I moved to Cumbria in 1990 with my wife and family of 3, from Teeside to Ennerdale Bridge. I’d spent too much time away from home working offshore in the petro-chem industry and wanted a better life for my family.
We immersed ourselves in all things Cumbrian – walking the fells and eating and drinking our way around this amazing place we were lucky enough to call home. I had the opportunity to become a director of Ennerdale Brewery, running my own community pub and brewery; my kids went to the local Ennerdale Junior school; and we had wild Ennerdale on our doorstep.
The setting is perfect – we’re in one of the most unspoilt valleys of the Lake District and right on the Coast to Coast route in a picturesque and unspoilt setting, close to the commercial centre of Whitehaven and the arterial road network. The Fox and Hounds is the second stop on the C2C after St Bees, and we’re working to try and link up with a pub at the opposite end, in Robin Hoods bay.
Our beer has 4 pure ingredients: Cumbrian spring water, malt hops and yeast. Our beers are brewed, fresh and natural, using filtered, untreated Lakeland spring water, rising from Croasdale Fell, just a few hundred yards from the brewery – its naturally very pure and soft.
We also use only English malts, freshly kiln-dried and milled just for us – we don’t use cheaper wheat, maize or rice options. Our hops too are English or European whole-leaf, naturally dried, not pelleted. Our yeast is developed from one of the long established English Ale Yeasts and we harvest and use into the next brew, maintaining distinctive flavours.
I sleep with my wife every night, breath fresh air in from the moment we awake, we eat locally bred lamb and beef off the fells; drink tap water that is collected not 2 miles from our house, and drink my own beer in our community run pub just round the corner. What more could a man want!!
I’m also pleased to be part of a viable business providing employment and income for a local community and directors. We do this by our commitment to an authentic, quality local ale, with minimum environmental impact, that says ‘Cumbria’. Our strapline is ‘putting the ale into Ennerdale’ – perfect for us!
Cumbria to me is all about community. My family is here, this little bit of heaven we call home, my wife works in the pub and we’re close to all our customers our neighbours and our community. We’re all working together to get the village thriving again, working to get the village shop selling local produce in lots of ways; getting involved in Parish Council and committee work together.
World Heritage site status would certainly give us that extra kudos as a brand and a business here in this amazing part of the world – we already receive views to our website from all over the world, a world heritage site surely would bring more people in person to ‘our place’.
Barrie Roberts is Director at Ennerdale Brewery, based in the Lake District and open 7 days a week to visitors.