County Stat Attack Week 37 - Cornwall

This week takes us to the far South West of our Sceptred Isle and the rugged county of Cornwall, or Kernow in old Cornish. Almost an Island being surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and virtually cut off by the River Tamar. The South-Westernmost point is Lands End although the Isles of Scilly are included in the county for our purposes. The Southernmost point of the UK is also within the county in The Lizard. The interior is mostly high, infertile land, the north coast rugged and the south more sheltered.
The area was populated with Celtic tribes having more in common with Brittany and Wales than the rest of England. The language was Cornish Brittonic, very similar to current Welsh. Tin was mined, worked and exported from well before the Roman invasion. Although Exeter was the furthest west settlement of the Romans they did build roads into Cornwall to take advantage of the tin and copper mining industry. Cornwall remained remote and virtually independent until the late Anglo Saxon when they came into conflict with Wessex, after the Norman invasion it was considered part of greater England.
Whilst Tin and Copper Mining lasted into the late 20th Century Cornwall’s other great industries were China Clay, Herring Fishing and Smuggling. Cornwall was well known for its wreckers who lured trading ships onto rocks and plundered the goods being shipped, also smuggling from its old compatriots in Brittany.
There is just one city in Cornwall, which is the Cathedral city of Truro. The largest towns are Redruth, Falmouth, St. Austell, Newquay and Penzance.

On Ratebeer we have a total of 61 Breweries, 35 currently Active and 26 closed. 6 of these are Client of Commissioner Breweries.

The oldest Brewery we have for Cornwall is of course The Blue Anchor Brewery or Spingo Ales who’s official Established date is 1768 but brewing may have occurred on the site for a further 200 years. The Blue Anchor is one of just 4 original brewpubs remaining in the country still brewing today.

In the Ratebeer awards for 2020 the Best Brewery award was made to Verdant Brewing Co of Kernick (Est 2014). The Best Beer was Verdant Seldom Often and a New Brewer award was made to Pipeline Brewing Co.

The Top 10 Beers of Cornwall are –

  1. Verdant Putty
  2. Verdant Maybe One More PSI?
  3. Verdant / Equilibrium Keep Left
  4. Verdant Your Limitation It’s Only Your Imagination
  5. Verdant / Wylam Comfort Settings
  6. Verdant Allen
  7. Verdant Fruit Car Sight Exhibition
  8. Verdant / Honest Brew We’ve Lost the Manifest
  9. Verdant People Dop Odd Things
  10. Verdant / Deya Degrees

The whole of the top 25 are Verdant beers! I think that Pipeline will have something to say about that in years to come.

The Top 6 Bars / Pubs in Cornwall are –

  1. Blue Anchor, Helston – 86
  2. Front, Falmouth – 81
  3. Seafood Bar, Falmouth – 79
  4. Beerwolf Books, Falmouth – 79
  5. Blisland Inn, Blisland – 77
  6. Driftwood Spars Hotel, St. Agnes Trevuanance Cove – 76

The Top 5 Raters of Beers from Cornwall are –

  1. @fonefan
  2. @imdownthepub
  3. @madmitch76
  4. @Leighton
  5. @Theydon_Bois

You will require 95 beers to get into the Top 50 for Cornwall.

The top Rater who resides in Cornwall is
@beeebon Who is a very occasional rater but appears to be still going.


Lovely remote Cornwall, well it used to be remote when I was small, gets a little packed these days. I love visiting and Falmouth has become like a second home, we do try to get there regularly and the Beer Festival there is excellent. I always will remember Cornwall affectionately as the starting point of my Lands End to John O’Groats walk, although the actual starting point is unfortunately a bit of a dump, they should be ashamed of themselves, but it rapidly gets better. It took me 10 days to get to the Devon border, the coast path being so demanding but superb for most of the way. 2020 was supposed to be the year of doing the south coast section, maybe next year.

The county used to be, and still is to a certain extent, dominated by just a few large pub owning Breweries, the stranglehold is gradually being eroded, particularly in places like Falmouth and it’s all the better for that. Some of the coastal villages are extraordinarily beautiful and there is little better than sitting in a pub garden there watching the sun set.

