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The Lake District’s Best Breweries

Lake District views aren’t the only thing people come to drink up in this beautiful part of the world. There are some of the UK’s best breweries hidden right here in the valleys and villages of our lovely landscape, and plenty of nectar to taste!

Yes, you need to have the best ingredients (hops and malts), quality kit and a good eye, but a lot of what makes a brewery flourish is consistency, the ability for the beer to travel and for each batch to be as good as the first. And that takes passion. And passion for quality food and drink is something that there are bucket-loads of here in the Lakes. In fact, the Lake District has the biggest concentration of breweries in Britain, with just under 40. Why not treat a loved one to a Lake District brewery break, including an unforgettable tour and tasting session. 

Keswick Brewing Company, Keswick

This is perhaps the oldest brewery in the Lakes that’s still going today. Circa 1875 when a brewery in Keswick was first founded and this month it celebrates the opening of its brand-new bar, the Fox Tap. And from the 26th October, new beer tour dates will be released as well. Tours are £10 pp and run Tuesday to Saturday. There’s parking at the brewery which is centrally located in Keswick, and so conveniently located for getting a taxi or walking from your Keswick cottage. This month has been a busy one for Keswick Brewing Co who are also celebrating picking up four regional awards at the Independent Beer Awards in Bolton this October (2019). The Keswick Special Beer (K.S.B) won Gold in cask and Keswick bitter won Silver in bottle. Why not pop down to try their new bar and shop.

Coniston Brewing Company, Coniston 

Not only does this Lake District brewery have a beer with the most famous story in the region, but it also has one of the best locations, right at the very foot of the iconic Lake District mountain, The Old Man of Coniston.

Coniston Brewery is most famous for its Bluebird Bitter, named after the jet-engine hydroplane the Bluebird that Donald Campbell broke several records in, including a world speed record, which he broke right here on Coniston Water.

Pop into the Black Bull, on the crossroads in the heart of the village where you will be able to sample at least 4 or 5 of their craft ales made on-site in the brewery, just at the back of the pub.

Ask for ‘tasting pour’, which is three different beer samples for the price of one pint.

With the mantra ‘consistently good beer’, Coniston Brewing Company has been going for over 24 years and was founded by the owner of the Black Bull, who knows a thing or two about good beer.  After only three years into the business, Bluebird Bitter was awarded ‘Supreme Champion Beer of Britain’ from CAMRA’s 21st Great British Beer Festival in 1998. Today, this outstanding brewery produces 8 ales, and they range in strength from the easy to drink 3.4% Oliver’s Light Ale up to the 8.5% No.9 Barley Wine, which is brewed only once a year and also won ‘Supreme Champion Beer of Britain’, achieved in 2012. We’d highly recommend a walk to take in the Old Man and the copper mines, followed by a visit to the Black Bull. 

Browse our Coniston Cottages and book online today.

Barngates Brewery, Ambleside

Most popular fine-dining pubs, the Drunken Duck. This stylish pub and restaurant occupy a wonderful location, high above Ambleside. Enjoying one of their Brangates beers from their beer garden is the place to be on a fine day. The Duck is only 3-miles outside of Ambleside, 2-miles from Hawkshead and 5-miles from Coniston, and as well as their own brewery and stylish bar, they have a very good fine-dining restaurant. 

The Duck’s onsite microbrewery was first set up in 1997 to supply punters with their own ales. Today, Barngates Brewery beers like Tag Lag and Cat Nap, can be found in pubs and bars across the Lakes. Just like the beer’s namesakes, named after former pets, Barngates Brewery is small in size and output but a relaxed tour can be arranged upon request. The pub has a car park and there are lovely walks to the likes of Tarn Hows. We’re looking forward to trying their newest, Krankenhaus.

Browse our Ambleside cottages and book online today

Hawkshead Brewery, Stavely

One of the most widely-known breweries in the Lake District is Hawkshead Brewery, which has enjoyed rapid expansion and investment since its early days back in 2002. The state-of-the-art brewhouse, housed in an ultra-modern glass-fronted building is located on an industrial estate park in the pretty village of Staveley, between Kendal and Windermere.

Hawkshead Brewery offers brewery tours daily at 1pm for £10pp, and includes a pint or two halves to sample at the end in their Beer Hall tap. Here you can sample the vast range of well-known and award-winning Hawkshead beers along with small-batch creations, such as their new Zestspresso.

The spring and autumn beer festivals hosted here are a firm fixture on the beer aficionado’s calendar and is one to sample if you haven’t done so yet. There’s a superb festival atmosphere as folk spill out from the Beer Hall to the outside benches and shared space with the equally superb next-door businesses, More? The Artisan Bakery and coffee house and Wilf’s cafe.

Browse our Bowness and Windermere Cottages and book online today.