Around these parts the mention of "Bale Ale" immediately conjures up fond memories of the Crantock Bale Push, and the resulting aching arms and legs the following day if taking part. Around this time a beer appears in the local shop, and in the Cornishman pub, that bears the name 'Bale Ale'. It has no other identifying features. We have tried to find out who brews this each year, so far without success, and therefore we have yet to determine if it is suitable for vegans and so haven't tried it.
On a recent trip up to Tavistock we found another beer bearing the legend 'Bale Ale', but this time it is the name of the brewery. With so many micro-breweries and craft beers popping up all over the country, you can forgive any confusion resulting from a few similar sounding names. In the U.K. we haven't quite got to the point of having specialist lawyers who focus only on craft beer names and descriptions among the thousands of competing brewers (as they do in America), and hope that time never comes. Even though this most recent bale ale comes from across the border in Devon, we might have to admit that it trumps our local brew by announcing in no uncertain terms that it is "suitable for vegans" on the bottle. Check the 'why cloudy' section of their website for further confirmation of vegan status. We also must admit that it would probably come out tops in a taste test also, as it's one of those beers where you take one sip and go, "aah... now THAT is a good beer".
So far Bale Ale only seems to be marketing their 'Haytor Rebel' ale, which, being keen cycling fans, is a "tip of the hat to anyone who has ridden one of Devon's greatest climbs". They state on their bottles that they are "obsessed with cycling and ale", and we've got to admit there are far worse ways to spend your days than in the pursuit of the best of both. We'd also like to 'tip our hats' both to the quality and taste of their ale, and the fact that they've made it clearly suitable for vegans.
Check the 'where to buy' section on their website to taste for yourself. We found some in Roots and Vines, and will be looking out for more of them in future. It is a perfect ale for relaxing with after a hard day in the saddle, or indeed pushing the bale.