Skip to main content
20th October 2015

Exmoor Gold Is the best Golden Ale in the southwest!

As Exmoor Ales celebrates its 35th birthday, the iconic Exmoor Gold is also in a mood for a party as CAMRA awards it top prize in the Southwest Regional Champion Beer of Britain Golden Ale category


 Exmoor Gold is the best Golden Ale in the southwest!


The iconic Golden Ale, which was also the first of its kind to be brewed when debuting in 1986, has just been awarded top prize in CAMRA’s Southwest Regional Champion Beer of Britain Golden Ale category. What makes the award even sweeter for the brewery, which moved into new premises in 2015, is that during the summer, it learnt that those at CAMRA in charge of categorising beers for competitions such as the Champion Beer of Britain had decided that Exmoor Gold no longer suited the contemporary definition of a Golden Ale and declared it should be moved to the Best Bitter category.


‘Who would have guessed it,’ said a delighted Jonathan Price, Exmoor Ales’ Managing Director. ‘Exmoor Gold winning top prize in the Golden Ale Category for the Southwest Region Champion Beer of Britain, not long after we discovered that the new CAMRA beer judging categories would exclude it, the first and original Golden Ale, from the Golden Ale category!’


However, Price is in a forgiving mood: ‘Never mind, this recognition from CAMRA members is much appreciated and it nicely crowns the quality of our Head Brewer’s output from our new brewery this year.’


Exmoor Gold was first brewed as a seasonal beer in 1986, when Exmoor Ales was called Golden Hill Brewery, and it was produced to celebrate the 1000th brew of the Wiveliscombe-based brewery’s flagship beer Exmoor Ale. What made it stand out was that it was a single malt beer and much paler than most of the copper- and bronze-coloured beers on the market then. Little did Golden Hill/Exmoor Ales know that they were starting a brewing trend, Golden Ale. Since its inception Exmoor Gold has won many awards, with the current being the latest.


I remember my first pint of Exmoor Gold,’ says Price. ‘I was in the bar of the White Horse in Exford, the main watering hole in the heart of Exmoor. It looked like a lager in the glass, but it wasn’t and neither was it like any other ale I had tasted. I had not even heard of Golden Ales. One pint led to another as I was wowed by its malty, citrus, bittersweet, toffee and vanilla character. Six month later I bought the brewery.’




Over the years Exmoor Gold has also been lauded by beer writers such as Roger Protz and the late Michael Jackson of Beerhunter fame.


Roger Protz, 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!

‘The beer has a powerful punch of earthy hop resins, lemon fruit, juicy malt and a hint of butterscotch. Hops and fruit burst across the tongue, underscored by sappy malt and butterscotch. The finish lingers, becomes dry and intensely bitter, but juicy malt continues to make its mark on a memorable and refreshing beer.



Michael Jackson, Great Beer Guide

‘The beer is fresh-tasting, firm, creamy, dryish, with a hint of dessert apples.‘



Adrian Tierney-Jones, 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die

‘Enticingly golden in colour. The nose interplays between a fresh bouquet of grassy and floral hop and a subtly soft, fluffy caramel-tinged maltiness. The palate sees more balance between gentle grainy maltiness and sprightly floral, citrusy fresh hop fruitiness. The finish is bittersweet.’