Brewed in Cheshire

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Borough Arms


Coach House

Dunham Massey

Khean Brewing

Northern Brewing

Spitting Feathers

Station House

Storm Brewing


Woodlands Brewing


Champion Beer of Cheshire


CAMRA in Cheshire



Branch Diaries

Publications & Articles

Useful Links

A quick county tour of the small craft breweries of Cheshire (plus a few very close by), with links to their own sites and a few notes on their real ales and where to find them.
For details of their real ales in bottle form, click here.

Champion Beer of Cheshire

The competition was held in October 2012 at Chester Real Ale Festival

Champion : Pied Bull Matador

Runner-up : Woodlands Midnight Stout

Matador is described as a rich malt-driven ale at 5% alcohol by volume with an aromatic hop profile.
It is said to be highly drinkable! Best place to find it is probably at the Pied Bull itself in Chester.

Beartown *
Blue Ball
Bollington Brewing Co *
Borough Arms
Cheshire Brewhouse
Coach House *
Dunham Massey
Frodsham *
Front Row *
Happy Valley
Merlin Brewing *
Mobberley Fine Ales
Northern *
Norton Brewing
Offbeat *
Peerless (ex Betwixt) *
Pied Bull
Sandstone *
Spitting Feathers
Storm *
Tatton Brewery *
Tipsy Angel
Townhouse Brewery
Weetwood *
Wincle *
Woodlands *
Sutton Weaver
Dunham Massey

07917 730184
01260 299964
01928 238442
01625 575380
07523 946730
0151 342 1181
0151 709 8734
07830 304929
01925 232800
07739 325742
0161 929 0663
01928 787917
07861 718673
01270 873669
07758 512080
01477 500893
07879 771209
01606 301000
01928 579907
07502 096 438
0151 647 7688
01244 325829
01625 502315
07851 001118
01244 332052
01625 431234
07738 150898
01925 653326
07976 209437
01829 752377
01260 227777
01270 841511
01625 873120

























Beartown Brewery

Found in Cheshire in the free trade and at their own outlets: the Beartown Tap in Congleton, the AP Club in Holmes Chapel and also at the Navigation in Stockport.
Brewery visits can be booked by contacting as per the details in the Good Beer Guide. The brewery are once again looking to expand their tied estate. Further pubs are being looked at but as yet no firm news is available as to where these pubs will be.
The first of Beartown's own outlets are;
The Navigation - Stockport. This pub won the CAMRA Regional Pub of The Year award for Greater Manchester and is a reflection of the hard work that licensee and staff have put into getting this pub to the standard it is today. Needless to say, sales of all the Beartown beers are doing very well.
The Beartown Tap - Congleton. This pub won the CAMRA Regional Pub of The Year Award for Merseyside, Cheshire & North Wales and again is a reflection of the effort the licensee and staff have put into making the brewery tap the place it is today. TThe pub regularly has one real cider plus one or two guest beers on along side a selection of beers from the Beartown range. Sales at the Tap still continue to grow and meet expectations.
The AP Club - Holmes Chapel. The fourth handpump that was installed to dispense a guest beer has been a success, sales of the guest have gone well. Sales of the three Beartown beers are also selling very well. Trade is still on the increase especially Friday nights and weekends.
Cheshire Ring
- Hyde

Beartown have been looking at bottling some of their beers. Sales of the bottle conditioned beer will initially be limited to within it's tied estate with a view to it being sold in supermarkets. Sales of the full range of beers from the brewery are growing very well both in the tied estate and the open market.

The brewery are looking to introduce more guest ales into their pubs on a regular basis and are currently looking for breweries to do swaps with. Any brewery that is interested should contact the head brewer, Ian Burns, on Phone 01477 537274 or Fax 01477 535439. Further information on Beartown can always be found on the brewery web site above.



