Beer-lovers, rejoice! Dorset is full of incredible breweries – from large-scale manufacturers to small artisanal craft brewers. You can find locally produced beers and ales at pubs all over the county. But if you want a more in-depth experience, or you fancy learning a little more about where beer comes from, why not consider a brewery tour?
Below, I’ve rounded up all the breweries in Dorset which offer tours. These are the best spots to plan a visit if you fancy getting a close-up glimpse into the world of beer making, as well as tasting beers with guidance from an expert. I’ve also listed some other note-worthy breweries which don’t offer tours. You can still visit these to purchase beer directly, or to try a couple of pints in the on-site taproom.
Covid-19: right now these Dorset breweries and taprooms are temporarily closed and not offering tours. But you can still order online – so you can sip your way around Dorset from the comfort and safety of your own home! Please do consider supporting some local businesses through this difficult time.
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Map of Dorset Breweries you can Tour
7 Dorset Breweries to Visit for Tours and Tastings
1. Hall & Woodhouse, Blandford Forum
Beer, at least figuratively, is in our blood. Badger, our crown jewel, is so much more than just beer; it is rich in heritage, expertise and craftsmanship. It is woven into the tapestry of the last two and a half centuries of world history. And since we started brewing in 1777 we have proudly remained family-owned and Dorset-based.Hall & Woodhouse
Hall & Woodhouse are the Dorset-based brewery behind Badger Beers, as well as several other brands. The brewery was founded in 1777 by Charles Hall, an “entrepreneurial gentleman farmer”. Today, they not only produce beer at their historic brewery in Blandford Forum, but also run one of my favourite pub families. There are over 180 Hall & Woodhouse pubs and inns across the south of England, offering delicious pub food and, of course, a great range of Dorset-made beers and ales.
Tours and Tastings: Two-hour public tours of the Hall & Woodhouse brewery cost £12 for adults and run at 10:30am daily, with an additional tour on Saturdays at 1:30pm. Tours include one beer or soft drink. Private brewery tours are also available for groups of 10 or more.
Address: The Brewery, Blandford St Mary, Blandford Forum DT11 9LS
2. The Dorset Brewing Company, Dorchester
Founded in 1996, the Dorset Brewing Company (aka DBC) operate out of the Jurassic Brewhouse in the village of Crossways, just outside of Dorchester. Their state-of-the-art spring water-fed brewhouse is responsible for a wide range of local beers and ales, including their popular Jurassic Coast brands. New for 2020 was the addition of an onsite taproom.
Tours and Tastings: Regular tours cost £15 and run every on Tuesdays (3:30-5pm) and Fridays (6-7:30pm). Tours include a generous sampling of ales with a souvenir glass. Bespoke private tours can also be arranged for groups of 15 or more.
Address: The Jurassic Brewhouse, Hybris Business Park, Crossways, Dorchester DT2 8BF
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3. Palmers Brewery, Bridport
Over in Bridport, Palmers Brewery is one of the oldest in the UK. They’ve been brewing fine cask ales from their picturesque brewery since 1794! So there are few better places to get an insight into the long tradition of British beers brewing. Perched on the winding River Brit, complete with a functioning waterwheel, this is also the only thatched brewery in the UK. As well as producing award-winning ales and beers, Palmers also own some of the best-known and best-loved pubs in the South West. Which means there are plenty of places to try their fab range of beers, ciders, and spirits!
Tours and Tastings: Two-hour tours run daily at 11am Monday to Friday, between Easter and October, and cost £10 per adult. Places are limited so it’s recommended you book online.
Address: Old Brewery, West Bay Rd, Bridport DT6 4JA
4. Poole Hill Brewery, Bournemouth
Poole Hill Brewery are a newer addition to the Dorset breweries scene. It was founded in 2013 by Jennifer Tingay, and the entire project was Crowdfunded so there’s a lovely community aspect to the business. The brewery is housed inside a beautiful historic building, originally Bayley and Sons Iron Mongers, dating from 1880. As well as tours and a popular taproom, Poole Hill also host a number of events. Everything from live music and open mic nights to more unusual things, such as beer yoga – there are plenty of reasons to visit this lovely, turquoise-painted brewery!
