Prince Charles sips pint of famous Cornish ale during brewery tour

The Prince of Wales pulls a pint of Tribute during a visit to St Austell Brewery in Cornwall Credit: Finbarr Webster/PA

The Prince of Wales has sampled a pint of the renowned Tribute Pale Ale as he visited a brewery in Cornwall.

Charles took a sip of the flagship ale, which he had poured himself, during a tour of St Austell Brewery.

The prince’s visit coincided with the 20th anniversary of the award-winning beer and the recent honour of receiving a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Established in 1851, St Austell Brewery is one of the oldest businesses in Cornwall and is still independent and family owned.

The prince toured the brewhouse at St Austell Brewery. Credit: Finbarr Webster/PA

The royal was accompanied during a tour of the brewhouse by chief executive James Staughton and brewing director Roger Ryman, and also met staff and local barley suppliers.

Charles was also introduced to long-serving employees, apprentices and licensees from across the company’s pub estate.

The Prince of Wales pulled a pint of Tribute Pale Ale during a visit to St Austell. Credit: PA

The prince met representatives from his own Pub is The Hub initiative, which he launched during his last visit to the brewery in 2001.

In recognition of Tribute’s 20th anniversary, and to mark the royal visit, Charles was invited to unveil a special ceramic tankard.

Charles unveils the ceramic tankard. Credit: Finbarr Webster/PA

On his departure, he was gifted a birch tree, a twin of which will be planted in the centre of St Austell to mark the royal visit.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Staughton, great-great-grandson of the brewery’s founder Walter Hicks, said: "We’re honoured that His Royal Highness was able to visit us in St Austell today to tour the brewery and meet our suppliers, employees who work across the business and the organisations we work alongside.

"It was a very special day and the perfect way to celebrate Tribute’s 20-year milestone and our Queen’s Award for Enterprise - a recognition that we were enormously proud to receive for our sustainable development."