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Lakes Brew Co toasts to launch

Napthens has supported the founders of Lakes Brew Co in establishing a new brewery set to focus on the thriving independent beer scene in Cumbria.

Founders of Lakes Brew Co, Matt Clarke, Michelle Gay, Steve Ricketts and Paul Sheldon, are an award-winning team that have previous experience at Hawkshead Brewery, BrewDog and Heineken UK. Following the challenges of the pandemic, they have now reunited to establish a new progressive and innovative brewery focused on an ethos of support and collaboration.

Lakes Brew Co will create a range a modern beer styles, focusing on freshness and quality, as well as the use of innovative ingredients and new hop varieties. Collaboration will sit at the heart of the business with partnership with other artisanal Cumbria-based food and drink businesses a top priority.

Steve Ricketts, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Lakes Brew Co, said: “In the past 12 months we’ve seen our sector go through huge challenges, but we made the decision to use the adversity we have faced to create something fresh and new.

“Despite the team having more than 60 years’ combined experience in breweries and hospitality, this is the first time we’ve set up our own business.  The guidance and support that Jamie and his team at Napthens have provided throughout the process has been invaluable. Being lawyers to the UK’s largest beer trade association (SIBA), the team’s experience in the brewing world and knowledge of Cumbria was second to none. Napthens have been an essential partner in this process and we look forward to working with them as we grow.”

Napthens assisted Lakes Brew Co in forming the company, setting up corporate governance structures and ensuring the company’s intellectual property is protected. Napthens was also integral in the company securing premises in the heart of Kendal, at Mintsfleet Industrial Estate. The site houses a bespoke 16hl SSV brew kit and MicroCan CL5 canning line. The company also has ambition to host a pop-up tap room which will provide fresh off-the-line beer to the significant number of craft fans in the Lake District.

Jamie Allison, Head of Cumbria and Real Estate at Napthens, added: “We’ve had a strong working relationship with Matt, Steve and Michelle for many years so it’s fantastic to be able to support them in forming their own brand. We are delighted to have provided such a range of support to the team and help them secure a location that will see the business thrive as we emerge from what has been a difficult 12 months for the sector.

“The team will bring a collaborative approach, a desire to work with other F&B manufacturers in the county and flare in the sector is nationally recognised. We look forward to seeing the company grow and visiting the pop-up tap room as soon as we’re able.”

Lakes Brew Co is working to have its first beers ready in June, available in Can, Keg and Cask.

the team behind Lakes Brew Co