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 just been named best in the UK after winning Gold in the ‘Session Lagers and Pilsners (up to 4.4%)’ class at SIBA’s (Society of Independent Brewers) 2019 National Independent Beer Awards. 24 hours earlier judges also named it the UK’s ‘Best Regional Session Lager’.


The awards follow 12 months after Tarka Pure (Tarka Four’s elder 4.8% stablemate) won Gold in the ‘Premium Lager and Pilsner’ class at the same awards which officially made that the best premium lager in the UK.


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 on bars and for drinkers across the South West. Tarka Four is cold fermented for two weeks and then matured for a further two 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, different types of hops, barley malt and yeast. The waste products, predominantly water, are treated without chemicals in the brewery's on-site willow bed effluent system.


Patrick McCaig commented: “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, Head Brewer: “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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Otter Brewery is one of the South West's leading cask ale suppliers. They brew all their beer using local ingredients where possible, including their own yeast culture and spring water. They supply Otter beers in over 600 outlets across the South West, either direct or via a distributor. The core values of Otter Brewery are that of total service and the production of beautifully brewed beers. Very much a family business with family values.