Black Combe

Beckstones Brewery

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Hematite

Beer Frae Cumberland

Wimmers Wobbler

Border Steeans

The Brewery

The brewery is set in a delightful corner or rural Cumbria, in the part formerly known as Cumberland, wild and isolated, with superb secenry. The village, the Green, is about 4 miles from Millom, below Black Combe. A climb to the top of this rewards the climber with spectacular views of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man, and a major thirst!!

Beckstones Brewery is a one man operation, started about 5 years ago by Dave Taylor, a local man, who had always loved his beer.

His journey as a beer lover began as a young man, apprenticed as motor mechanic in Grizebeck. His boss took him to pubs but he was not allowed to drink anything stronger than mild, which is still his favourite beer style.

Later, as a self-employed long distance driver, contracted to collect and deliver for Interbrew, he made a point of spending nights in brewery towns and got to know many breweries and brewery workers, whetting his appetite for brewing himself.

He brewed at home for over 30 years, developing the ability to know in his head what taste he wants and how to achieve it - no recipes for Dave!!

He started brewing in an ex-mill (Beckstones Mill) with its own water supply, that had been intended to be a garage, using kit previously in High Force Brewery. A tricky period came, after brewing had started, with planning permission, but fortunately the problem was overcome. The brewery is a model of perfection! Dave is particularly proud of the slate floor, made of three different types of Cumberland slate, well-angled for drainage. The 5 barrel plant is used for two brews a week, but this can't be increased because of storage. Dave likes his beers to be in cask as long as possible!

The first beer - Beckstones Bitter, later became Border Steeans, and was sold at the Punchbowl close by in the village, as are many of the beers. Leat and Black Dog Freddy are the main beers brewed but there have been many more.

He is proud of the Cumberland heritage, this being shown by every new beer having an individual, quirky name, using local dialect or referring to the mining heritage of the old Millom Ironworks, such as La'al Swarty, Miners Gold, or as supplied to local pubs such as High X Leat (for High Cross) and Alice in Punchland, or after local people such as Baldilocks and the 3 Hairs, and the Pedalling Parson (a real-ale lover, of Millom), always showing his sense of humour and clever way with words as well as beer. Dave uses airbrush to design all his own pump clips, posters and other publicity material. A man of several talents!

Dave's beers are mainly only available in the immediate locality, but he is immensely proud of winning a number of beer festival awards: a number at Furness Beer Festival, including Beer of the Festival for Bitta Clout, 2006, Beer of the Festival at Liverpool for Leat, in 2005.

His latest award - Best mild and 2nd best beer overall in Britain - has left him shell-shocked, unable to take it in, and wondering how on earth he is going to deal with the usual increased demand!!!

But very, very happy!

brewery interior 1

brewery interior 2

brewery entrance

brewery interior 3

brewery yard

brewery interior 4