What do the Cornish do for sport though? Never seen any football there, never seen a cricket pitch, I know that they play Rugby and obviously Rowing is big here.

I am currently in 2nd place in terms of Cornish beers rated with 419, just one off top spot but with non in my cellar. Cornwall is my 15th highest county and averages 3.21. I have had beers from 48 different Cornish Breweries giving me top spot in that particular chart.

The Breweries I have had most beers from are –

  1. St. Austell Brewery – 45
  2. Sharps Brewery (Molson Coors) – 38
  3. Verdant Brewing – 37
  4. Skinners Brewery – 31
  5. Harbour Brewing Co. – 25

I have given 10 beers a score of 4 or over, they are –

  1. Harbour Pale Ale No. 1 – 4.2
  2. Verdant Alternative Currency – 4.2
  3. Tintagel Harbour Special – 4.1
  4. Verdant Further – 4.1
  5. Verdant / Wylam Comfort Settings – 4.1
  6. St. Austell Black Prince – 4
  7. Sharps Quadrupel Ale – 4
  8. Verdant Unlike Stars – 4
  9. Firebrand / Pipeline Fuzzy Atmosphere – 4
  10. Verdant Reading Colour – 4

The Cornish Breweries with my best average scores are –

  1. Verdant Brewing – 3.659
  2. Pipeline Brewing – 3.5
  3. Black Flag Brewery – 3.44
  4. Harbour Brewing – 3.43

I have reviewed 43 Cornish places placing Cornwall 11th in my Counties list for places. My favourites are –

  1. Front, Falmouth – 84
  2. Driftwood Spars Hotel, St Agnes Trevaunance Cove – 78
  3. Blue Anchor, Helston – 76
  4. Red River Inn & Village Shop, Gwithian – 74
  5. Old Ale House, Truro – 74
  6. Tinners Arms, Zennor – 72
  7. Beerwolf Books, Falmouth – 72
  8. Seafood Bar, Falmouth – 72

We will be back as soon as possible, particularly for the Falmouth Beer Festival.


I lived in Cornwall from 1977 until 1980, bought my first house down there in the quiet village of Cubert, just inland from Holywell Bay. Although I was in the RAF at St Mawgan, I managed to get myself a permanent day position (I was usually an aircraft squadron shift worker). This enabled me to get a bar job in the summer months to help pay the mortgage, Margie also had two jobs (nurse and barmaid). Still seemed to be penniless all the time!

Had to drive miles to watch Grimsby Town, Plymouth being the closest, with trips to Torquay and Exeter also being taken during our three years in Cornwall.

Not been back for years, we should as we’ve friends and relatives in the county.

I’ve had 136 rates for the county, 5 of which are ciders; average of 3.21. This puts me 30th on the RB leader board and is my 13th highest English county.


22 different breweries, some sadly closed, 3 cider producers and no mead or sake.
St Austell 24
Sharp’s 18
Harbour 16
Coastal (closed) 15

As mentioned earlier we’ve not been down to Cornwall for some time and this shows on my place reviews as I only have one to report on, and it’s on The Silly Isles. I did a round the UK cruise in 2019 and we had a half day in St Mary’s where I found the Atlantic, a St Austell Brewery owned pub. Managed to find 3 new rates in there, which again shows I’ve not been to Cornwall for a while.

When we lived down there I played a lot of football, for RAF St Mawgan and a local team. You get to see a lot of the lesser known bits of the county on winter Sundays doing this, and I can let you know there are some pretty rough villages and small towns away from the pretty coastal areas most tourist see. Loved it though!



Cornwall I have visited perhaps 5 times … in my RB days just the once back in 2016 where we spent a night in Falmouth and all my Cornish place rates stem from that night.

With 364 rates Cornwall is my 7th highest rated county and has an impressive average beer score of 3.49 making it my 4th highest overall for England and sits comfortably above my average beer rated score of 3.45.

Verdant dominate my total ratings for the county with 161 in total (44% of my Cornish rates) and also the highest rated beers … in fact you have to get to my 30th top rated beer to find anything other than Verdant.

As @imdownthepub touched on … Pipeline are a great addition to the Cornish scene with my average scores from said brewery at in impressive 3.73 although from a small sample of 8 compared to the 3.77 I hold for Verdant.