Based on the Wirral, and not strictly in Cheshire, but we aren't going to be precious about it, especialy where decent beers is concerned! Cask beers can be found in the free trade around the Wirral. Bottles can be bought at Farmers' markets around the NorthWest and htere is a home delivery service. See their website for more details.


Bollington Brewing Company

Almost 80 years since brewing ceased at the Heavers Brothers site in Bollington, brewing has been revived by the team at the Vale Inn. The new brewery has been set up by Lee Wainwright and is based close to his pub, the Vale Inn. It launched in July 2008 with First Brew (4.2%), a golden coloured, slightly hoppy bitter which now has a permanent name; White Nancy (named after a local landmark). This was followed by Bollington Nights (3.9%). Their 3rd brew is Ginger Brew (4%). The regular range comprises 7 real ales, plus of course, seasonal special brews. All of these beers are availablle as Real Ale in a Bottle.

At the Champion Beer of Cheshire Competition held recently at the Nantwich Beer Festival not only did Bollington win the top prize of ‘Champion Beer of Cheshire’ with Bollington Best, but also took second place with Oat Mill Stout. This is a remarkable achievement for a new operation and the first time that a brewer has won two of the top three spots.

The brewing business is showing healthy growth, with take away options and a move into the free trade. Beer Boxes are available in 9, 18 or 36 pint sizes and will last up to seven days. The beer is supplied ‘bright’ with no need for settling. They will also be doing fined beers, which will last up to two months but need to be settled and kept cool. Ideally orders should be in advance but it is always worth phoning to see if there is one ready in stock.
For more modest needs, 4 pint Carry Kegs are always available at the Vale.


Borough Arms

The first brewery in Crewe since the demise of Woolf's brewery in 1923.
The two barrel brewplant, ex Townhouse, has been modified to suit the premises.
For those of you who would like to try some of the brewery's beers, check your Good Beer Guide before you travel to visit the pub and note the opening times.
***recommenced its brew-pub operation in October 2008. The first three beers are
Leaves on the line; an Autumn Ale at 4.7% abv
Gold; a light session Ale (4.0% abv)
Befuggled; a strong light Ale (5.0%)

Of course there are always 4 or 5 guest beers from other brewers available at the bar.



Based at an old farm dairy at Brimstage on the Wirral, this is not strictly in Cheshire, but who's counting?
The beers include Sandpiper Pale (3.4%),Trapper's Hat Bitter (3.8%), Oystercatcher Stout (4.4%), Rhode Island Red Bitter (4%) and Scarecrow Bitter (4.2%).


Coach House

A new series of single varietal hop beers began in July with Cascade Blonde. Incredibly, the hops are used in the brewing kettle, late hops are also added, the beer is then dry hopped and yet more hops are added in the fermenting vessel!
New beers are anticipated at 6 to 8 week intervals, with Bramling Cross appearing in September.

Coach House hold the 2001 award for Champion Beer of Cheshire, with Postlethwaite. This coveted prize was won at the Macclesfield Beer Festival.

Former head brewer at Greenall Whitley, Neil Chantrell was responsible for creating such delights as Greenalls Original. When Greenalls ceased brewing in 1991 he and three other ex employees purchased some of the brewing plant that they were scrapping, and Coach House rose like a phoenix from the ashes of Greenalls Brewery.

coach House

Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey Brewing Company is a small family run craft brewery located on National Trust land in the town of Dunham Massey, just outside the Cheshire boundary and set up in late 2006 in October 2007 John Costello brewed his first batch of Big Tree Bitter (3.9%) and Deer Beer (4.5%). And it wasn't too long until these were joined with Dunham Massey's other regular beer, Stamford Bitter (4.2%), and the seasonal ale, Dunham Massey Winter Warmer (6.6%).

