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About our Brewery

We are a small, co-operatively owned brewery based the beautiful village of Hesket Newmarket in the north of the Lake District National Park. Established in 1988 we were one of the first microbreweries in Cumbria and have been producing fine real ale ever since, most of them named after well loved fells in the Lake District National Park.

Our beers are much appreciated by locals and visitors alike; appreciated to such an extent that the brewery became co-operatively owned in 1999 in order to prevent its closure or sale to a large enterprise.

The first brew..

Jim and Liz Fearnley built the brewing plant 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 Mecca for real ale drinkers. Other outlets started taking the Brewery’s beers and after thirty years and approximately six million pints our brewers are still turning out new creations and seasonal beers.  

Jim and Liz sold the Old Crown pub in 1995 after 13 years and 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. 

The Co-operative

Thus 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, our shareholders and the local community.

The Old Crown pub also became co-operatively owned in 2003 when, in a similar initiative to the brewery, a separate Co-operative Society was formed to buy the only pub in the village - believed to be the first Co-operative pub in the UK. The Old Crown, our fellow Co-operative continues to be our brewery tap and the flagship for our beers During its 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 beers.  

The Brewery continues to adapt and change, creating new beer styles to suit changing customer preferences.  A new range of four “craft ales” in 330ml bottles was launched to great acclaim in late 2016.

Hesket Newmarket Brewery
~ Celebrating over 30 years of brewing excellence ~

Hesket Newmarket Brewery Ltd, Old Crown Barn, Hesket Newmarket, Cumbria, CA7 8JG
Tel: 016974 78066

VAT number 734 7130 45 | Friendly Societies Registration No 29008R

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