Eden, Cumbria, The Lake District – A natural choice for business

Appleby rolls out the barrel for new venture

09 May 2015

Eden's newest brewery is fast becoming the toast of Appleby after it began making its first beer deliveries.

Fred Mills, the 56-year-old owner of the Appleby Brewery, who comes from Stockport, set up the venture after previously working in a variety of careers. He decided he wanted to turn his home brewing hobby into a viable business and relocate to the town.

He said that there has been a good response since he started brewing and already he had 12 regualr customers across the north of England.

Fred said that the brewery on the Cross Croft industrial estate was a joing venture together with his wife 56-year-old Jeannie, and they were also in the middle of renovating a guesthouse in Boroughgate to which they plan to relocate.

He added: "We wanted to set up in business together - she's a teacher and I'm a management consultant. We have family in Appleby, we have been visiting for donkeys' years, it was just when the right property came up.

He said that they initially set up the brewery at a unit on the estate in November and his middle daughter 27-year-old Katie had recently started working for the family business.

So far there are a number of brews ranging from a light golden ale - Horse Far at 3.6% ABV and only available during the summer months - to a 5.2% ABV stout known as Middle Age Spread. Fred said there is even one called Mid Life Crisis - a 4.2% ABV IPA - which he described as an "autobiographical ale" bearing in mind his recent birthday and career change.

He added: " This is appropriate to my story, You can have one of two so you can tell your mates you are into your second mid-life crisis - it's cheaper than buying a Harley (Davidson motorbike)."

Fred said that beers from smaller micro breweries can provde quite successful, particuarly with craft ales growing in popularity, and his customers cover an area ranging from the Scottish Border to Cheshire and across to Darlington in the north east of England.

So far he has tried to make more people aware of the new brewey by contacting landlords directly, with a good response through social media.

The beer is available at the Midland Hotel, Appleby as well as the Moo Bar, Carlisle and Fred is hoping to get more interest from pubs in Penrith and the rest of Eden once word spreads.

He added: "The are so many real ale pubs in Cumbria but the county has a lot of breweries per capita. I am pleased with the response from other breweries - if I put something on Twitter it was being retweeted by Dent, Eden and Bowness breweries.

"What goes around comes around because now they are saying things and I am retweeting them."

View the whole article here The Herald P21, Saturday 9 May 2015