Who We Are

We are a small, co-operatively owned micro-brewery based in the beautiful village of Hesket Newmarket in the north of the Lake District National Park. We have been producing fine real ale ever since we started in 1988; we are now Cumbria’s oldest surviving micro-brewery. Most of our beers are named after the Lakeland Fells that attract visitors from all over the world and make our home such a special place to be.

Our brews are loved by locals and visitors alike; to such an extent that the brewery became co- operatively owned in 1999 to prevent its closure or sale to a larger enterprise. We have been run on democratic principals ever since with shareholders playing an active part in the running of the brewery. We are not profit driven but rather exist to provide local jobs, support local causes and, of course, to brew some of the finest beer in the county.

We are not driven by profit. We are a community of local enthusiasts who came together through a shared love of our beer.

Our History

1989

The First Brew

Jim and Liz Fearnley built the original brewhouse from scratch in the barn behind the pub they owned – The Old Crown in Hesket Newmarket. The first brew was a bitter which Jim named Blencathra after his favourite Lake District fell. This was followed by the famous “Doris” – Doris’ 90th Birthday Ale – in honour of Liz’s mother.

Initially, the beers were brewed exclusively for The Old Crown which soon became a magnet for real ale drinkers. As word spread, other local pubs started taking the Brewery’s beers and, after thirty-odd years and approximately six million pints our brewers are still turning out old favourites, new creations, and seasonal beers.

1989

The First Brew

Jim and Liz Fearnley built the original brewhouse from scratch in the barn behind the pub they owned – The Old Crown in Hesket Newmarket. The first brew was a bitter which Jim named Blencathra after his favourite Lake District fell. This was followed by the famous “Doris” – Doris’ 90th Birthday Ale – in honour of Liz’s mother.

Initially, the beers were brewed exclusively for The Old Crown which soon became a magnet for real ale drinkers. As word spread, other local pubs started taking the Brewery’s beers and, after thirty-odd years and approximately six million pints our brewers are still turning out old favourites, new creations, and seasonal beers.

1995

The End?

Jim and Liz sold the Old Crown pub in 1995 after 13 years but kept the brewery until they eventually retired from brewing in 1999. In order to save the brewery from closure or take-over, a group of real ale enthusiasts from the village and beyond came together to buy it, making us the original crowd-funded brewery (if a little less punk!).

1995

The End?

Jim and Liz sold the Old Crown pub in 1995 after 13 years but kept the brewery until they eventually retired from brewing in 1999. In order to save the brewery from closure or take-over, a group of real ale enthusiasts from the village and beyond came together to buy it, making us the original crowd-funded brewery (if a little less punk!).

1999

The Start of Something New

And so was born the Hesket Newmarket Brewery Co-operative, a community enterprise through which shareholders own equal shares in the brewery. As a co-operative we are not profit-driven. Our ethos is to keep the future of the brewery secure (in a very challenging market) for the benefit of our staff, shareholders and the local community.

1999

The Start of Something New

And so was born the Hesket Newmarket Brewery Co-operative, a community enterprise through which shareholders own equal shares in the brewery. As a co-operative we are not profit-driven. Our ethos is to keep the future of the brewery secure (in a very challenging market) for the benefit of our staff, shareholders and the local community.

2003

The Co-Operative Home

When The Old Crown Pub came up for sale in 2003, a similar initiative was launched to ensure the survival of the only pub in the village. A separate co-operative society was formed to buy the pub and it is believed to be the first co-operative pub in the UK.

The Old Crown, our sister co-operative continues to be our brewery tap, serving the best of our brews, kept in perfect condition, and flying the flag for the brewery and all things Hesket. It remains the place to sample the best of our beers and the best of Cumbrian hospitality. Visit the pub’s website for further details or to make a booking. www.theoldcrownpub.co.uk.

2003

The Co-Operative Home

In a similar initiative to ensure the survival of the only pub in the village, a separate co-operative society was formed to buy The Old Crown pub in 2003 when the owner decided to sell up. It is believed to be the first co-operative pub in the UK.

The Old Crown, our sister co-operative continues to be our brewery tap, flying the flag for our beers and all things Hesket.

Today

The Present

Over the last 30 years, Hesket Newmarket Brewery has expanded and installed a completely new brewing plant, built a temperature-controlled storage facility, and successfully diversified into bottled and canned beers.

The brewery continues to adapt and change, creating new beers to suit changing customer preferences while maintaining our traditional cask-ale roots.

Today

The Present

Over the last 30 years, Hesket Newmarket Brewery has expanded and installed a completely new brewing plant, built a temperature-controlled storage facility, and successfully diversified into bottled and canned beers.

The brewery continues to adapt and change, creating new beers to suit changing customer preferences while maintaining our traditional cask-ale roots.

Meet The Team

While the co-operative is made up of around 100 members who are both local residents and beer enthusiasts from further afield, the brewery team is much smaller. They manage day-to-day operations, the constant production of beer, sales, deliveries – and dreaming up new brew recipes!. As a small team, each has defined roles but there is a lot of overlap with everybody able to help out in all areas of the business.

Nathan Gregory

Head Brewer & Manager

Nathan has been with the brewery since 2013. Joining initially as the brewer he took over as manager in 2018. Originally a keen homebrewer, his passion for beer and lifelong interest in brewing have ensured that we continue to brew high quality real ale that is full of flavour.

STAPLE BREW: Brim Fell IPA – Nathan’s first recipe that became a staple of our core range.

Shane Kirk

Brewer

Shane joined the Brewery in 2017, having worked with Nathan previously. Shane is responsible for the day-to-day production of beer, both in cask and bottle/can. His understanding and skill as a brewer have continued to strengthen our reputation for outstanding beer.

STAPLE BREW: Peak Bagger IPA – a modern seasonal brew that is hop forward.

Dan Skillicorn

Brewer & Admin

Dan is the most recent addition to the line-up, starting in 2018. His is the voice you are most likely to hear when you call us. He is responsible for all things admin; from sales and purchasing to balancing the books and logistics – Dan can!

STAPLE BREW: Black Sail – you can’t go wrong with a stout, and this is one of the best!