Our History

Bays Banter

Bays Banter

Read up on the latest news and goings-on in the brewery...

Our History


Building the Brewery – Will Freeland, Mark Salmon and Peter Salmon joined forces and signed a lease on an old 5000 square foot steel fabrication unit in Paignton.

The transformation began towards the end of March and by the middle of June, after some considerable construction and installation works, we were running our first brew through our 20 barrel brew plant.

July '07

First Deliveries -The first two brews, Best and Gold, were successfully launched into local pubs simultaneously in the first week in July.

With Will Freeland’s experience as the head brewer at Skinners Brewery in Truro for ten years Bays Brewery was quickly able to establish an efficient and consistent brewing regime.

Early recruitment – Steve Eastley joined the team and was immediately thrown in at the deep end with head brewer Will to learn how to brew award winning beer! Jo Pottinger also joined the team and immediately took charge of all admin and logistic operations.

August '07

Gold launched in bottles – Due to the early success of Gold in cask, it was decided to launch the product in bottles. Within days Bays Gold was being delivered to restaurants, hotels, and shops all over South Devon!

September '07

Brewery shop opens – Due to public demand the brewery shop was opened in September where it sells the beer in bottles, party nines and polypins. It also sells gift sets, clothing and a variety of other Bays branded merchandise.

Early award success – Bays Best was voted ‘Best Bitter in Show’ at the annual Tamworth Beer Festival. As a result, this provided the perfect platform to spread the brand on a national scale.

November '07

Bays Breaker launched – Early feedback from landlords and drinkers indicated that there was a growing demand for a darker, stronger beer. We listened and Bays Breaker was born!

March '08

Double win at SIBA Awards – Two major awards were won at the annual SIBA awards ceremony, held at Tuckers Maltings. Best won Silver and Breaker won bronze, beating off a host of well-established breweries from around the West Country. This was no mean achievement considering the festival featured well over 270 beers!

April '08

Gull Ale brewed for Torquay United – With local team Torquay United reaching the play-offs and the final of the cup, ‘Gull Ale’ was brewed and exclusively launched at the club.

Thirty pence of every pint sold was donated to the Torquay United Supporters Trust, eventually raising a total of nearly £200. The money went straight improving facilities for both the disabled and wheelchair-bound supporters at Plainmoor.

Beer tent for BMAD – By teaming up with Martin Strange, landlord at the Babbacombe Inn we were able to offer a Bays Beer tent on Paignton Seafront which kept thousands of bikers happy! Having been a success, our beer tent has been there each year since!

Sponsor Paignton Rugby Club Beer Festival – We were the proud sponsors for the first ever Paignton Rugby Club Beer Festival and have been every year since!

May '08

Bays served at the House of Commons – A highlight of the year was when Bays Best was served at the world famous Strangers’ Bar in the House of Commons. This was a rare privilege that not many breweries achieve. Mark, Will and Pete were invited up to London by Torbay’s local MP Adrian Saunders for a tour of parliament.

At the time Adrian Saunders said, “I am delighted that a Paignton pint is available for all in Westminster to enjoy. Bays Brewery is a company the whole Bay should be proud of.”

June '08

Bays wins Best Overall Business Award – Perhaps the most memorable achievement to date came when Bays Brewery was awarded ‘Best New Business’ and ‘Best Overall Business’ at the 2008 Annual Federation of Small Businesses Awards.

When giving out the awards, Sally Wilcox, South West Regional Director of BT told the audience, “Bays Brewery have put innovation into their product and achieved success in a very competitive market, competing with some of the cheap products in supermarkets.”

Gold Strikes Gold – Bays Gold won ‘beer of the year’ at the annual Summer Moon Festival held at Kingskerswell. At the time Will Freeland, Head Brewer, said, “To have all three of our beers winning awards within 12 months is fantastic! My priority is to continue brewing ales that are of a consistently high standard and that our drinkers can enjoy. As long as the drinkers are happy, I am happy!”

Sponsorship of the Occombe Farm Beer Festival – We were extremely proud to have the opportunity to sponsor one of Torbay’s biggest annual events. This event gets bigger and better every year and is a must for anyone’s diary!

Sep '08

Bays Bar at first ever Fishstock Festival – Local food, local beer and local entertainment was on the agenda first ever Festival of Seafood and Music in Torbay.

All proceeds generated through the event were donated to the Fishermen’s Mission. Former England rugby captain Matt Dawson and celebrity chef Mitch Tonks will be demonstrating live in the kitchen at the festival. This is an annual event so look out for it in the events section of the website.

