In his autobiography ‘My Music, My Life‘, the famous Indian musician Pandit Ravi Shankar wrote:

“In the summer of 1936, we spent a few months at Dartington Hall, in Devonshire, England, a beautiful, open place.  I felt that I was coming close to music and that this music is what I was meant to devote my life to”.

It was this reference that inspired New Lion Brewery’s Head Brewer Mat Henney to create Pandit, a pale ale that has put Totnes on the map as a town that makes great beer.  In 2015, Pandit was voted one of ‘Britain’s Hottest Beers’, and the Daily Telegraph called it “devastatingly likeable”.  It has a strong and loyal following, both locally and, increasingly, further afield.  “We struggle to brew enough of it”, says Henney.

While it is increasingly available in shops, pubs and restaurants across the South Hams and further afield, it had yet to make an appearance on the bar at the White Hart at Dartington itself.  Now, however, Pandit has come home, and is a regular feature gracing the White Hart bar. Tej Walia, general manager of Dartington Hall, he White Hart, says:

“Dartington is committed to offering the best of local food and drink, and in the White Hart we support and work with many great food and drink producers.  We love what New Lion Brewery does, their commitment to this community and to sustainability, and we love their beers too, so it made perfect sense that we stock their beer. Having a connection, through Pandit, to the early days of the Dartington Hall experiment makes it even more special, and it’s a great story to share”.

The White Hart’s policy is to work with local suppliers to source the best local produce, with 50% of their produce sourced from within a 20-mile radius of The White Hart.  They endeavour to use local organic, free range and fair trade products as much as possible.  They support a local community of growers on the estate itself as well as sourcing meat and fish locally. They also stock Sharpham’s award-winning wines and cheeses.

Music, and particularly the making and creation of music, has been constant and central to Dartington from its inception.  Shankar, who died in 2012 aged 92, was a regular visitor and performer at Dartington, and made a particularly memorable return there in 2004.   New Lion’s Head Brewer Mat Henney said:

“Dartington Hall has a proud tradition, and I found it incredible and thought-provoking that Ravi Shankar found such inspiration there. Thinking about this local history I wanted to produce an IPA that celebrates the link between ourselves and Pandit Ravi Shankar’s native home of India. Traditionally these beers are very highly hopped and it has allowed us to produce a beer which really stands apart from the competition, the citrus and fruit aromas really jump out of the glass”.

The White Hart is now also stocking New Lion Brewery’s other flagship beers, the award-winning Totnes Stout and Mane Event in bottles.

For more information on New Lion Brewery, see www.newlionbrewery.org.  For more information about the Gardens at Dartington Hall visit www.dartington.org  or call 01803 847145 or email bookings@dartingtonhall.com.