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Foxfield Brewery

Prince of Wales
Broughton in Furness
LA20 6BX
Phone    01229 716238

Opened in the autumn of 1997 by the owners of Tigertops Brewery, this small plant brews a wide variety of different beers from a small brewery in the old stables of The Prince of Wales pub. Originally the 1 barrel brewplant formerly used at Tigertops was used, this was replaced in 1999 by a 3 barrel plant, the original plant being now used by Port Mahon.
Stuart and Lynda Johnson, having great success at the Tigertops Brewery in Wakefield, set up a 3 barrel plant in stables at the back of the Prince of Wales pub, where they brew a number of interesting ales, and sell several guest beers, too. See further info, updated June 2008
Stuart continues to produce top notch Dark Mild, Sands, Brief Encounter, Fleur de Lys and variations thereof, along with Stouts and Porters on an occasional basis. Sue has now left for other employment - a club offer was irresistible, much the sadness of all!
Production was up in 2007 up to 67 gyles, well up on previous, which was 45 gyles. Money was invested in new steam cleaning equipment, which has obviously made Stuart's life a lot easier.
The pub, recently extended, continues to be a mecca for real ale drinkers from all over the country and their regular themed beer festivals and the Broughton Beer Festival are all legendary and hugely popular, the marquee with its own bar in the paved garden area proving as popular as the pub! If this seems more about the pub than the brewery it is because the two are unentangleable! Other than when beers are exchanged as part of Stuart and Lynda's regular collection and delivery runs around Britain, early each week, most of the brewery's products are sold over their own bar or at festivals.


Further info from What Ales  with updates of June 2008, by Ros Berry

Stuart and Lynda Johnson started Tigertops, their first brewery, in a small outbuilding in their back garden in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. At the time Stuart was a self employed electrician and Lynda was a science teacher. Stuart had for years brewed full mash beers for friends’ parties in the kitchen but with the construction of the brewery this became a serious business.

In 1992 Stuart and Lynda gave up their day jobs and took on the management of the Brewer’s Pride in Ossett, bought by a friend Bob Hunter from local brewery Clark’s. Their hospitality and love of beer soon brought them recognition from local CAMRA including winning the regional Yorkshire 'Pub of the Year'. This experience confirmed them in their ambition to buy their own pub, and the perfect opportunity came their way on one of many trips to Dale Head at the head of the Duddon Valley, where Lynda helped out with outdoor activity courses for Leeds University. They spotted that the Prince of Wales on the A595, right opposite the railway station, was up for sale. After the death of popular landlord Vic Whiteside his widow had eventually decided to retire. One attraction was that the pub had some empty space above the new toilet block which would be ideal for conversion to a brewery.

The construction work, helped by octogenarian local Bert Addison, took some time and in the meantime, Stuart continued to brew at Tigertops, whose beers had won a number of awards. The first brew came out of Foxfield in 1997, although the first brew from the tower brewery was not until late 1999 (‘Bert’s Booster’ appeared at Cockermouth’s 1999 beer festival). The brewery has a capacity of 3 barrels and Stuart normally brews once a week.

Unlike most brewers Stuart does not stick to a few well tried and popular recipes, although he has a few of these such as Foxfield Sands. Instead he continually tries new versions with different ingredients, for example, a different hop, or the addition of nettles. Most of his beers are sold in the Prince, where regulars have got used to the fact that the beer will always be different. In fact Stuart’s own beers have acquired such a good reputation that regulars eagerly await the next brew. Most of the rest of Foxfield’s sales are to beer festivals and to other free houses. Stuart is always willing to allow others to learn about brewing by working with him and has helped many local micros to get started or improve.

Brewing continues at Tigertops now carried out by Stuart’s former apprentice Barry ‘Axeman’ Smith.

Lynda is chair of Cumbria tasting panel and chooses and collects beers for Ulverston Beer Festival. She also coordinates the wonderful Broughton Festival of Beer, where about 6 or 7 pubs in the area all have a pub festival and buses run from one to the other. In fact, she was nominated as CAMRA's Campaigner of the Year 2008 by all the Cumbrian branches of CAMRA
They both cook - a limited range - pasties with mushy peas, filled Yorkshires with Mushy peas and some hot all-in-one meals like curries, hotpots etc. Limited range but my goodness! fabulous quality! Wonderful combinations such as smoked haddock and cheese, chicken with coriander, cream cheese and other things ... gorgeous! Sandwiches are with home-baked bread and quality ingredients. And they refer to these marvels as 'beer blotters'!

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 November 2010 18:26