The Lake District is widely known for stunning natural beauty, its historic literary associations, and wonderful hospitality - it is also a wonderful place to visit for beer lovers, thanks to its outstanding collection of breweries and microbreweries which offer visitors to the region a real treat.
There is nothing better after a long walk than a nice pint of beer in a traditional pub, and the beers of the Lake District are certainly the perfect reward. In addition to breweries, there is also an impressive new distillery at Bassenthwaite - The Lakes Distillery - producing whisky, gin, and vodka and having a ‘Michelin Guide’ recommended restaurant.
In the Lake District we have an impressive 36 breweries and this number keeps growing... There are far too many to list but here’s a few to whet your appetite!
Barngates, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0NG
Located adjacent to the Drunken Duck Inn which overlooks Ambleside. Every ale brewed here can be sampled at the Drunken Duck, as well as several other inns in the area, and whilst the brewery isn’t open for tours, visitors to the Drunken Duck can request to see inside the adjacent brewery buildings.
Coppermines Road, Coniston, LA21 8HL
Having been awarded Supreme Champion Beer of Britain in 1998 for its renowned Blue Bird Bitter, the Coniston Brewery has gone from strength to strength since its humble beginnings in 1995. All the beer is available at the Black Bull Inn adjacent to the brewery.
Mill Yard, Staveley, Cumbria, LA8 9LR
Hawkshead Brewery first began brewing cask ale in 2002 on the shores of Esthwaite Water, and since then has grown to produce around 20,000 litres of ale each week. The brewery boasts of a long list of awards.
Old Crown Barn, Back Green, Hesket Newmarket, CA7 8JG
This unique brewery is led by a co-operative of around 60 individuals, all of which are ale lovers and have local connections to the area. The brewery is located adjacent to the Old Crown Inn where you can enjoy its ales and tours can be booked in advance for weekday evenings. The tour also includes a meal at the inn.
19 Loather Street, Kendal, LA9 4DH
The owner of the Kendal Brewery clearly has a passion for ale. Today the brewery is part of a wine bar and visitors to the The Brewhouse Bar can watch beer being made through large glass windows that separate it from the bar.
Outgate , Ambleside, LA22 0PU
A small micro-brewery near Hawkshead specialising in traditional British ales using oak casks. First brewed Feb 2015. The beers have delightful names such as Beertrix Potter, Tiggy Pinkle, Grized Ale and the wonderful Puddled Duck.
The Old Auction Mart, Lightburn Road, Ulverston, LA12 0AU
What started as a couple brewing beers for their friends and family in a garage in 2006 has slowly developed into an award-winning brewery housed in a former cattle market. Ulverston is the birthplace of Stan Laurel, one half of the duo Laurel and Hardy, and the brewery’s beers honour these connections by being named after Laurel and Hardy films.
For those who would like to buy the finest bottled beers from The Lakes’ breweries, Hawkshead Post Office offers a selection of over 70 different brews from the region.
Map of breweries:
Plan your Lake District brewery tour with our map below.
If you’re looking to stay close by and explore these attractions in the Lake District, take a look at our full collection of cottages for some inspiration on where to base your next family holiday.
All details are correct at the time of publishing; however, they are subject to change.