This is the story of Grasmere Brewery. With a piece of exciting news at the end...
Here is Grasmere Brewery in early 2016: Just two derelict barns in the corner of the grounds of Lake View Country House.
It took a huge amount of work simply to get the barns safe. Paul chipped away at them gradually, alongside renovating the main house. We even had pigs for a little while; they helped clear the wildly over-grown yard around both the barns.
Pigs were not the dream (speak to Beth for the full story!). Starting up a brewery had been on Paul's mind since we first started talking about leaving London. But with all that was going on, it took a little while for the idea of having a brewery in the barns to take shape.
It all fell into place once we took on a café at the end of our road. Potted Out became The Good Sport, a new pub in Grasmere. And the idea of brewing beer in the barns really took hold in Paul's mind.
Over the winter of 2017 he worked like a lunatic (nothing new there then!) to finish the barns in time for the brewery to be installed. In February 2018 our first batch of beer went on sale in The Good Sport. A tropical, Pale Ale. Still one of our best sellers. But we've come a long way baby...
Grasmere Brewery is now entering its third year of production. We now have our own canning machine. And we are the proud employer of three local legends, Dennis, Ken and Tim, who all brew, keg, can & deliver (and drink!) the beer, along with Paul and his Dad, Rich.
A hell of a lot of thought, care, love, time, attention and sheer hard work goes into each batch we brew. Brewing is physical work.
Whether it's Lager (our biggest seller), one of our ales or our fruity ciders, each batch is tweaked and refined each time it's made to make it even more delicious to drink.
Being a craft brewer can be challenging. Beer is a living product - like milk or fresh bread. It's a complicated, chemical process. Sometimes things go differently to planned! And of course, that keeps Paul on his toes. We feel very lucky to have a pub in Grasmere, The Good Sport. It provides the ultimate testing ground. We can proudly sell our own craft product, made just round the corner. And we can hear first hand how the beer is going down.
With all that is happening in the world, 2020 promises to be an interesting one for Grasmere Brewery. We are thrilled that more people than ever are popping into Grasmere to give us a try, and are loving the beer. This summer we're proud to have been asked back to do the bars for three fantastic local shows. Let's hope they can go ahead.
And...drum roll please...soon we will be in Booths. If you have tried and enjoyed a pint or two of our Rhubarb or Apple Ciders you will be pleased to hear that very soon they will be available in cans in the wonderful Booths! Cheers to that.
And here's to the next chapter of Grasmere Brewery!