In the beginning
Hawkshead Brewery began in 2002, in a barn at Town End Farm, at the head of Esthwaite Water, just outside the village of Hawkshead, brewing on a 7 barrel plant which came from the Border Brewery at Berwick-upon-Tweed.
The move to Staveley
In 2006 we relocated to the Mill Yard, beside the River Kent at Staveley, where we put in a new 20 barrel brewhouse and our brewery tap - The Beer Hall. We are now brewing at full capacity, producing some 6,700 barrels (1.1 million litres) per year.
Brewing on 2 sites in 2018.
We have now outgrown Staveley, as we outgrew Hawkshead, but this time we are not leaving. We have expanded into the next door unit at Staveley and we are building a new brewery at Flookburgh in South Cumbria. The state of the art brewhouse - a rapid-batch 40 barrel plant by the German company Krones should be up and running by mid 2018. This £3 million expansion project has been made possible by investment from our parent company Halewood International, who bought Hawkshead Brewery in March 2017. By the middle of 2018 we intend to be brewing on two sites, at Staveley, which will concentrate on small batch specialist beers, and at Flookburgh.
Beer from the heart
Which was our original slogan, was coined one day when our founder, Alex Brodie, went off on one of his customary passionate rants about “proper beer". The brewery’s not been going long but Alex, who started it, reckons he has been in the beer business, man and boy, for 40 odd years - as a dedicated propper-up of bars and beer hunter. His selfless research has been conducted not just in Britain but around the world, during his career as a foreign correspondent.
He grew up in East Yorkshire in the 1960s drinking John Smith's cask bitter.... until the day crazed keg marketeers stripped out the hand pulls. He drank Morrells at university, and served fizzy beer in London bars in the early 70s, whilst seeking out Courage Directors.
He joyfully imbibed King and Barnes, Shepherd Neame and Harveys, in Kent, where, in 1973, he joined CAMRA. In the Midlands, the Davenports wagon delivered "beer at home". In Cardiff, even late night bars served Brains S.A. The flat in Wandsworth didn't have a sitting room - that was round the corner in the Youngs brewery tap, and in South West London, the local was Fullers' Wych Elm, run by Manuel.
In Iran, it was Heineken from a tea pot. In Pakistan, he had to register as a Christian to get beer from the Murree Brewery. In Mexico City, Dos Equis hit the spot. The USA, meant Sam Adams Boston Lager. And when home in the UK in The Lake District, fell walks would be contrived to end with pints of session Bitter from Cumbria's first micro, Yates. Now he doesn’t have to hunt far for proper beer.