Tours and Tastings: Tours cost £10 for adults and run hourly between 12-4pm Fridays and Saturdays, and between 12-2pm on Sundays.
Address: 41-43 Poole Hill, Bournemouth BH2 5PW
5. Lyme Regis Brewery, Lyme Regis
We’re passionate about bringing unique, creative, and quaffable craft beers to The Jurassic Coast. We have an overwhelming desire to brew and enjoy craft beer, and to create a range of new-age beers that puts Lyme Regis on the map.Lyme Regis Brewery
At the heart of Lyme Regis, a fantastic microbrewery was opened in 2010 in the Malthouse of the historic town mill. Originally called the Town Mill brewery, it was later rebranded and moved to a larger production facility. Then, in 2018, the brewery was bought by “four local mates” Wes, Adam, Elliott and Dan. Today, they’re producing some fab beers made from locally sourced ingredients, with colourful packaging which draws on the history and spirit of the local area.
Tours and Tastings: Lyme Regis Brewery run regular brew days, and you can also book tasting sessions at the taproom. You can also arrange a brewery tour by contacting the team directly.
Address: The Town Mill, Mill Lane, Lyme Regis DT7 3PU
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6. Dorset Piddle Brewery, Piddlehinton
With a name like Piddle, you’d think that we don’t take anything seriously. But, we do – brewing.Dorste Piddle Brewery
Dorset Piddle Brewery has a name that consistently delights the more childish amongst us – me included! The name comes from the valley where the brewery is based, but the team have embraced the endless innuendo possibilities, creating a brilliant brand with fun packaging, tongue-in-cheek beer names, and – of course – top-notch beers!
Tours and Tastings: Standard tours are £12.50 per head. These occur bi-weekly on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm and include a sampling session. Contact the brewery for more info and to book.
Address: Unit 24, Enterprise Park, Piddlehinton, Dorchester DT2 7UA
7. Barefaced Brewing, Bournemouth
Last up on the list of Dorset breweries that offer tours is Barefaced Brewing in Bournemouth. Founded by Wimborne lads Tom and Nick, the brewery originally operated out of a converted garage. When the company’s success meant expansion was necessary, they moved to a “hipster warehouse space” at Bad Hand Coffee in the centre of Bournemouth. Today, you can spot their fun and quirky range of beers at a variety of pubs around the county.
Tours and Tastings: £35 for a tour and tasting. Tours run from 1pm-3pm and must be booked in advance.
Address: 7 Norwich Road, Bournemouth BH2 5QZ
More Dorset Breweries to Try
As if those weren’t enough, here are a few more Dorset breweries worth looking out for. Although these don’t offer tours, you can find their brews in various pubs across the county. Check their sites to find out where they’re stocked – or head to a local beer festival and see how many you can spot. Many of these breweries also have taprooms on-site, where you can get a little more info about the beers while you try them.
1. The Cerne Abbas Brewery – Dorchester Road, Cerne Abbas, Dorchester, DT2 7JS. No taproom.
2. The Way Outback – 144 Seabourne Rd, Bournemouth, BH5 2HZ. Microbrewery with a taproom and bar.
3. Sixpenny Brewery – Holwell Farm, Holwell, Wimborne, Cranborne, Wimborne, BH21 5QP. Brewery with a taproom.
4. Eight Arch Brewing Company – 3A, Stone Lane Industrial Estate, Wimborne, BH21 1HB. Taproom is a pop-up bar.
5. Isle of Purbeck Brewery – Manor Road, Studland, Swanage, BH19 3AU. Shares its plot with the Bankes Arms pub.
6. Sandbanks Brewery – Unit 6, 4-6 Abingdon Rd, Nuffield Industrial Estate, Poole, BH17 0UG. Brewery with a taproom.
7. Drop the Anchor Brewery – Bridge Streer, Christchurch, BH23 1DY. Visit the Tuckton Taphouse at 181 Tuckton Road to try their beers.
8. Gyle 59 – The Brewery, Sadborow Estate Yard, Chard, TA20 4PW. Tours are available on request, while the brewery taproom opens by prior arrangement for events etc. You can also visit the brewery bottle shop, but ring first to check it’s open.
Are there any Dorset breweries missing from this list? Scroll down to leave a comment!