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Hawkshead Brewery

Hawkshead Brewery LTD

Mill Yard, Staveley,

Cumbria LA8 9LR

Tel: 01539 822644

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Website: www.hawksheadbrewery.co.uk

Brewers: Matt Clarke (Head Brewer) and team

Capacity: 20 barrel plant

The brewery takes its name from the village where a 7 barrel brewery was originally set up, in 2002, in a restored 17th century barn at Town End, Hawkshead near Ambleside, by Alex Brodie, using plant from Border Brewery. It outgrew capacity and was relinquished in 2007, when some plant was sold to Grindleston Brew House (Clitheroe) and some to the Cumbrian micro, Geltsdale.

Hawkshead Brewery then moved to a purpose-built 20-barrel brewery at Stavelely, near Kendal. Brewing capacity has been increased several times since and a new micro packaging plant added.The Beer Hall, the brewery tap, developed as a showcase for real ale, in a way that encourages visitors to watch the brewery at work and learn about brewing. The Beer Hall kitchen serves 'beer tapas' to complement the beer.

Regular tours of the brewery are run (pre booking is advisable) and very popular beer festivals with a great choice of many beers from far and near, in all styles, are held twice a year, in March and July.

For new beers, brewery and beer hall news & events check the brewery website or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.



February 2016


Windermere Pale(OG 1036 ABV 3.5%)

Bitter (OG 1037, ABV 3.7%)

Red (OG 1041, ABV 4.2%)

Lakeland Gold (OG 1043, ABV 4.4%)

Brodie’s Prime (OG 1048, ABV 4.9%)

Lakeland Lager (OG 1045, ABV 5.0%)

Iti (ABV 3.5%)

Dry Stone Stout (ABV 4.5%)

Great White (ABV 4.8%)

Cumbrian Five Hop (1050, ABV 5.0%)

NZPA (1060, ABV 6.0%)

IPA (ABV 7.0%)

Brodie’s Prime Export (ABV 8.5%)


June 2012

Beers list updated - see below.

Brewers: Matt Clarke (Head Brewer) and team.

December 2011

Hawkshead are not currently brewing Organic Stout, It is replaced by a NON Organic version  called Drystone Stout 4.5%.
Neither is available in bottle.


October 2011

HAWKSHEAD BITTER (3.7%) is one of CAMRA’s Beers of the Year, having been a Champion Beer of Britain finalist at GBBF, 2011. It qualified by being North West Champion Bitter.

BRODIE'S PRIME (4.9%) which is currently North West Champion Porter, has gone national with Wetherspoons -- on their autumn guest beer list. 400 casks have been delivered.

A NEW BEER: NZPA (6%) is now on the bar in The Beer Hall and in pubs where strong beer sells. It is pale, IPA-style, brewed with 100% New Zealand hops (4 varieties) and by Hawkshead's Kiwi Head Brewer, Matt Clarke. NZPA joins Cumbrian 5 Hop (5%) Lakeland Gold (4.4%) and Windermere Pale (3.5%) in Hawkshead's "Huge Hop range."

THE COUNTY SHOW: There was cold, fresh, hand pulled real ale at the Westmorland Show again this year. For the 2nd year Hawkshead Brewery ran the bars and supplied the beer, real not bright, by setting up portable cellars in chilled containers.  The ale hit the bar at 12 degrees C. They did the same for the real ale tent at the music festival, Kendal Calling, where brewer Martin Howarth, who was a bar supervisor, reckoned he spent the weekend converting young women to Windermere Pale.

HEAD BREWER: Brewing Manager, Matt Clarke, was promoted to Head Brewer, in mid August. Hawkshead’s founder, Alex Brodie, relinquished the title saying Matt, with his formal IBD     (Institute of Brewing and Distilling) qualifications, now knows much more than him – and NZPA is the proof.

THE BEER SHOP at The Beer Hall, whose bottled beer stock was fairly traditional – classic Belgians and the like – has caught the zeitgeist and has started bringing in the sort of modern British bottled beers, the ‘twittersphere’ is talking about.




Windermere Pale(OG 1036 ABV 3.5%)

An aromatic and wildly hoppy, very pale ale. Huge hop aromas from a medley of traditional and modern hops including tropical fruit flavours from the American Citra hop.

Dry Stone Stout (abv 4.5%)

A traditional dry oatmeal stout & as dark as lakeland slate. Named in celebration of one of the defining features of The Lake District landscape - dry stone walls.

