the uk and ireland's best regional breweries
...according to beer sommelier melissa cole : @melissacole
1. hillside : gloucestershireX
Classic British beers brewed in breath-taking surroundings with outdoor pursuits on-site, should you want to work up a thirst. You can also stay at lovely hostelry, the Farmer's Boy Inn.
Nearest Station: Gloucester
Must try: Over the Hill; Summit
2. adnams : suffolkX
A two-for-one tour that takes in a brewery and distillery in the glorious seaside town of Southwold. Make sure you head over the footbridge to the Anchor in Walberswick too.
Nearest Station: Halesworth
Must try: Ghost Ship; Tally Ho
3. fyne ales : argyllX
Perched at the head of the Glen of Fyne, this family brewery has been consistently turning out some of Scotland's finest beers for 15 years.
Must try: Jarl; Sublime Stout
4. st austell : cornwallX
St Austell's new interactive visitor's centre is formed around the recently-installed (and gorgeous) small batch brewery, which is turning out some deliciously innovative brews, educational visits and great food.
Nearest Station: St Austell
Must try: Proper Job; Mena Dhu
5. black sheep : yorkshireX
When Paul Theakston's family decided to sell their brewery to an international company, he was unhappy and opened the amusingly-named Black Sheep in the same town. Brilliant move, brilliant beers.
Nearest Station: Harrogate
Must try: Square Ale; Riggwelter
6. hawkshead : cumbriaX
A beer hall in the middle of the Lake District, with views into all aspects of the brewery and tours if you want to get closer. There's great food too. Perfection.
Nearest Station: Staveley
Must try: Windermere Pale; Red
7. moor beer company : bristolX
Much as I wish this was just an amusing pun, it's actually a brewery that started life on the moors until owner Justin Hawke moved it into Bristol. Lush unfiltered, unfined beers in cool surroundings.
Nearest Station: Bristol Temple Meads
Must try: Radiance; Nor'hop
8. brecon : powysX
Run by one of the nicest men in brewing, my old pal Buster Grant. You'll need to call ahead to tour the brewery, but it's a great way to slake your thirst after a day of Brecon Beacons activities.
Nearest Station: Methyr Tydfil
Must try: Three Beacons; Dark Beacons
9. magic rock : yorkshireX
One of shiniest brewery taps in the country, and one of the most family-friendly too, offering a welcome to "well-behaved under-18s and dogs". Brewery tours run on Saturday, and a rotating cast of food trucks provides the grub.
Nearest Station: Huddersfield
Must try: High Wire & Clown Juice
10. batemans : lincolnshireX
A venerable family brewery for four generations, with the admirable slogan "Run by brewers, not accountants". You'll know you're near when you see the windmill, which is also the brewery logo.
Nearest Station: Wainfleet
Must try: Victory & XXXB
11. purity : WarwickshireX
Paul Halsey started out in Big Beer, but today he and his partners have carved out a state-of-the-art eco-friendly brewery in the glorious Warwickshire countryside. Expect the occasional gundog or pheasants for company.
Nearest Station: Redditch
Must try: Saddleblack; Longhorn
12. otley : glamorganX
An industrial estate in Pontypridd might not be the most glamorous location but visit (by appointment) and you'll get a warm Welsh welcome. Do eat at the brewery tap, the Bunch of Grapes afterwards.
Nearest Station: Abercynon
Must try: Thai Bo; Croeso
13. windsor & eton : berkshireX
In the shadow of Windsor castle lies Windsor & Eton Brewery - and Uprising Brewery, its rebellious child. They make everything from luscious lager to dark-hearted stouts, and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable.
Nearest Station: Windsor and Eton Central
Must try: Republika; Treason
14. hilden : antrimX
The brewery is based behind what was one of the last working linen mills in Northern Ireland and is a family business, attached to an award-winning restaurant. Great beers and great hospitality.
Nearest Station: Hilden
Must try: Hilden Halt; Twisted Hop