On new year’s eve this year I decided it would be a good idea to head up to Staveley with a few friends to have lunch and sample a few beers at the Hawkshead Brewery then walk it off in the surrounding countryside before heading home for the new year’s celebrations.
When we got to Staveley the heavens opened so the walk was shelved in favour of more time in the beer hall!
Hawkshead Brewery is an independent craft breweryView website founded in 2002, based in Hawkshead for its first 4 years before moving to the purpose built facilities it now has at Mill Yard in Staveley. The brewery building itself is quite impressive, with a large 2 floored beer hall upon entrance and a viewing facility at the back of the 2nd floor allowing you to look over the brewery itself. Tours are available and next time I go I think will try and combine it with one to get a closer look at how they do things.
We kicked things off with a round of Lakeland Gold which has won numerous awards over the past few years and you can taste why. A delightfully refreshing, well hopped beer with citrus notes from American hops. It went down well, maybe a little too well. We were onto our 2nd pint before lunch arrived and food service wasn’t slow.
Conscious that the first pint had gone straight to my head, for my 2nd pint I went for the weaker 3.5% Windermere Pale ale. Again this was a very refreshing ale with a less intense aroma than the Lakeland Gold. There are citrus notes but this is much closer to a traditional Lakeland ale. As my good friend Joe coined it, “it’s a great session beer…” The food arrived during the 2nd pints and I have to admit, I’ve forgotten what everyone had… the food was however more than average pub grub and if you weren’t in the mood for a big lunch they do a great range of beer tapas.
Feeling suitably stuffed after my sausage and mash it was time for pint 3. This time I went for Cumbrian 5 Hop and as the name suggests, it was hoppy indeed. Another good pale ale with more than just a hint of American citrus hops and at 5%, it comes in a bit stronger than the Lakeland gold. With the rain showing no sign of relenting, a 4th pint was ordered and by this time the food and the beer were making me suitably sleepy… I should really have gone back to the Windermere pale or something similar but instead I opted for a pint of Brodie’s Prime, a 4.9% dark ruby brown ale. I generally favour the lighter ales and don’t get me wrong this was a decent pint, but it didn’t seem to go down quite as easy as the previous 3. Perhaps if I’d had this first it would have been a different story however if you’re into darker ales with chocolaty sweet aromas, this one’s for you.
4 pints down it was time to leave and prepare for new years eve.
All in all a great trip out to the Hawkshead Brewery.
If we could end up with the facilities they have after only 4 years of brewing commercially we would be more than over the moon!