USPA (United States Pale Ale) (ABV 6.0%)

USPA is NZPA's American cousin - a highly hopped, modern pale ale made using all-American hops: Cascade, Simcoe and Colombus. Hugely fruity on the nose with added aroma from dry-hopping, more juicy tropical fruit on the palate; mango, peach & pineapple balanced with a citrus bitterness.

Bitter (OG 1037, ABV 3.7%)
A pale, hoppy, fruity and bitter session ale, with the distinctive aroma of Slovenian Styrian Golding hops.

Red (OG 1041, ABV 4.2%) also bottled at 4.4%.
A Red Ale, malty and spicy, bitter-sweet with a long dry finish.

Lakeland Gold (OG 1043, ABV 4.4%) also bottled.
A dark gold coloured ale: a very hoppy, best bitter, with big fruit flavours from English First Gold and American Cascade hops. Champion Best Bitter, SIBA National, 2005.

Brodie’s Prime (OG 1048, ABV 4.9%) also bottled.

A dark premium beer, a roasted stout-like edge, is followed by surprising fruit flavours from a medley of hops including Bramling Cross and Cascade.

Cumbrian Five Hop (1050, 5%) Golden, strong Pale Ale with a highly hopped aroma of tropical fruit. The blend of traditional Fuggles, Golding and Bramling Cross with modern Citra and Amarillo give full flavour and a long dry finish

NZPA 6% (1060, 6%)  A pale ale brewed with 100% New Zealand hops to celebrate our 1000th brew in Staveley by our resident Kiwi Matt Clarke.

Lakeland Lager (OG 1045, ABV 5.0%) also bottled 330ml.
A very pale, dry, pilsner-style beer, made with lager malt and wheat, Hawkshead’s ale yeast, and 3 varieties of European lager hops -- a cask conditioned lager. Also to be found kegged on bard in the Lake District a good alternative to usual bland fare!

XXX Brodie's Prime (1075, 8.5%) Matured in whisky casks – annually, cask and bottle conditioned.


Damson Stout (ABV varies)
Oatmeal stout enriched with Cumbrian damsons. Brewed & bottled in 2007 at 4.3% ABV. A high gravity long-maturing version planned – a work in progress.



U.P.A. - Ulverston Pale Ale (OG 1041, ABV 4.1%)
A fruity very pale beer, made with a little wheat and 3 English hops, two traditional and one modern.

Pure Brewed Organic Stout(1044, 4,5%) A dry stout brewed without any treatments or brewing aids.


Historical stuff

What Ales article Autumn 2003 by Ros Berry
It is hard to believe that Hawkshead Brewery is only in its second year of operation, so quickly has it established itself. The brewery was set up by former BBC foreign correspondent Alex Brodie. He had bought a home in the Lake District and would regularly visit between assignments. When the Times commissioned him to write a piece on brewing he did his research at the home of his favourite beer, Yates Bitter, by spending a couple of days working alongside Graeme Baxter. From there the idea of setting up his own brewery began to take root.

The brewery is housed in a spacious listed 17th century barn at Town End on the edge of Hawkshead village. It had been derelict for 12 years and has been restored and re-roofed with the help of a government grant. The brewing equipment came from Border brewery in Berwick on Tweed, after it merged with Hadrian in Newcastle in 2001. Part of the barn floor has been taken out to create the height for the mash room and copper. In the upper part of the barn is the grain and hopstore, and there are plans for a bar and sampling room.

Although Alex got his practical training from Graeme Baxter, he received invaluable help and advice from David Smith, a brewing consultant based in York, who has helped dozens of microbreweries get started. David worked closely with Hawkshead in the first year and helps Alex to work out recipes for the beer tastes he wants to achieve. He now visits every couple of months to check that all the brewing processes and the products are up to scratch. Two other Davids work in the brewery: David Newman who with Alex does much of the brewing, and Dave Buxton. Alex still works for the BBC, dividing his time between Hawkshead and London and presenting the main World Service news programme five times a fortnight.

The first two beers to be brewed were Bitter (3.7%) brewed with First Gold, one of the hedgerow hops cultivated by Wye College and which gives bitterness, and Styrian Goldings for aroma; and Best Bitter (4.2%) which uses Fuggles for aroma. Both use Maris Otter malt; crystal malt is added for colour and body, and Best Bitter has a deep red colour imparted by the use of dark crystal.

