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Campaigning for good beer in good pubs in north Lancashire and the Ingleborough area

CAMRA Lunesdale

Trip to Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, 2 October 2009

Stuart (centre) with the brewery tour

On a wet and cold night, the coach pulled up outside the small industrial unit in the old station yard. The unit is very small and has been extended for the evening by the addition of a marquee providing the seating and eating area.

The four partners in the enterprise (Alan, Roger, Plug and Stuart — the brewer) gave us a warm welcome and a quick talk of the brewery history and the people involved. Stuart also gave a more extended tour and description of brewing to those who wanted it.

The plant was supplied by Porter Brewing and is a fairly basic ‘entry level’ 6 barrel plant, currently with 2 FVs but with plans to increase to 3. It would be hard to see how they could fit a fourth FV in, but apparently there is another unit available next door. They also had a small scale bottling plant from Leek Brewery with which they bottle some of their beers as bottle conditioned beers. The majority of their output is cask conditioned firkins.

They have a range of 4 beers, Ruskins, a 3.9% bitter, Monumental, a 4.5% blonde beer, Jubilee, a 5.5% Stout and Radical, a 4.2% Ruby coloured bitter.

As a ‘one off’ they’ve brewed Green Dragon, a 3.6% bitter using fresh hops direct from the farm, not dried. The result is interesting with fresh tastes and aromas which you can’t get with dried hops.

The Ruskins, Monumental, Jubilee and Green Dragon were on offer during the evening. All very tasty and well presented. I am told we nearly drank them dry.

A range of four pies was on offer each made with one of the beers, and sausage — all made by a local butcher who was also there at the brewery. Truly wonderful food which complemented the beers well. And PLENTY of it!!!!!.

The last half hour of the evening was spent in the Orange Tree pub in Kirkby Lonsdale. It’s definitely worth a visit to the Orange Tree, a cosy little pub with well kept beer, with the Kirkby Lonsdale Breweries beers well represented.

Overall a very good and enjoyable evening.

George Palmer, with additions by Martin Sherlock