More news from one of our new craft brewers, Dunham Massey. A 4.2%, 'Stout' is now available. It is described as a creamy, full bodied, all English, dry stout, with a classic bitter, burnt, dark roast flavour. Cask conditioned Stout has been distributed to a few pubs already with the remainder of the brew being made available at the brewery shop in bottle conditioned (Real Ale in a Bottle) form. First reports are that this is a terrific beer.
They also have a Cheshire IPA said to be inspired by the traditional English India Pale Ales with a gravity of 4.7%, light and hoppy, finished with Fuggles and Goldings
What is more, this inventive micro-brewery also have the Little Bollington Ale in bottles and a Milk Stout.

Further accolades; Chocolate Cherry Mild (3.8%) was voted Beer of the Festival at a recent Essex CAMRA Beer Festival, being praised as "an excellent full flavoured mild." This follows a Bronze Award for the same beer at Stockport Beer Festival. John's success has resulted in a request from the organizers of the Great British Beer Festival in August for his Chocolate Cherry Mild on draught and two bottled-conditioned beers (Deer Beer and Dark Mild) for the Real Ale in a Bottle outlet. This is almost unheard of for such a newly-established Brewery. John has produced a further new beer; Little Bollington Ale (3.7%).
Dunham Massey continue to add new beers to their portfolio including Cheshire IPA (4.7), Stout (4.2) and Milk Stout(4). Two mild ales are available in the form of Dunham Light and Dunham Dark, while a seasonal special Treacle Treat has also been seen.

Real ale in a bottle is also available from the brewery shop.



Based in Frodsham. and formerly known as Station House. The plans for opening a micro-brewery started in 2004 when the brewer Barrie Davidson and his wife Hazel decided to open a micro-brewery. Barrie left his job as a Community Regeneration Officer with a local authority and decided to attend a practical brewing course at BREWLAB, University of Sunderland.

Barrie and Hazel's plans were to open a brewery in the area where they lived and persisted in trying many sites to locate their brewery. Consequently the name "Station House" came from original plans to open a brewery at a redundant railway station in Frodsham. The brewery produces a range of core beers, seasonal and monthly specials, all named by the brewer, however starting in January 2008 there will be a competition to name a beer for each village in the Frodsham Forward area (Helsby, Manley, Frodsham, Alvanley and Norley). These beers will become core beers from the brewery.

1st Lite 3.8% A robust, full flavoured, pale bitter beer, with grapefruit and varying citrus tones, and 'stay in the mouth' after taste. Made with Halcyon malt and late hopped with three American hops.
3 Score 4.5% An amber bronze, malt beer, fruity tang and long after taste. A three hop signature beer with raisin after taste.
Aonach 4.9%. A typical Scottish style 80/- beer. Dark amber in colour, late hopped with New Zealand hops.
Buzzin' 4.3% Bronze medal winner for Best Bitter 2007 Great British Beer Festival. Golden fruity bitter with a hint of honey. A single hop beer with good hop flavours and a dry finish. Named after the brewer's wife Hazel.
Froda's Ale 4.2% A traditional tawny bitter, with hoppy and slight liquorice taste. Named after Froda, Saxon leader of Frodsham.
Lady O' the Stream 3.9% A light golden beer. Fruity, fragrant and citrus. A three-hop variety to savour.
Lammastide 5% An English wheat beer with distinct elderflower aromas.
MynzaMild 3.9% A mahogany mild, with fruity aftertaste.
Night Mail 4.7% A dry, jet black stout using roasted barley, oat malt and three hop addition. Sharp with mellowing aftertaste.
Ode 2 Joy 4.1% A flavoursome - like music 'refreshing' beer. Blonde in colour with tingling tastes of orange and lemon.
Splash 3.9% A blonde, refreshing, summer beer. Crisp & citrus with hoppy flavours. Dry hopped with Cascade. Enjoy!
Wintafest 5.5% A winter warmer beer. Dark and malty with citrus fruit, raisin and spice flavours and rich, hoppy aromas. A beer to share on cold winter nights.


