Cumbrian Ales Brewery – Producing exceptional Cumbrian beer

6 mins read
The Cumbrian Ales Team, Charles Faram (hops supplier) and Film Maker / Photographer Terry Abraham - outside the brewery
The Cumbrian Ales Team, Charles Faram and Film Maker / Photographer Terry Abraham

Exploring the Flavors of Cumbria

For those seeking an authentic taste of Cumbria, the scenic northwest region of England renowned for its breathtaking landscapes of the Lake District and rich cultural heritage, Cumbrian Ales Brewery stands as a shining example of craft brewing excellence that goes beyond the beer itself. Nestled within the heart of the Lake District on the banks of Esthwaite Water, Hawkshead. This brewery has revived age-old brewing traditions and woven its commitment to conservation into every pint of Cumbrian beer.

Cumbrian Ales Brewery - Cumbrian Real Ale, cumbrian beer
Cumbrian Ales Brewery – Hawkshead

A Heritage Rekindled: From Past to Present

The roots of Cumbrian Ales Brewery can be traced back to the 19th century when brewing was a cherished tradition at the Kirkstile Inn. Resurrected in 2003 within the confines of an old outbuilding behind the Loweswater pub, this tradition found new life. However, with demand outpacing supply, the brewery underwent a transformative shift in 2009, relocating to a custom-built facility in Hawkshead, near the serene shores of Esthwaite Water.

The Kirkstile Inn -  - Loweswater, Cumbrian beer
The Kirkstile Inn – Loweswater

A string of accolades soon followed, with the pinnacle being the prestigious title of Champion Golden Ale of Britain awarded to their beloved “Loweswater Gold.” The journey from a quaint inn to a brewing powerhouse capable of producing up to 80 barrels a week exemplifies the commitment to both tradition and innovation that sets Cumbrian Ales Brewery apart.

Crafting Connection: Collaboration with Conservation

One of the brewery’s most intriguing and unique ventures is its collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Terry Abraham. The partnership aims to craft exceptional Cumbrian beer and shed light on the conservation efforts for Cumbria’s beloved red squirrels. This partnership was birthed from a shared passion for the local environment and its guardians.

Terry Abraham’s independent film, ‘Cumbrian Red,’ forms the backdrop for this collaboration. The documentary delves into the lives of the cherished red squirrels, and Cumbrian Ales Brewery decided to create a beer to celebrate the film’s release. This concoction, aptly named “Cumbria Red Ale,” is more than just a beverage; it’s a liquid tribute to a noble cause.

Crafting a Flavorful Tale: Cumbria Red Ale

The “Cumbria Red Ale” represents the synergy between art and craftsmanship. This English Pale Ale, bearing a distinct red hue, draws inspiration from the fiery coat of the red squirrels that dance through the Cumbrian woodlands. Crafted with a careful selection of British hops with supplier Charles Faram, this brew mirrors the documentary’s message of supporting native species and produce.

Cumbrian Red Ale - Cumbrian Beer
Cumbrian Red Ale

This beer isn’t just a visual delight; it offers a sensory journey. Bursting with fruity flavours, it encapsulates its muse’s lively and spirited personality, the red squirrel. Its “Juicy English IPA” classification speaks to its contemporary appeal while retaining a nod to tradition.

A Legacy of Excellence: Awards and Beyond

Cumbrian Ales Brewery’s dedication to quality and creativity has earned them a collection of prestigious awards. The resounding achievement of “Loweswater Gold” as the Champion Golden Ale of Britain in 2011 is a testament to their commitment. Other recognitions, like regional awards from CAMRA and SIBA, underline the consistent excellence across their diverse beer portfolio.

Sustainability and the Path Forward

Cumbrian Ales Brewery strives to lessen its ecological footprint amid the increasingly vital sustainability landscape. The eradication of plastic from their beer gift packs and repurposing spent grains for local farmers are just glimpses into their eco-conscious practices. As the brewery sets its sights on a greener horizon, it’s clear that its dedication to the environment echoes its commitment to crafting exceptional beers.

Raising a Glass to the Future

The success of the “Cumbria Red Ale” and the collaboration with Terry Abraham reflect the brewery’s innovative spirit and its deep-rooted connection to the region’s culture and conservation efforts. As Cumbrian Ales Brewery continues to produce exceptional brews, including reimagined gift packs perfect for holiday gifting, patrons can anticipate an ever-evolving lineup that pays homage to tradition, celebrates nature and delights the senses.

For tourists with a taste for both real ale and a desire to experience Cumbria’s unique natural wonders, Cumbrian Ales Brewery presents an opportunity to savour not only the flavours of the region but also the spirit of its land and its inhabitants, from red squirrels to passionate brewers.

To try Cumbrian Ales selection of handcrafted beer, click here to explore their online shop. You will also find their ales in many pubs throughout Cumbria, not forgetting their flagship, The Kirkstile Inn.