Out of interest @imdownthepub … did you take a screen shot of top raters for each county some time ago as I’m in 3rd spot behind yourself and just ahead of Ken and Leighton?

Finally … I can even toss in a Leicester City visit to Cornwall … July 1996 pre season to Torpoint Athletic … think we won … we’d just come up to the Premiership having won the play off final vs Palace at the start of the Martin O’Neill era.

They were a very sociable bunch and let us pitch our tent by the side of the pitch … we even crashed on the sofas of the treasurer on our 2nd night there and went home with a dozen or more Cornish pasties each, left over from the match.

Cornwall is a lovely county … just a bloody big trek to get there!


I’ll come clean, I am away for weeks so I pre prepared this week’s and next before I came but it should only be a week behind, and no I’m not telling what’s coming next week :smiley: Congratulations on getting into 3rd for Cornwall :beers:


Looks like I robbed myself too, the Cornish beer I had in Southport puts me equal first.


Cornwall’s an absolutely gorgeous county and one I’ve been to many times. I’m always amazed that despite the eight hour traffic jam to get into the county, it’s still so easy to find beaches where you’re the only visitor.

It’s my 10th-most rated county with 65 beers - sadly this puts me nowhere near the top 50 (as usual!). My top brews are (unusually for me) dominated by pales - presumably the influence of the Cornish sunshine!:

|Verdant Bloom|3.9|
|Harbour Bordeaux Barrel Aged Doppelbock|3.8|
|Firebrand Thundercloud NEIPA|3.8|
|Healey’s Classic Reserve Cyder Special Edition - American Bourbon Reserve|3.7|
|Padstow May Day|3.7|
|Harbour Ellensberg|3.7|
|Harbour Antipodean IPA|3.7|

I’ve rated drinks from 25 breweries and 3 cideries. The most-rated are the Cornish pub-hogging Sharps (14), St Austell (7) and Skinners (6), and the supermarket shelf-hogging Harbour (6). Harbour is my highest-rated (of those with more than 5 rates), yet still only manages a lowly 3,32.

Non beer wise, Cornwall has too many amazing spots to even begin listing here. But a special mention needs to be made for the Minack Theatre. And the whole of the coast path. And all of the Isles of Scilly. And the friendly inhabitants. And… no. it’s all just great. Apart from Redruth.

The highest point in Cornwall is 420m high, and is called (snigger) Brown Willy. It’s not named after the aftermath of a sex act, but rather after the Cornish words for Hill of Swallows, and fortunately the name has survived some recent attempts at bowdlerisation. Despite the short walk in, it feels wonderfully remote from anywhere and has even had a meteorological phenomenon named after it - the Brown Willy Effect (class, stop your tottering!) where a long string of showers form leading away from the summit…


Not much remarkable from me beer wise. Not a ton of ratings, highest rated being Verdant Track and Field and Verdant Pulp! consumed at Small Bar in Cardiff. I could have sworn I visited on my first trip to the UK during a rugby tour in school but looking back at my old notes and photos I don’t see any mention of it. Now i am curious!


I suspect I’ve been to Cornwall. Although that was around 34 years ago when we visited family friends who were then based in Plymouth with the Navy.

37 Ticks, my highest scoring being:


My highest rated brewery in Verdant but I haven’t ever gone out of my way to pick up their beers.

Verdant – 11
St Austell – 8
Harbour/Sharp’s – 4
Skinners/Woodman’s – 2
Blue Anchor/Cornish Crown/Dynamite valley/Goodh/Pipeline - 1

Cornwall has two mystery beers for me – various mates really rate Proper Job and Tribute but to me they’re just less boring old school twiggy stuff. In my early harsher days I scored them 2.9 and 2.3 respectively.

One of the shops on my ever expanding ‘to order from’ list is Red Elephant in order to pick up a wider range of breweries.