Khean Brewing, Congleton

The Khean Brewing Co was set up by Ken Newsome, local CAMRA member and beer enthusiast using a five-barrel plant in an industrial unit off Royle Street in the centre of Congleton. The name was a combination of "Ken" and his wife's initials. Some of the beers were reviewed by our enthusiastic memebrs as follows;

Premium Bitter was a 4.4% golden beer using Maris Otter malt and a little pale crystal malt, with the distinctive bitterness from Challenger hops, that reminded one of a wheat beer.
All Rounder, a 3.9% standard bitter. Hoppier than the bitter, very clear, pale gold and good.
Leg Spinner a 4.4% ABV with quite a bitter taste to it, again, it's a light straw coloured beer, reminiscent of a few Cotleigh beers.

Seamer was a 4.5% chestnut malty bitter.
Jingle Bails, a winter ale.

Khean Brewing began to bottle its beers, starting with the 4.2% Caught Behind stout. It was bottle conditioned, too. I was able to try some at a Holly Tree Farm tasting event where it was very well received.
Khean Brewing ceased operating in September 2004, with the plant, the recipes, the established outlets and Ken himself (as consultant) all passing to the newly-formed Woodlands Brewing Company of Wrenbury. As you can see, the beer names were all charmingly connected with our national summer game. Given our boys' triumph over the Aussies in 2005, it is a pity Ken was never able to produce a smoked beer and call it The Ashes.


Northern puts the Soul back into Halton's Brewing Heritage
Halton is believed to have lost its last "proper" brewery way back in 1906 when Thomas Jones's Navigation Brewery ceased brewing. This was located at the Navigation pub - now owned by Wolverhampton and Dudley following their takeover of Marstons.
It wasn't until 1973 that Bass built a "mega-keggery" at Preston Brook following their decision to concentrate their brewing operations on a few massive keg breweries. This managed to survive 18 years before rationalisation caught up with it. Since then, Halton has managed to miss out on the microbrewery revolution … until now.

Northern Brewing Ltd was set up in the Runcorn Old Town close to the station, run by Colin Stubbs. The plant has a capacity of 5 barrels and was formerly used by the now defunct Orchard Brewery of Barnsley.
There are two ranges - a "Northern Soul" (one of Colin's interests) themed range for the guest beer market and a more traditional range (mild, bitter, best bitter etc) aimed at regular accounts and sold under the Stubbs banner. Colin's preference is for light, hoppy and bitter beers so expect these characteristics to be a trademark of his beers. He also has access to Orchard recipes and expects to revive at least one of these.
Colin was keen to ensure the product is right before selling it into trade so we can't provide a list of outlets yet - however, you can expect to see the beers in the usual free trade outlets. We would be happy to hear of sightings of the beers from this exciting new venture.

We hear that the two latest beers are Soul Rider (4%) and Twist & Stout. This latter was brewed as a special but is expected to become a regular. The operation moved to Blakemere Craft Centre in 2005.

Northern Brewery continues to expand its range of specials with a series named after famous dogs! There have also been some other one-off beers. Macclesfield Beer Festival 2008 also produced a prize for Northern who took 2nd for Hit and Run (4.5%). Northern beers are available from their shop at Blakemere Craft Centre and on-line via their website.

Spitting Feathers

This operation began in June 2005, with the beers appearing in pubs in Chester, comprising Thirst Quencher (3.9%), Special Ale (4.2%), Old Wavertonian (4.4%) a stout and Basket Case, a winter ale at 4.8%. Sightings have included Old Harker's Arms, Telford's Warehouse, the Plough at Christleton, and the Nag's Head at Lavister.