Oct '08

Top award for Bays Best – Best scooped yet another top award – this time it came out top at the prestigious Falmouth beer Festival in Cornwall. There were over 170 different ales from all over the country available and Bays Best claimed top prize in the session beer category.

Nov '08

Best New Business win at Excellence Awards – Capping off an incredible year on the awards front we were delighted to receive the Best New Business award at the South Devon Excellence Awards

Jan '09

Graham and Janet join the team – With Graham on board we were able to provide additional support to our clients during the current tough economic climate. Also, Janet took over from Jo who left to have two healthy twin boys! Janet’s previous experience of working in a variety of administrative roles enabled a smooth transition and she now managed administration and the finance side of the business.

Feb '09

Warmer Wether exclusively badged for Wetherspoons – Warmer Wether was badged exclusively for the annual Wetherspoons ‘Devon Beer Festival’ and featured in all 14 of their outlets across the county.

Mar '09

Celebrity endorsement for Bays Gold – Bays Gold was also endorsed by celebrity chef John Burton Race, who chose the product as ‘the perfect accompaniment’ to one of his weekly recipes in local paper the Herald Express.

More SIBA Award Wins – Further award success came in March 2009 when two Bays beers scooped major awards at the annual SIBA awards ceremony held at Tuckers Maltings. Following on form 2008’s success Bays Gold won silver and Bays Best won bronze in their respective categories, beating off well over 250 regional beers.

Apr '09

New Recruit – Simon Coyle joined the team to assist with deliveries and production.

May '09

Sponsorhip of Ashburton Blues Festival – Bays were the proud sponsors of this annual event which attracts blues bands from all over the country. Sponsorship of this ‘jazzy’ event has continued each year since.

Sponsorship of World Record Attempt – Oooo Arrrr!! In May 2009 we sponsored the Brixham Buccanears in their attempt to break the World Record for the most pirates in one gathering. They were successful, only to be beaten in the following weeks by an American outfit.

Jun '09

Devon Dumpling launched – Just in time for the summer of 2009, Devon Dumpling was launched at the Occombe Farm Beer Festival. Again customer feedback initiated this move which clearly indicated that there was demand for a strong light premium beer.

Breaker reaches final of the Sainsburys 2009 Beer Competition – From June to August over 40,000 bottles of Breaker went on sale in over 490 Sainsbury’s stores across the country spanning from Penzance to Scotland.

The ale was one of 14 beers to be shortlisted in the 2009 Sainsbury’s competition. Sadly, we did not win, however, we were the hot favourite according to the Guardian newspaper who stated it ‘’Undersells itself as another English, chestnut coloured ale (yawn), but it’s the most sophisticated beer on this list. It has a complex flavour profile, with properly delineated rich, roasted, fruity, coffeeish malt notes, but also a clean, palate-cleansing sourness. Very good.’’

Sponsorship of Occombe Farm Beer Festival – By teaming up with Geopark (Torbay’s Geological heritage organisation) a competition was run to come up with a suitable name for their special ale to be served exclusively at the Occombe Farm Beer Festival. The winning name was ‘Beert Head’!

Sponsorship Torbay Half Marathon

Jul '09

Charity Ale – ‘Rowcroft Ale’ was created for two of our pubs, the Waterside in Goodrington and the Flagship in Paignton. Ten pence of every pint sold was donated to local charity Rowcroft. Both pubs combined sold a total of 4,000 pints!

September Bottle Award Wins – Bottled Breaker and Gold win Bronze Awards at the 2009 Taste of the West Awards.

Oct '09

Triple Award wins at Camra Festival – Bays Best, Gold and Breaker all won top awards at the South Devon Camra Beer Festival held at the Newton Abbot Race Course. Bays Best won the Gold medal in the Bitter category and also came runner up overall. Also, both Gold and Breaker were runners up in their respective categories.

Over 100 different beers were available hand picked from different breweries all over the country.

Nov '09

Devon Dumpling launched in bottles and Jingle Ale launched for Christmas

Bays Gold features on ITV’s new Drama – Our flagship product Bays Gold was seen by millions of viewers on ITV2, in their brand new show Trinity, which aired throughout Autumn 2009.

Marketing Business Award – Bays Brewery was voted runner-up for best marketing campaign at South Devon Excellence Awards.

Dec '09

Devon Dumpling launched in Bottles – After numerous requests from both customers and drinkers, Devon Dumpling was made available in bottles. Just in time for Christmas, the product was being delivered to restaurants, hotels, and shops all over South Devon!

Jan '10

Andy and Rosie join the team – With sales up 48% from 2009, new team members were needed and both Andy Hatch (deliveries) and Rosie Cotgrave (sales) jumped aboard!

