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A Lake District Beer Guide

Within the many wonders of the Lake District, there are countless breweries offering a fantastic and varied selection of award winning beers. Hosting over 20 different breweries, it’s not surprising that the beer remains one the main reasons for why people come from far and wide to visit.

From the classic Lancaster Blonde or Red, to a Loneswater Gold; the array of beers on offer are sure to tantalise the taste buds. With their home brewed ingredients and award winning status, having a tipple when in the area is not to be missed.

We have highlighted as few of our favourite beers and the places they are brought to life.

Coniston Brewery Co and Bluebird Bitter

This hidden gem is tucked away just behind the Black Bull in Coniston. Run by Ian Bradley, it’s the home of the famous Bluebird Bitter, creating pure liquid gold, and presenting not one, not two, but eight fabulous beers to sample.

The Bluebird Bitter is 3.6% and won the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain in 1998 at the Great British Beer Festival. Since then it has continued to be a champion beer with numerous accolades over the years. The beautiful bitter hosts Maris Otter pale malt and crystal malt with challenger hops which presents a spicy and floral taste. Exceedingly pale, with just a hint of colour in its cheeks from the dash of crystal malt, it gives off an array of orangey fruit aromas, and is balanced out by a biscuit malt.

HawksHead Brewery and Hawkshead Bitter

It’s fair to say that the awards that this brewery have won, are enough to fill a large room; dating all the way back to 2002 when the Bitter CAMRA won Beer of the Festival, and again in 2009, 2011 and 2014.  The pale, hoppy and bitter ale is favoured for its sweet elderflower flavour from Slovenian ‘Celeia’ hops. This sweet taste is followed by a long bitterness and is truly a tourists dream. It is the perfect drink to quench your thirst after a long day exploring the Lakes.

The brewery itself hosts a barrel of fun things to do, including a behind the scenes tour. They are the perfect size to know just what their customers want, and love to experiment with assorted styles. Making around 120 barrels (20,000 litres) of beer per week, they deliver around the whole of the north and open their bar every day at the brewery. From their Lakeland beer ranges, to limited edition drinks, they use Maris Otter malted barley and luscious new world hops as well as traditional English ones. Adding a touch of fruit and spices and aging in wood, these beers are a mouth-watering experience.

The Bitter End Brewery and ‘Cockermouth Pride’

This snug, quaint pub won CAMRA’s Cumbrian Pub of the Year 2000, and is home to one of the best yet smallest breweries in the country. However, just because its small, doesn’t mean that mighty beers don’t erupt from this brewery.

If you take a visit to this cosy village pub, you can witness the brewing process while ordering your pint. Literally. There is a glass window at the back bar where you can witness the process itself. This pub sells its homemade beers, which range from ‘Cuddy Lugs’, ‘Farmers Ale’, ‘Old Neddy’, ‘Czech Cumberland’ and ‘Cockersnoot’. Many of the ingredients in these local beers include pale, crystal, chocolate, and black malts, as well as Fuggles and Goldings hops.

This wonderfully named pub and brewery has a collection of awards and are famed for their best ale: The Cockermouth pride ale. The perfect English pub is one not to miss when in the Lake District. With a huge local focus, you can dig into a fresh local steak with the star of the show- the beer. Cockermouth Pride is always on tap, and being a very drinkable 3.8% dark session bitter, it’s a very popular one. With fresh, grassy flavours, its sure to complement the local sourced food, surrounding the breath-taking surroundings of the Lake District.

Keswick Brewery and ‘The Thirst Run’

After years of venturing out to find the perfect location, the owners finally found a picture-perfect building in 2005, where the Keswick Brewery Company was born. The first produced beer was ‘Thirst Run’, a golden pale ale of 4.2%, which is now the breweries best seller. Since having the premises, they discovered that they are the oldest brewery known to have been in the area.

The assortment of beers range from the regulars, seasonal and specials. Every single drink has a unique recipe, unlike any other – but have all been created to complement each other, with unique characteristics. By combining Maris Otter Pale ale malt and coloured malts, with English and other hops; this allows for consistency and high quality production.

The brewery offer tours to the public, where you can find out much more about the company, how they brew and even sample the marvellous beers. The area has original traditional features, with flagged floor beams, original sandstone and a cosy wood burning stove. Why not get a pint of the home-grown delights, take a seat in the Flying Fox Bar and relax?

The Lake District has lots to offer visitors, with the beers brewed here being unlike any other. But as much as we can inform you on the places and tastes, you can only try for yourself to truly know.

If you’re looking for high quality self-catering accommodation in Windermere, to make your base during your stay, Windermere Marina Village is located in the heart of the Lake District.

Please feel free to get in touch, or browse our range of apartments and cottages online; where you can also book directly. We look forward to welcoming you to our stunning site with a refreshing cold beer.

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