Devon’s first pure session lager has won two major awards in quick succession, 12 months after its launch to market.

Tarka Four, made by Otter Brewery, has been named best in the UK, winning gold in the session lagers and pilsners class (up to 4.4% ABV) at SIBA’s Independent Beer Awards. Twenty-four hours earlier, the beer was also named best regional session lager.

The awards follow 12 months after Tarka Pure (Tarka Four’s elder 4.8% ABV stablemate) won gold in the premium lager and pilsner class at the same awards.

Brewed in East Devon with just four natural ingredients, Tarka Four launched in March 2018 and was specifically designed by head brewer, Keith Bennett, for local pubs, clubs, hotels, and music venues. Its aim was to provide a quality and local alternative to international brands.

Tarka Four is cold fermented for two weeks and then matured for a further two weeks before kegging. As with the whole Otter range, it is a completely natural product: just pure Devon spring water from from the head springs of the River Otter, plus hops, barley malt and yeast. The waste products — predominantly water — are treated without chemicals in the brewery’s on-site willow bed effluent system.

‘Quality alternative to well-known brands’

Brewery ower, Patrick McCaig, said: “This double win takes Tarka Four and all our dreams to a different level! I’ve a feeling this is just the beginning for Tarka as a brand.

“By combining the best European brewing traditions with our own 29 years of expertise, we’ve demonstrated that a local and quality alternative to the well-established European brands can succeed, both in a session lager and a premium lager.

“We intend to stay at the forefront of responding to what drinkers want, and it’s all the more exciting because Tarka and Tarka Four have real provenance and a story rooted in the landscape around them. It proves consumers want to drink something locally made if they can.”

Keith Bennett added: “Tarka is a rural take on a very urban product, and an exciting new chapter in our own development as a regional brewery. Now, depending on the occasion, drinkers have the option of a locally-made lager in two different strengths.

“National awards like these definitely sharpen our appetite further and will certainly help to establish Tarka Four as the South West’s leading session lager.”

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