Cornwall is another county that I’ve often visited pre-RB but my last visit would’ve been 2005 or before. And I’ve had a lot of beers from Cornwall in the first years of this century but only 65 since joining RateBeer (more than I thought but nowhere enough for the leaderboards). The bulk of my Cornish drinking comes from Verdant (16), Sharps (11), Harbour and St Austell (both 10). Unsurprisingly, Verdant and Harbour dominate the top end of my rates:

Sadly, no place ratings at the moment. It’s bloody hard to get to and all the ‘good places’ seem fairly far apart from one another, so I can’t say it’s on top of my list to be honest, but you never know.

First rate: St Austell Tribute (cask) got 3.6 from me as one of my first rates on here. Not sure if I would be quite that kind now but it is still a decent drink…

Last rate: Stopped for a half at a pub near me last week and had the Sharps Offshore pilsener. Not terrible, gave it a 3.2.


Cornwall–not a county one incidentally drives through, but one you make a destination. Two holidays in pre-RB days with family–the first marked by a drive into Polperro on a very busy Saturday when I truly discovered what “narrow street” means. The second is etched in the memory by a complete engine failure somewhere near Penzance (I haven’t been back since!)
As for the beer, it seems a Verdant affair. With only the Woodman’s intervention preventing a continuous top 10.

By the time we reach the low 3 ratings St Austell makes an appearance and to my astonishment it appears before Harbour does.
A modest 30 beers rated and Doom bar is last. I have vowed to visit Ipswich before Truro.


I have visited Cornwall§ a few times in my beer rating days, most recently just before the second lockdown started. I have tried 177 Cornish beers which makes it my 11th highest English county. The average score of 3.49 is also near the top.

For me it’s a county dominated by one brewery Verdant. I have 63 Verdant beers. My top rated beers are also dominated by Verdant. All my top 20 are Verdant beer, top of the pile:

Beer Rate
Verdant / Wylam Comfort Settings 4.6
Verdant / Deya Degrees 4.5
Verdant / Dugges Liesölve 4.4
Verdant Even Sharks Need Water 4.4
Verdant Neal Gets Things Done 4.4
Verdant Your Limitation. It’s Only Your Imagination 4.4

Interesting St. Austell Black Square is 21st

I have tried beers from 30 Cornish breweries, again the most beers and highest rated is Verdant

Brewery Rates Average
Verdant* 63 3.96
Padstow 11 3.33
St Austell 20 3.27
Driftwood Spars 5 3.24
Harbour 6 3.23

*Second highest English brewery and 5th overall.

I have rated 8 Cornish places top are:

I really like the main Padstow Tasting Rooms place in the old post office, great atmosphere and well worth a visit is you’re in Padstein. Not to be confused with the smaller Padstow Tasting Rooms just round the corner.

I also like Swanpool Beach near Falmouth, and recommend using your preferred food delivery service to get food and beer delivered from the Verdant Seafood Bar in Falmouth. Much easier then trying to get into Falmouth and find a parking space!!


Cornwall sits in a respectable 7th county wise overall for England ticks. I have never actually been to Cornwall and furthest SW I have been was way before RB days bring packed off out of London to spend school holidays at my grand parents in Devon.

Despite having never visited, beer numbers wise I am top rater for St. Austell (we get allot of their small batch brews over here in Copenhagen at the excellent English cask specialist Charlies Bar) Verdant we get allot of here and is tied with St. Austell on 60 ticks for 1st/2nd place. Sharps/Harbour/Atlantic make up the rest of the top 5…

Name Type Beer Count My Count Est.
St. Austell Brewery
St. Austell Commercial Brewery 176 60 1851
Verdant Brewing Co
Kernick Microbrewery 188 60 2014
Sharp’s Brewery (Molson Coors)
Rock Commercial Brewery 101 10 1994
Harbour Brewing Co.
Bodmin Microbrewery 186 7 2012
Atlantic Brewery
Treisaac Microbrewery 29 4 2005

Would love to visit Cornwall sometime - prior to Covid could actually fly SAS direct from Copenhagen to Newquay, so had already ear marked a trip to get down that way sometime so just hope it comes back again.


I’ve never managed to get to Cornwall, my tally is 69 rates with the 3 highest rated all scoring 4 being:
Verdant Pulp!
Verdant / Gamma Time’s Errand
Gould Cider Tale Sweet 2019

There are 24 active cideries in Cornwall, with Cornish Orchards having the most at 27 entries. The top 5 Cornwall cider and cidery raters are:

CornwallCider Ratings



Pretty decent for never having been there.

