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An experiment to age beer in a whisky barrel for six months won judges approval and netted us a gold medal at the North Region Brewers Society competition held in Manchester in October.

Our whisky cask-aged Damson and Vanilla Imperial Stout won the speciality bottled beer category at the annual competition run by SIBA (the Society of Independent Brewers) and continued our winning streak: last year Windermere Pale in cask was overall champion of the competition.

The speciality stout made with Lyth Valley damsons, and hand-bottled after 6 months in an oak whisky cask is the first in a series of three new bottled beers, all of which have been aged in barrels from Bladnoch Distillery in Lowland Scotland.

Alongside the 8.3% abv damson beer, the limited edition collection also includes Imperial Stout 8.3% abv and Brodie’s Prime Reserve 2012 8.5% abv. Each beer has been carefully matured in the brewery’s cellar, during which time the beer grows in character as maturation unlocks flavours in the oak. Only when the unique and complex flavours are deemed perfect are the beers bottled.

The first beer is now for sale at the brewery in The Beer Hall shop. All three will be available to purchase from the shop and online from our web-shop in the next few weeks as soon as they are ready for release.

Although there are only a very limited number of these oak aged beers the gold medal that we have won has given Head Brewer, Matt Clarke, the confidence to crack on with his project of aging more beer in the stock of barrels he has collected from several distilleries so watch out for more specialist releases in the future.


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Hawkshead Brewery is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Hawkshead Brewery Ltd, Mill Yard, Staveley, Cumbria LA8 9LR. Registered number: 3209508
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