Post redundancy at the beginning of lockdown restrictions 12 months ago, an award-winning team of four has reunited as Lakes Brew Co.
Co-founders Matt Clarke, Michelle Gay, Steve Ricketts and Paul Sheldon, formerly employed by Hawkshead Brewery at Staveley, will be focusing on the local and thriving independent beer scene.
Lakes Brew Co will be in the heart of Kendal on Mintsfeet Industrial Estate, housing a bespoke designed 16hl SSV brew kit, MicroCan CL5 canning line and a proposed pop up tap room, providing fresh off the line beer to the craft beer scene in the Lake District. They hope to have the first beers ready in June, available in Can, Keg and Cask.
Brewer Matt will be creating a range of modern beer styles, focusing on freshness and quality. Keen to use innovative ingredients including new hop varieties and yeast strains. Matt, who as head brewer at Hawkshead was responsible for its most popular and award-winning beers, said “We really look forward to working alongside likeminded artisanal businesses in the Lake District’s food and drink scene and collaborating with other Cumbrian businesses.”
Michelle said they were looking forward to developing a progressive and sociably innovative brewery in line with their own ethos and attitudes: “This opportunity has come out of adversity. What most people would regard as a disaster – when we lost our jobs – means we can now build something fresh and new.”
The Lakes Brew Co co-founders:
- Matt Clarke was Head brewer at Hawkshead Brewery for 15 years, leading the team and creating award-winning beers. Part of the recent revolution in the UK industry, he has contacts throughout the modern British and International brewing world.
- Michelle Gay, a brand builder who has been immersed in the industry for 15 years and has extensive experience in hospitality and business development.
- Steve Ricketts, a stalwart of the UK beer scene with over 20 years’ of commercial experience at BrewDog, Heineken UK and Hawkshead Brewery.
- Paul Sheldon, a Certified Chartered Accountant who focuses on commercial and operational finance, with more than 12 years experience across various industries.