Hawkshead Gold (4.4%) was first brewed for bottling in March 2003, but Alex has now decided to brew it as an occasional draught beer. The use of Cascade hops gives it a powerful fruity aroma and flavour. Hawkshead Red (4.6%) has an even deeper red colour than Best Bitter but is only brewed for bottling.

Alex has succeeded in establishing a reliable customer base of real ale pubs in the South Lakeland area. Permanent customers now include the Kings Arms and Red Lion in Hawkshead; the Sawrey Hotel; the Mason¹s Arms at Strawberry Bank; the Farmers Arms in Ulverston; the Kirkstone Pass Inn and the Watermill at Ings. He is now expanding the geographical spread of regular outlets into West Cumbria and Hawkshead beers can be found in the Burnmoor and Brook House Inn in Boot; the Bower House in Eskdale; the Shepherds Arms in Ennerdale Bridge; the Kirkstile; the Bitter End and most recently the Black Bull in Cockermouth. Bottled Hawkshead Gold and Red will also be supplied to Booths, the Beer Supermarket of the Year.

The brewery has already won a remarkable number of awards: at Furness CAMRA Beer Festival in September 2002, Bitter won first prize and Best Bitter came second. Best Bitter won Beer of the Festival at Westmorland Beer Festival last year and Hawkshead Bitter was voted best beer below 4% at Bradford Beer Festival earlier this year. Having seen the care that goes into brewing these beers we can be sure that they will continue to win awards for years to come.

Article from What Ales June 2008 again by Ros Berry

Hawkshead Brewery was founded in 2002 by Alex Brodie, the BBC journalist and real ale enthusiast in a 17th Century barn outside Hawkshead, which had been derelict for 12 years. He had bought a home in the Lake District and would regularly visit between assignments. When the Times commissioned him to write a piece on brewing he did his research at the home of his favourite beer, Yates Bitter, by spending a couple of days working alongside Graeme Baxter. From there the idea of setting up his own brewery began to take root.

Although Alex got his practical training from Graeme Baxter, he received invaluable help and advice from David Smith, a brewing consultant based in York, who has helped dozens of microbreweries get started. David worked closely with Hawkshead in the first year and helped Alex to work out recipes for his early beers, for the tastes he wanted to achieve.

He began at Hawkshead with a 7 barrel brew plant. Its aim was to brew traditional beer styles with a modern twist. It must have hit the right note at once for it rapidly out grew its premises and in 2006 moved to its present site beside the River Kent in the village of Staveley which lies between Kendal & Windermere.

This new tailor made 20 barrel plant at Staveley Mill Yard is immediately connected to The Beer Hall, which is an innovative new brewery tap, dining room, dance hall and visitors’ centre (brewery tours available) & was built overlooking the brew house in late 2007. As from 1st March 2008 the original Brewery outside Hawkshead was given up by the Brewery and all production now carried out on the tailor-made 20 barrel plant at Staveley. Some of the original plant has been sold: to Grindlestone Brew House ( Clitheroe) and to the Cumbrian micro, Geltsdale

Hawkshead's HMCR Production Record for the calendar year, 2007, shows that Hawkshead Brewery produced some 2,700 brls, coming in just under the 3,000 brls per year limit for 50% beer duty, an average of 60 brls per week. The move to Staveley allowed the brakes to come off and in 2008 Hawkshead expects to go through the 3,000 brls p.a. barrier and thus will start paying higher beer duty, and under HM Customs and Revenue definitions will be classified not as a micro brewery but as a "local brewery.”

The growth of The Beer Hall has been a showcase for real ale. As campaigners for real ale, Hawkshead are encouraged by the large numbers of young people and women seen at the bar, preaching to the unconverted, and daily introducing new drinkers to real ale.

CAMRA members would be astonished at the age and gender profile of the audience attending Hawkshead’s beer festivals. The beer festivals will now be a fixture -- in February and July.

A first-floor walkway now links the brewery complex and the Beer Hall with Wilf’s Café next door; a renowned well used café where quality food is also available for visitors to take into the Beer Hall.

Hawkshead beers, which now are delivered directly throughout Cumbria and The North West, are becoming a very well known brand through both pubs and bottled outlets but its heartland remains South Lakeland. Hawkshead has won several awards at annual SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) blind tasting beer competitions, including Champion Best Bitter of Britain, 2005, with Lakeland Gold.

To many local beer enthusiasts Hawkhead beers are characterised by their hoppy tastes and clarity. This is a brewery that produces a range of beers to suit most palates and is not afraid to experiment with excellent special brews.


Last Updated on Monday, 08 February 2016 17:33