At Hawkshead Brewery we make the sort of beer we like to drink - distinctive, 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 and innovate. We are big enough to employ a team of five brewers, make around 140 barrels (23,000 litres) of beer a week, deliver direct throughout The North, and have a bar open every day, at the brewery.
Beer from The Lakes
We have been brewing innovative, modern beers 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 at its best, where it is brewed.
65% of what we produce is “real ale” which is cask conditioned beer, a peculiarly British speciality. It is Britain's craft. We think this is the best way to appreciate low gravity sesion ale. And we know that the best way to serve our cask conditioned beer is in the northern manner, through a tight sparkler to create a creamy head. We also produce a wide range of 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: 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, the Czech Republic, 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.