Six of the best – Cumbrian and Lake District breweries

Posted on December 4, 2017 | News

The Lake District is well known for its amazing scenery but it’s also home to some world-class breweries

Visitors and residents alike love the Lake District for its stunning landscape, Wainwright-approved walks and quaint fell- and lake-side villages that have drawn artists, writers and royalty to the region for centuries.

But, you might be surprised to know that it’s also a haven for real ale lovers, with its own coterie of breweries and micro-breweries that are quietly winning awards from near and far. If, like us, you can think of nothing better than sinking a pint of refreshing beer just yards from where it was brewed, you might want to make sure your next hike passes the door of one of our featured establishments!

Good beer and great food near Ambleside
This handy brewery-and-inn combo is a great destination if you’re looking for a bit more than a pie and a pint. The famous Drunken Duck Inn and Restaurant just outside Ambleside sits neatly alongside Barngates Brewery – renowned for its award-winning Red Bull Terrier ale, among others. You can sample ale from the brewery in the comfort of the Drunken Duck, while contemplating the specials of the day.

Follow the beer trail in Kendal
Pop into Burgundy’s Wine Bar and Brewhouse just off Kendal’s high street and if you happen to visit on a brew day, you can watch the brewer at work through large glass windows that separate the brewery from the bar. Kendal is also home to Fell Bar on Lowther Street which sells beer from Fell Brewery in Flookburgh. Bowness Bay Brewing at The Factory on Aynam Road produces hand-crafted traditionally made beers using Lake District water to create a fresh, clean flavour – pop into the Factory Tap while you’re there to sample some of the best ales around.

Experience an authentic beer hall in Staveley
Hawkshead Brewery is an old hand. From tiny beginnings close to Esthwaite Water, the brewery produces thousands of litres of cask ale each week and has amassed an impressive tally of awards. Now based in Staveley, Hawkshead offers customers the opportunity to sample its wares – and enjoy good food – in a fabulous beer hall on the site of the brewery. Tours take place several times a week.

Quench your thirst in Penrith
Handily close to one of Russell Armer’s newest developments, Tirril Brewery began brewing again in 1999 – exactly 100 years after its namesake was taken over by local rival, Glassons of Penrith in 1899. Now based in Long Marton, Tirril Brewery creates traditional ales, pilsners and spirits from a beautiful Grade II listed, red sandstone barn beneath the Pennine Fells.

A beer with a view!
Recently established Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery is a fine addition to a postcard-perfect market town that’s rightly famed for its remarkable views and handsome Georgian architecture. Kirkby’s heritage is referenced in the brewery’s ales, each of which is linked to one of the town’s features – Ruskins, for instance. Although the main brewery is situated on the edge of town, a micro-brewery can be found on site at the newly opened Royal Barn, just behind the Royal Hotel.

Savour the Lakeland heritage
Sir Malcolm Campbell may be the first name that comes to mind when you link Coniston with ‘Blue Bird’, but Coniston Brewery has been winning awards for its Blue Bird Bitter for decades. From small beginnings in 1995, the brewery now produces six varieties and supplies pubs across the UK – as well as abroad. We recommend enjoying a few samples at the Black Bull Inn next door for the full experience.