Real Ale Breweries in Derby Guide

A Quick Guide to some of the Real Ale Breweries in Derby

Derby is well known for its real ales and is has been crowned the Real Ale Capital of the UK several times in the past. At The Old Bell Hotel we have 12 real ale pumps on site showing just how important real ale is to us and the people of Derby.

In Derby centre alone there’s a diverse collection of beers and pubs, including our own Tavern and Tudor bars. Behind the beers in some of the city’s best pubs are some incredible real ale breweries in Derby.

There are many great real ales breweries in Derby, and we’ve put together a quick guide to some of the best Derby has to offer and some of their incredible beers.

Dancing Duck

You can’t get more Derbyshire than the name Dancing Duck and with a line up that includes ‘Ay up’, Wot the Duck and Back, Sack and Quack Dancing Duck are a playful Derby brewer through and through. Dancing Duck was established in 2010 by husband and wife team Ian and Rachael who started in a spare room and have grown the business to become a staple in many pubs across Derby.

• Dark Drake – Delicious oatmeal stout with caramel, malty and liquorice flavours that combine wonderfully with a freshly roasted coffee and toffee finish.
• ‘Ay Up’ – Generously hopped pale session ale. Subtle floral and malt notes are matched with citrus hop, rounded off with a slightly dry finish.

Derby Brewing Company

Derby Brewing Company was setup in 2004 by head brewer Trevor Harris. Trevor’s brewing career goes back to 1991 in Derby. The family run company now has a wide selection of great real ales and a new craft beer range. DBC is another one of the real ale breweries in Derby that can be regularly seen across the pumps in many of Derby’s bars.

• Business As Usual – Traditional Amber Beer – Balanced, malty and easy drinking.
• Quintessential – Golden Ale – A moreish and crisp ale with citrus flavours and a complex hoppy finish.

Littleover Brewery

Littleover Brewery was founded in 2015 by Tim Dorrington who has been a keen home brewer for many years. Being a Littleover guy, born and bred the name chose itself and Tim has been producing local real ales ever since.

• Gold – Littleover brewery’s first and one of their most popular real ales, Gold is a pale ale that’s light, easy drinking with a subtle hoppy nose using American and New Zealand hops.
• King George’s Bitter – A traditional bitter beautifully balanced with English malt and hops. This moreish beer has hints of blackcurrent, a subtle malty bitterness and a refreshing crisp finish.

Derventio Brewery

Named after the Roman fort that was built in Little Chester Derventio brewery was established in 2005 by John Baldock, Pete Nash and Martin Roden. Derventio literally means ‘The Market in the Oaks’ when translated to English and the brewery carries its Roman theme and inspiration through to its beers with names such as Venus, Cleopatra and Barbarian.

• Cleopatra – Award-winning amber ale, easy drinking beer with a sharp apricot taste and aroma.
• Barbarian – A stout with flavours of chocolate, liquorice and coffee.

Shiny Brewery

Shiny Brewery is based just outside of Derby and was established in 2014. Shiny are one of the regular real ale breweries in Derby to attend the many beer festivals in the city.

• Affinity – Multi award-winning golden bitter with lots of fruity citra hops.
• Pail – A golden beer with the same grist recipe but each version showcases a different flavoursome hop by the bucket load.
• Happy People – This pale ale combines 5 of the best hops on the planet to create a beer full or incredible flavour.

Thornbridge Brewery

Thornbridge first brewed in 2005 and make their real ales using traditional recipes with a modern twist. To create these unique twists, they use a wide variety of hops, malts and the innovation and passion of their brewing team.

• Crackendale – This citra pale ale explodes with a fantastic tropical fruit aroma, giving way to guava and ripe citrus which burst through on the palate with a beautiful sweet and bitter balance.
• Cocoa Wonderland – A full bodied robust chocolate porter with natural mocha malt flavours from the complex malt grist, which compliment the decadent additions of real chocolate to the maturation process.

There are many more great real ale breweries in Derby but the above gives you a snapshot of just some of the breweries and beers available in Derby. At The Old Bell Hotel we’re always changing our real ales on tap to give you plenty of choice and variety. Join us in the Tudor or Tavern bar to see what we have!

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