Apr '10

Sponsorship of Palm FM’s first ever Pub Quiz

May '10

Local MP celebrates election victory with Bays –Rather than celebrating victory with imported French champagne, we offered our local MP’s the opportunity to celebrate with their locally brewed beer. Winning candidate Adrian Sanders duly accepted!

Pirate’s win back world record! Once again we happily sponsored the Brixham Buccanears in their world record attempt for gathering the most pirates in one place. They easily beat last years attempt and also won the record back from the American pirates!

Jun '10

Sponsorship of local Beer Festival – For the first time Bays Brewery sponsored the highly successful ‘Summermoon Festival’ held in Kingskerswell. The festival offers great live music, local beers and other entertainment!

Topsail Launched - Topsail was launched in June at the Occombe Farm Beer Festival. Since its launch, it has fast become one of Bays most popular beers!

July '10

Sponsorship of First ever South Devon Music Festival – Newton Abbot was the rocking venue for the first ever South Devon Music Festival. A highlight of the day was Will Young requesting a pint of Bays whilst on stage, which he happily downed in one!

Marldon Apple Pie Fair - We were delighted to be asked to run a bar for the 2010 Marldon Apple Pie Fair, a truly fun day for all the family.

Oct '10

Sponsorship of the Dartmouth Food Festival 

Dec '10

Jingle Ale Launched in bottles

National Award Win - We were honoured to win the best ‘Promotion and PR’ Award at the National Brewing Business Awards. 

Judges praised us for our ‘’holistic in-house strategy which was an all-round example of brilliant promotion and PR by a local brewery team without the financial resources to outsource their marketing. Bays Brewery should be very proud of its win.”

Feb '11

Craig joins the team – With good growth experienced in 2010, Craig Ayres joined the team to help deliver our beer to the increasing number of licensed premises taking our beer across the region.

April '11

Royal Wedding Beer Launched – Windsor Tide was launched to pubs across the region to help celebrate the Royal wedding of William and Kate. It was a royal success!

May '11

Sponsorship of the Dart Music Festival - As one of the established features of the Dartmouth calendar, we were proud to have agreed a sponsorship deal with the DMF comittee. The music packed event attracts great support from local residents and visitors alike.

Topsail launched in bottles - After a successful launch in casks it was decided to launch Topsail in bottles adding to our range which includes Gold and Devon Dumpling.

July '11

CIDER! - After receiving a number of requests from both customers and drinkers alike, we decided to launch our very own cider.  At 4.7%, ‘Windfall’ is a premium sparkling cider made from 100% West Country apples. West country through and through!

Sep '11

Bottle Award win - We were delighted to have scooped 3 awards for our bottled beers at the 2011 Taste of the West Awards. Gold, Topsail and Devon Dumpling all acheived bronze in this prestigious competition that highlights the best of West Country food and drink.

Oct '11

Main Sponsors of Paignton Rugby Club – We are really pleased to have agreed a sponsorhip deal with our local rugby team Paignton, for the next three seasons. As main sponsor, Bays Brewery will be printed on the front of the player’s shirts. We look forward to working closely with them and sharing their successes in the years to come!

Nov '11

National Award Win - We were delighted to find out that for the second year running we had won another top award at the SIBA National Brewing Awards.  We were voted ‘Best E Business’ and judges described us as a ‘force to be reckoned with in the South-West’ with a ‘business campaign that delivers real and successful results’.

Feb '12

Award Win - More good news for the team! We were crowned winners of the ‘Best Sales and Marketing’ category at the South Devon Excellence Awards. Every Days A Bays Day!

Mar '12

New Seasonal Beer – Springtime! A classic English ale, brewed using local malt and British brambling cross hops. The perfect addition to any Spring day!

Apr '12

Windfall Cider - Having received lots of positive feedback on our new bottled cider ‘Windfall’ – we have made the decision to launch it into our pubs on draught. Keep an eye out for it on your local pub!

May '12

Sponsorship Deal - We are now the main sponsors of Paignton Cricket Club!

Queens Jubilee - ‘Jubilee Ale’ was created as a one off beer to help celebrate our Queen’s 60 years on the throne. ”A warm chestnut coloured ale using one’s finest hops and malts”.

June '12

More sponsorships - We are proud to sponsor ‘Kandooma’ one of South West Marine Training Yachts, along with Paignton Rowing Club, Plymstock Cricket Club, the Real Ale Madrid Football team and finally Dave Roberts from Plymouth who has been selected to represent the Devon Darts team!

Striker! – A one off brew to help celebrate the Euro 2012 Football Championships. Sadly it didnt help Englan to vistory, however was extremely well received! ”A refreshing blonde beer brewed using extra pale malts and specially seleceted lager style hops. GOAL!

