Breweries and Distilleries around Morecambe Bay
Apart from all the artisan chocolate shops we introduced you to at Easter (and if you missed that, you can find it here), the bay area is home to an impressive range of distillers, liqueur producers, gin parlours and micro breweries – here are just a few to start you off…
As well as fine dining (owner and Chef Craig Sherrington is a rising star in the culinary world), Virginia House have an impressive gin parlour offering a wide selection of gins and gin cocktails. They also have a lovely gin garden where you can sit outside and make the most of the long Cumbrian evenings accompanied by the perfect G&T .
There are no distillery tours available at Shed 1 as they literally produce all their gin in a 25l still in a shed in their back garden but you can buy it in most local shops and it’s definitely worth tracking down. Their gin has won numerous awards and was recently featured in The Guardian newspaper. They produce a range of different gins as well as offering limited edition blends for special events such as Valentine’s Day and Christmas.
Kin Vodka is another tiny local liqueur producer who still does much of the work in their shed so there are no site tours available here either, but it is well stocked locally. Judith, the woman behind the vodka, was inspired to create it following a holiday in France and went on to ditch a career in financial services to produce her vodka full time. It’s perfect on its own, over ice or glugged generously into a large mug of hot chocolate.
Although this is a tiny micro brewery everyone is welcome to visit as they have a small tasting room and a gorgeous beer garden with fresh hops growing around the walls. They launched into the brewing world with very little experience but right from the first batch they’ve been producing top notch beer that sells out quickly. They even supply the internationally famous L’Enclume restaurant in the village.
Just a little outside the bay but for such an iconic drink it’s worth a visit. Mike Pennington (known locally as Minty Mike for obvious reasons) was born and raised in Kendal and recalls watching his grandfather make Kendal Mintcake when he was a child. As a grownup he took the mintcake experiments one step further to create the gloriously green and minty Mintcake Liqueur. He owns Burgundy’s Wine Bar in Kendal where you’ll find an impressive range of minty cocktails on the menu.
We have had a busy start to the @bbcgoodfoodshow in Birmingham and with the sun shining today and some beautiful exhibits in @gardenersworldmag exhibition, it’s sure to be a busy one again today. . . . #penningtons #bakewellliqueur #bakewell #kendalmintcakeliqueur #bbcgoodfoodshow #gfssummer #kendal #lakes #birmingham #nec #liqueurs #gin #lakelandmoon #kendalmintcake
Situated on the outskirts of the city this is a bigger brewery with plenty of opportunities to visit, tour, or simply enjoy a beer in the tap room. They are proud of their brewing process and have a no-nonsense approach using only the finest, freshest, ingredients. Their full tours offer a proper “behind the scenes” view of how they make their iconic beers – or you could arrange to be a brewer for the day and maybe learn some of their secrets.
This is the only brewery in Morecambe and although they’re not huge they definitely punch above their weight when it comes to their beers. In 2017 one of their beers won gold at the International Brewing Awards and they supply a large number of bars and restaurants across the North West. They take their name from the historic crossings of Morecambe Bay – and if you’ve ever taken part in a cross bay walk you’ll know how welcome a decent pint is at the end.
The Midland doesn’t brew or distil any gins or beers, but it is the perfect “grown up” place to enjoy a cocktail or a G&T as the sun sets across the bay. This art deco masterpiece is the jewel in Morecambe’s crown and the cool, elegant bar with a full wall of windows overlooking the bay, is the perfect place to unwind after a busy day sightseeing. They are also home to the Gin Festival which takes place each June so you can always rely on them to have an excellent selection of gins in stock.
Words by Beth Pipe, The Cumbrian Rambler
Gallery Images by Steve Pipe