found the perfect premises.
The former Ushers pub is at the heart of a busy village and by the side of the busy A30 trunk road, taking drivers to Penzance and onwards towards Land’s End. But more importantly, it has old stable buildings at the back that have proved to be the perfect microbrewery premises.
From a business point of view, of course, getting the pub up and running was the priority, and Pete set about not only establishing a fine pub serving guest beers from around the UK, but restoring the building to its Victorian glory.
By 2008, nine years after the re-opening of the pub, the brewery came on stream, and neither Pete nor his very satisfied customers have looked back. He has devised a range of beers that cover the spectrum of ale styles, from the light and golden Potion No 9, to the traditional session brew Crowlas Bitter, through to stronger hoppy beers, such as Lamorna Gold and up to the complex, dark and deep Scilly Stout.
The beers are mostly sold through the pub, where there is a huge demand, but some casks escape, to selected local outlets — where it is known drinkers can be assured of a top-class pint — and to a few beer festivals and well-known real ale pubs upcountry.
Darren Norbury (www.beertoday.co.uk)