Jul '12

Celebrating 5 years – Wow – haven’t they flown by! Thanks to all who have supported us along the way.  All the support has been incredible and is hugely appreciated!

Go Team GB! – Beer brewed specially for the 2012 Olympic games. Judging by the amount of gold medals we won, the beer was aptly named!  ” This brew is a true winner – straw coloured and packed full of citrus hops sourced from around the world ”.

Aug '12

Flavour Fest and the Staverton Fair - Extremely proud to be one of the main sponsors of the South West’s biggest Food and Drink Festival – Flavour Fest!  We also sponsored and ran a bar at the Staverton Fair.

Sep '12

Special Green Hop beer - A special one off using green brew usiong green hops, picked less than 24 hours from brewing. The result is a golden ale bursting with a fresh hop character.

Oct '12

Poppy Bays – For two weeks only we have launched ‘Poppy Bays’.  10p of every pint sold is being donated to the Royal British Legion.

Feb '13

We Make the Safest Beer - Bays Brewery is one of the few breweries both regionally and nationally to have achieved SALSA Accreditation.  This demonstrates that we are producing safe and legal produce to a standard that far exceeds the minimum standards expected by the enforcement authorities.

June '13

Keeping It Local - Some of the malt used to make our beer now comes from barley grown by local farmer, Phil Tully, just over a mile from the brewery. He also uses our ‘spent grains’ to feed his cows so nothing goes to waste!

July '13

Devon Dumpling Re-brand - As one of our flagship products we feel it’s important to keep it modern and fresh. Same great award winning beer just with a different look. Devonshire through and through!  

Aug '13

Gorilla Ale – We teamed up with Paignton Zoo and brewed a limited edition ale to support gorilla conservation in Nigeria.  We are delighted to announce that the aptly named ‘Great Gorilla Ale’ was a huge success raising over £1000, which will go towards helping save the great species from extinction.

Sep '13

Five Top Award Wins - Three of our beers achieved Gold Star status in this year’s Great Taste Awards. Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for speciality food and drink. It has been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world!

Gold and Devon Dumpling once again achieved bronze awards at this year’s ‘Taste of the West Awards’ – another prestigious competition that highlights the best of West Country food and drink.

Oct '13

Powered By The Sun – We are passionate about doing as much as we can to help our environment.  Our most recent commitment to reducing our carbon footprint has been to install over 30 kilowatts of solar panels on to the roof of our brewery.

Mar '14

Best Green Business – For the third year running we were delighted to have won anther top award at the National SIBA Brewing Awards. Judges praised our brewery for “it’s environmentally friendly approach to brewing – which includes a recent £30,000 investment into solar power, and it’s use of local suppliers which has helped the brewery to significantly reduce it’s carbon footprint”.

May '14

Award Win - Topsail, Gold and Devon Dumpling all won top awards at the 2014 Taste of the West Awards.

June '14

Rhino Ale – We are proud to announce that we have teamed up with Paignton Zooo produce ‘Rhino Ale’. It will be available in both bottles and casks this summer & will help raise funds for critically endangered black rhinos in Zimbabwe, Africa.

Aug '14

Cheers to Rhino’s – We are thrilled to announce that over £3000 has been raised to help save the endangered species.  We would like to thank all of you that supported this successful project.

Next year we shall be choosing a different species so watch this space!

Sep '14

New Branding – We have invested heavily into our branding, which includes new designs for all of our core beers Topsail, Gold and Devon Dumpling. We now have lovely looking metallic pump clips that we plan to distribute to all of our key customers.

Another Award for Topsail -We are proud to announce that Topsail has won a top award at this year’s Great Taste Awards!

Mar '15

Lager Launch - We are proud to launch our new core product. No it’s not an ale – it’s a Lager – called ‘Devon Rock’ ! Initial feedback is fantastic!  Pubs, shops, restaurants, hotels get in touch if you would like to give it a go!

Saving the Pirates – We are delighted to announce that we have become a major sponsor of this year’s Brixham Pirate Festival, held in May ’15!  Our involvement has helped reduce the funding shortfall, meaning that the fantastic local event could go ahead!  Oooooh Arrrgghh!

Apr '15

New Recruit -We are delighted to welcome Sam to our team who has joined us this week to assist with deliveries.  He joins Andy, Craig and Scott – what a team!

Safe & Legal Ale – We are pleased to announce we have once again achieved full SALSA Accreditation – one of few breweries in the South West to have done so. This demonstrates that we are producing safe and legal produce to a standard that far exceeds the minimum standards expected by the enforcement authorities.

