Change your cover photo
Utopian Brewing
Change your cover photo
At Utopian Brewing our mission is simple: to celebrate incredible British lager. From our independent brewery in picturesque Devon we brew in a traditional way but with our own interpretations of classic styles, using only 100% British grown ingredients.
This user account status is Approved

Nothing posted yet!

Utopian Brewing

Deep in the heart of mid Devon lies the hamlet of Clannaborough Barton and here, hidden amidst the green fields and rolling hills of Dartmoor, is home to Utopian Brewing. The two former farm buildings were leased by founder Rich Archer in the middle of 2018 and, with Head brewer Jeremy Swainson joining in November, they set about converting the barns to a brewery and their first beer was released in March 2019.
Utopian take their name, and a lot of their inspiration, from the 19th century designer and philosopher William Morris. As Rich Archer explains. “The Arts and Crafts movement, and Morris in particular, were committed to the concept of reuse and recycle, he was also passionate about making the workplace an enjoyable place to be. Furthermore, even at the height of the industrial revolution, he always maintained that it was the skills and ability of the artisans, and not the machines themselves that would determine the quality of the produce. We totally agree.”
From the outset the plan was to brew only lager style beers, and to brew with 100% UK grown ingredients. Sustainability ambitions drove the latter point, with a desire to reduce food miles, despite some saying this would be a handicap when trying to recreate classic lager styles. Jeremy and his team would beg to differ. There are a huge range of new and traditional home grown hops and the team worked hard to create the right flavour and bitterness combinations in the beers. On the malt front there has been innovations too. The UK is renowned for its barley and maltings but lager brewing can benefit from a less modified malt than traditionally used in the UK. Readily available in Bavaria and Bohemia, these lower modified options are harder to come by in the UK, so Jeremy worked with local maltsters Warminster, to create a malt to their own specification and he believes this has had a significant positive impact on all the beers.
It may have been simpler to just import some traditional hops and malts from Germany or Czechia but developing the beers from scratch has enabled the team to create a range of beers that are both true to the classic styles, but with their own unique British twist. The result is an award winning collection of 4 core beers and a growing range of seasonals and specials ranging from the signature Helles inspired Premium Lager, to the rarely brewed Cerne Specialni black lager, with all sorts in between.
“We wanted to create a range of beers that were accessible and easy drinking, to showcase some of the great lager styles from around the world, and to do this in a sustainable and natural way.” says Archer. Head brewer Jeremy Swainson goes on to explain what they mean by natural. “You can use additives and enzymes to get rid of diacetyl, to make your mash faster, and to clear the beer faster. You can buy low-nitrogen malt which is easier to process, and force carbonate your beer at packaging. But none of these is actually going to make the beer taste better, and for me that is cheating the consumer out of a properly made traditional Lager.”

Richard Archer

The brewery does not currently have a shop or visitor centre but these are planned for 2022. In the meantime our beers are available at a wide range of outlets in Devon and our online shop

Aune Valley Meat
Black River Inn
Corks and Cru
Harry's Restaurant
Heron Farm
The Bedford Hotel