At Hawkshead Brewery we make the sort of beer we like to drink. We brew distinctive, flavourful, modern beers. Hawkshead is one of the most successful of the new wave of independent breweries which have ignited public excitement about beer and furthered the renaissance of British brewing. Our beer is full of flavour, handmade, crafted, bold, personal and made by people who LOVE BEER for people who love beer.
We are small enough to know most of our customers, not to care about the mass market, be able to brew lots of different beers, experiment with different styles and ......... have fun. We are big enough to employ a team of five brewers, make around 120 barrels (20,000 litres) of beer a week, deliver widely throughout The North, and have a bar open every day, at the brewery.
Beer from The Lakes
We have been brewing traditional beer styles with a modern twist in the Lake District, of Northern England, since 2002. We started in an old barn at Hawkshead, at the head of Esthwaite Water. We outgrew it after four years and moved across Windermere to our present site, in the Mill Yard, beside the River Kent, at Staveley. Here we built a new brewery in Chadwick’s Mill, the old wood turning mill, and added The Beer Hall, the brewery tap, so that you can drink our beer where it is brewed.
Mostly we make “real ale” which is cask conditioned beer, a peculiarly British speciality, which we think is the best way to appreciate ale. We know that the best way to serve our real ale is in the northern manner, through a tight sparkler to create a creamy head. We also make lager and other keg beers. Some beers are better with a little artificial carbonation and keg beer can go places cask beer cannot. The battle to save cask beer from the crazed marketeers of the sixties, who nearly killed it, has been won. Today’s beer lovers, rightly, are more concerned with the quality of the beer than the method of dispense. So what is proper beer? You know it when you drink it.
Hawkshead Brewery has been variously described as: a micro-brewery, local brewery, beer factory, small independent, small regional, new wave brewery, craft brewery, artisan brewery. We are certainly hands on and labour intensive. We have very little automation. The brewers do keep fit - lifting and shifting and digging out. Every day we handle, taste and smell our raw materials - malt and hops. We hunt for hops all over the world. We have visited hop farmers in the UK, Slovenia, USA and New Zealand. We are always learning and improving. We brew what we would like to drink. We never design a beer by cost. So what is a craft brewery? You know it when you see it.