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Somewhat ironic for me that the week I was in Devon, it’s their ‘friendly’ neighbour Cornwall that is the subject of County Stat Attack! I have 6 rates from Cornwall: 3 from St Austell, 2 from Verdant and 1 from Harbour - and honestly, that is fewer than I thought I’d had over the last 18 months or so (checks backlog to see zero waiting to be rated, so it’s poor memory rather than rubbish admin). It’s a beautiful county, with some breathtaking scenery and lovely little towns and villages - but just an absolute bugger to get to, the M5 is probably my least favourite road in the country (see above reference to trip to Devon for my most recent horror experience of it). Most recent visit their was my stag weekend to Newquay in 2007, which certainly involved pubs and beer (and some paintball and go-karting) but which pubs and which beers, I don’t know (definitely had some Betty Stogs and some HSD). When I can bring myself to use the M5 again, and have the patience to get all the way down there, I’d love to visit again and experience some of the local beers and pubs - but it could be a while away yet …


Clearing the backlog – here is my report for Cornwall. I’ve had a total of 10 rates from Cornwall, encompassing 7 breweries. 3 from Harbour, 2 from St Austell and 1 each from the rest.

Top rated beers are Coastal Barrel Aged Sour (3.8) and St Asutell Proper Job (bottle) 3.6. Another county where I’m the only person who has rated my top beer !

Looking at my own records now, I’ve drunk 40 Cornish beers, from 20 breweries. Top listed are

Coastal 7
Harbour 4
St Austell 4

Only ever been to Cornwall twice and one of those times I didn’t even get off the train ! [ It was a railtour to Fowey ] The other visit was also rail based when I travelled on the Gunnislake and Looe branch lines with a friend. I remember playing pool in a pub in Looe, so I definitely have drunk beer IN Cornwall.


Into the last 10 English counties - got this far, etc…

So, question to all! Which county have you rated most beers from but never actually visited?

The answer for me is Cornwall. 343 ratings puts it 4th highest county and I currently sit 6th in the top 50. The background is that in early Ratebeer days, Harbour was well distributed and more recently it is Verdant. And by the time you add to these an early Beers Of Europe order to include Firebrand, Coastal, Atlantic, Dynamite Valley, Skinners and St Austell and you’re in the top 50 (for some reason Beers Of Europe have a big representation of Cornish beer despite being on the other side of the country).

Subsequently, in the last 2 or 3 years, orders from a food shop, Purely Cornish - picking up Keltek, Tintagel and some others - meant I was comfortably safe in the top 50 so job done.

Then during lockdown 2020, it seemed like many online searches seem to end up at a Cornish brewery - I’ve picked up brewery shop deliveries from Padstow, Harbour, Goodh/Woodmans and in general the beer has not been disagreeable so I will from time to time look back at these breweries to see if they have enough new beer to justify another order.

Unlike the hordes of Verdant fans above, I think my favourite Cornish brewery is Woodmans (the wild beer side of Goodh). And the stats prove it with a 3.74 average for their beers. Below are the beers I’ve rated from Cornwall with a score of 4 or more.

Woodman’s Wild Ale Smoky Cocoa 4.2
Padstow Connor’s Stout 4.1
Verdant The Importance of Being Non-Aligned 4.0
Verdant Blended Blur 4.0
Verdant Don’t Tell Gus 4.0
Verdant / Collective Arts Five A.M. 4.0

Of course, I would love to visit Cornwall extensively at some point. The problem is that I’m at the other corner of Britain and if end up heading down that direction at any point soon, the pressure will be on to just to go Devon (where sister-in-law is). This pressure should reduce after all of our kids go to university/work and there’s no such thing as a ‘‘cousin pull’’ factor.

It will also be interesting to see how many ratings I will have from Cornwall before I actually even get there!

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Can’t answer that - I’ve visited every county to bag the highest point! However, from a quick count I think there were about 9 that I’ve never actually had a drink in - of those the one I’ve rated most beers from was Lancashire.

@AshtonMcCobb, I too have set foot in every English County (maybe not since joining RateBeer).