May '15

Raising money for Giraffes - We have once again teamed up with our friends at Paignton Zoo to brew a one off ale, aptly named ”Tall Order” whereby we are donating 10p per bottle sold to Wildlife Conservation!  We are pleased to say we raised over £3,000 for rhino’s last year and hope to raise event more this time around!

Top Award Wins – We have won 3 top awards from Taste of the West – including GOLD for multiple award winning Topsail!

Sep '15

Rugby World Cup - We have brewed a one off beer for the Rugby World Cup, aptly named ‘Nice Try’. The name was derived via a competition on social media!

Apr '16

Award Wins - Gold, Topsail, Devon Dumpling and Devon Rock Craft Lager all won top awards at the Taste of the West Awards.

May '16 

Devon Rock launched in keg – We launched Devon Rock Craft Lager in keg with a launch party at the Off Shore Bar in Torquay.

Sep '16

 Raising for Rhinos! – After a long summer of selling Rhino Ale in bottles and casks, we were delighted to hand over a cheque to Paignton Zoo for £4,600. This money was used to protect a number of species around the world. To date we have raised over £10,000 toward wildlife conservation.

Oct '16

Gold Awards - Devon Rock Craft Lager & Bays Gold win GOLD at the prestigious Food & Drink Devon Awards. Topsail & Devon Dumpling also win silver awards.  

Apr '17

National Award win for Devon Rock - We are delighted to announce that Devon Rock has won Silver at the National SIBA Independent Beer Awards in the premium lager category! The SIBA Independent Beer Awards represent the very best beer from the UK’s independent brewers and are judged by fellow brewers and industry experts making these awards the “Brewers’ Choice” awards in the UK.

Jul '17 

10 years of Bays Brewery - Celebrating 10 years a decade of Bays Brewery! Thank you to everyone - to our great team, to our customers, to our suppliers and of course to our drinkers! Here's to the next 10!

Sep '17 

Devon Dumpling voted 2017 CAMRA South West winner - A fantastic award to win, Devon Dumpling  will now go up against other regional winners from across Britain to compete for the coveted title of ''Champion Beer of Britain 2018"!

Nov '17

Over £15,000 raised for Wildlife Conservation! - Our collaboration ale with Paignton Zoo - Crocod’ale raised a whopping £2,650 for Wildlife Conservation! Since 2013 this takes our overall total beyond £15,000



Double SIBA Award win - Bays Gold has won a silver award at the South West SIBA Awards in the ‘cask bitter’ category & Devon Rock Craft Lager also picked up an award, winning bronze in National SIBA keg awards.


Bays served at the House of Commons - Our seasonal ale ‘Nice Try’ was served at the world famous Strangers’ Bar in the House of Commons. This is the second time we have had this rare privilege – the last time back in May 2008, a mere 10 years ago!


Gold awards for Devon Rock & Devon Dumpling - Devon Rock Craft Lager & Devon Dumpling both won Gold awards at the Taste of the West Awards. Gold & Topsail were both highly commended.


Trunk Ale raises £1600 for Wildlife Conservation - This takes our overall total to over £17000 since our partnership with Paignton Zoo started back in 2013.

Aug ’18 -

Devon Dumpling voted Champion Beer of Britain - Overall Silver Champion in the strong bitter category

Oct ’18

Food & Drink Devon Award Win - GOLD for Devon Dumpling & SILVER for both Topsail & Devon Rock Craft Lager


Apr ’19

Champion Beer of Britain Win! Topsail won 'Champion Beer of Britain' for the South West region in the ‘bitters’ category AND Bays Gold won silver in the ‘golden ales’ category’.

May '19

Expansion! We installed a new 60 barrel tank at the back of our brewery -  a big part of our expansion plans!

Mar ’20

Coronavirus Strikes! Due to the dramatic changes to our route to market, we reached out to our customers direct. As a result of a viral Facebook post, we very quickly launched an easy to use online shop. The local support was phenomenal!

Apr ’20

Award Win - Topsail, Devon Dumpling and Devon Rock all scoop silver at the Taste of the West Awards. 

May ’20

Launch of Devon Drinks - In our drive to support other local producers we launched our new selection of Devon Drinks available via our online shop. The very best award winning Devon producers can now be purchased all under one roof - to include Sharpham Wines, Hunts Cider, Devon Rum Co., Cove Vodka, Deckchair and Brixham Gins.  

Aug ’20

Devon Rock voted NUMBER 1 in the South West! Devon Rock Craft Lager has this week been voted the NUMBER 1 Premium Lager & Pilsner in the South West and Third best in the UK by SIBA