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  • The former head chef of three Michelin-starred restaurant Le Gavroche, has joined Hawkshead as consultant chef at the Brewery’s new Beer Kitchen.

    Steven Doherty joins the team at Hawkshead because of its managing director’s aim of changing how people drink beer by introducing beer tapas – one of the Beer Kitchen’s food offerings at the recently expanded brewery.

    Hawkshead managing director Alex Brodie says: “Our aim with the Beer Kitchen is to tackle the lamentable British tradition of drinking without food and eating without beer. We do this by ensuring that down to earth, hearty food is of high quality and can come in delicious, small and inexpensive portions that will complement beer.”

    Steven will be working with resident chef, Kester Marsh on developing the Brewery’s food offering along with its food matching dinners which Hawkshead has recently launched.

    Doherty commented: “I am delighted to be working with Hawkshead Brewery on their innovative food offering.

    Having inexpensive and surprising tapas dishes, swiftly served, to accompany beer at the bar as well as more usual seasonal main courses is different. I think the beer and food matching we are doing is the future for pub food.”

    The Beer Kitchen is part of Hawkshead’s new Beer Hall which is seen as a showcase for real ale and the subject to an investment of £250,000, which sees the Brewery increasing its production to produce 180 barrels per week.

    The new Beer Hall has viewing galleries throughout enabling visitors to look into the brew house, the cellar, the temperature controlled specialist beer shop and the new fermentation room.

    Doherty began his career at the Savoy before moving to Le Gavroche as a commis chef where he worked his way up to the role of chef de partie. This was followed by a two year stint at the Alain Chapel's restaurant in France before returning to become a sous chef for Albert Roux's.

    Le Gavroche went on to gain three Michelin stars making Steven the first ever British head chef at a three Michelin-starred establishment. In April 2003, Steven was awarded the contract to set up and run the new cafe within the Lakeland Limited store in Windermere, and has since acted as its consultant for cafe operations in other UK stores.

    Doherty also pioneered the concept of gastropubs with firstly the Brown Horse in Winster and later The Punch Bowl at Crosthwaite to high acclaim.

  • Cumbrian-based Hawkshead Brewery is set to launch its organic stout in the US after two years in the planning. It is thought to the first British organic stout to be sold in America.

    The Brewery and its bottle supplier, Hambleton Ales, have had to meet a series of stringent criteria including organic certification from the UK Soil Association and meet guidelines set out by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP), to sell the organic stout in the US.

    Hawkshead has now despatched its first shipment of 4,500 bottles of its organic stout to Massachusetts-based distributor St Killians, which will be supplying the drink to outlets across America.

    Sales manager, Anne Jones said: “We think this will be the only British Organic Stout in the USA, the only “Pure Brewed” one and certainly the only one brewed by a small local brewery. It has been a long and difficult job getting all the organic grain and hops NOP certified – a job that would normally require the resources of a much bigger brewery.”

    “But Roman Dombrowski of St. Killian threw down the challenge and we picked it up. We tend to do that at Hawkshead – punch above our weight.”

    “This all began at the Las Vegas beer trade fair in 2009. We weren’t even showcasing the Organic Stout, because of the problems getting US accreditation, but I took a couple of bottles in my luggage anyway, and that’s the one which got Roman interested.”

    The Brewery received business support from government body UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), which works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets.

    UKTI staff advised Hawkshead Brewery on how to gain National US Organic Status and International Commercial Teams (INCO), as achieving organic status in the USA is a very demanding process.

    Peter Gawne-Cain, international trade adviser for UKTI North West added:

    “Hawkshead Brewery is a real local success story and it is great to see its real, traditionally brewed Cumbrian ales being snapped up in America. Cumbria as a region has a proud history of producing quality food and drink and I am delighted that products such as Hawkshead’s organic stout are flying the flag overseas for all that is best about British produce.

    “UK Trade & Investment has 25 advisers in the North West available to help companies with any aspect of international trade, offering a range of services to help firms discover international markets, assist with market entry strategies and even to put them in touch with potential customers, suppliers and distributors, so I would urge other companies to give us a call and see how we can help.”

    Hawkshead Brewery has recently undergone an expansion after a £250,000 investment into expanding its brewery and the creation of its Beer Hall. The expansion will enable Hawkshead Brewery to produce 180 barrels, or over 50,000 pints per week.

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