Following a hugely successful first year since opening its doors in 2016, including a doubling of footfall across the same period in the previous year, St Austell Brewery’s interactive Brewing Experience is now attracting visitors from across the globe, many no doubt inspired by the company’s inclusion in the Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour guide, one of only two Cornish Breweries to get a mention.
Having already welcomed a 37-strong contingent from the Brewery Collectibles Club of America as well as being part of popular US TV presenter Rik Steve’s European tour, the first quarter of 2017 has seen beer lovers from as far afield as South Korea and Australia as well as ale aficionados from closer to home across Europe coming through the doors of the Brewery’s St Austell-based Experience and heritage centre.
In preparation for the high season, foreign language translations of the main exhibits have been created to cater for the rising number of overseas visitors and a new genealogy program is being set up by Brewery archivists to help deal with the hundreds of enquiries received from Cornish folk scattered around the globe looking to find out about their ancestors with connections to the Brewery’s historic pubs and inns across the south west.
Rising to the challenge of the global influx, Visitor Centre Manager Pippa Corbett said, “The Experience was designed and created to allow more people to come and visit us and so that we wouldn’t have to turn people away when tours were fully booked, but we’ve been amazed at how popular the new Experience is and how quickly word has spread to new and potential visitors.”
The new Experience combines elements of the traditional guided tour, for which the Visitor centre picked up a Visit England Best Told Story award in 2015, alongside interactive and self-guided elements and the all-important beer sampling of St Austell’s award-winning range of ales and beers.
But, despite the continuing popularity of the BBC’s Poldark series, the promise of a great Cornish summer and, of course, the resurgence of love for great tasting beer, Pippa is confident that her team is well placed to welcome the increase in visitor numbers, adding, “We have a fabulous combination of experienced guides to bring out the best of our heritage and our beers alongside a young and enthusiastic team in the bar and kitchen delivering fantastic food and drink to satisfy the most demanding of bodies and souls. Let the people come!”