Spitting Feathers have opened their first pub; the Brewery Tap; in Bridge Street, Chester. It sells a range of no fewer than four of their own beers plus guest three beers and a real cider in what sounds like superb surroundings; a “must visit”.

spitting feathers

Storm Brewing
Very much a part of the Macclesfield scene, with a loyal folowing and a range of fantastic beers. Owners and brewers Hugh Thompson and Dave Stebbings operate from premises nestling below the Silk Road flyover, housed in a former pub, the Mechanics Arms, which closed in 1937. The space available means that local bands use the building for rehearsals, and there is a remarkably quirky hospitality room. Hugh & Dave are stalwarts of the local music scene, as members of Dazed and Confused.

Hugh & Dave produce an impressive portfolio of traditional beers with Ale Force (1040) being the biggest seller.
Dave reports that the Chancellor's cut in beer duty for small brewers proved highly beneficial, saving 10 a cask and releasing funds for both brewery development and more aggressive pricing.



A new brewery in Wincle opened in summer 2008. While Wincle is in Cheshire, the brewery is now located on a farm just over the border from Staffordshire. The first Wincle beers have now appeared in Cheshire and Staffordshire pubs.


Woodlands Brewing Company

Woodlands Brewing Company was set up in Wrenbury (close to the former Paradise Brewery) by John Skeaping.
Using the brewing plant acquired from Congleton's Khean Brewing, John originally kept the range of Khean beers, before developing a new beer range, beginning with Woodlands Bitter. When this was first test-brewed it proved so popular that one pub sold a nine gallon cask in two hours!

John bought Woodlands Farm near Wrenbury a year and a half ago and discovered a spring in a peat field. Tests revealed that the water was rich in minerals and once John had been put in touch with Ken, trial brews were made. Woodlands Bitter is said to have some of the qualities of Bass, a beer that John used to take great care of in the cellar when he ran a free house.

Khean's founder, Ken Newsome has been acting as a consultant to the new operation. Ken decided to close down his one-man operation in Congleton. Although it had been profitable and had produced some delightful beers, the workload was very high for one person.

Woodlands Brewing take great care to look after all the old Khean Brewing outlets but plans to expand the operation. Output is likely to double.

More information on the beer range and a history of the operation can be found on their website. Cases of their real ales in bottle can be ordered on-line. Woodlands Brewery Company can also be reached by E-mail or by telephoning 01270-780730.

Woodlands Brewing are expanding their range of Cheshire-brewed real ales. It now includes the following;

Woodlands Bitter 4.4% a dark tan bitter, quite Bass like, with very little after taste
Full Boddied 4.2% traditional golden in colour, based on the old Boddington recipe
Oak Beauty 4.2% a mid coloured bitter with just a hint of acorn, (the best seller)
Midnight Stout 4.4% smooth traditional, easy drinking stout with a dry roasted barley flavour
IPA 4.3% a light refreshing version of the ever popular India Pale Ale
Autumn Gold 4.2% a fine example of a hoppy light coloured beer- very moreish
Village Green 4.0% an award winning pale bitter, refreshingly dry, with a flowery finish
Drummer bitter 3.9%

a session beer tan in colour very malty

Light Oak 4,.0% pale with a medium hop content

The beers may be found at various times at some of the following pubs;

Grosvenor Arms
Aston Bhurtpore
Barnston Fox and Hounds
Betley Swan
Chester Mill
Chester Ship Victory
Chester Telford’s Warehouse
Congleton Leisure Centre
Congleton Queens Head
Heswell Jug and Bottle
Kingsley Red Bull
Marton Davenport Arms
Nantwich Railway
No Man’s Heath Wheatsheaf
Smallwood Bull’s Head
Tushingham Blue Bell
Willaston Social Club
Wrenbury Cotton Arms
Wybunbury Swan

Woodlands have had enormous success with Midnight Stout and so far there are three pubs who have taken this in place of Guinness. It was tasted at the Congleton Leisure Centre Beer Festival and was superb.

Woodlands are on the lookout for more pubs to add to their first outlet, the Globe in Nantwich.





All contents copyright 2004, Macclesfield and East Cheshire CAMRA Branch.
All rights reserved. Last Revised: January 2, 2013
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