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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Go-ahead to turn empty west Cumbrian building into micro-brewery

A Workington micro-brewery which has been producing its ale in Cheshire will move back into the town.

Graeme Mitchell  photo
Graeme Mitchell

Mitchell Krause Brewing, which was set up by Graeme Mitchell three years ago, has been granted permission by Allerdale council to convert a vacant agricultural building on Calva Farm into the brewery.

The ales are currently brewed in West Sussex and Cheshire before being transported in bulk containers to Cockermouth, where it is bottled and put into kegs.

Storage and distribution is then managed by Grapevine Wholesale, in Embleton, with the sales and marketing of the business conducted from Workington.

After the welcome news from Allerdale, Mr Mitchell will now turn the old building at his parents’ farm into a permanent base for his firm.

He hopes to start work on the brewery before the end of the year, with brewing ales starting in the spring.

He added that 95 per cent of the beer made would be sold as draught and five per cent would be bottled.

There will also be appointment-only tours, there would be a shop and four parking spaces.

When the plans were revealed in September Mr Mitchell said two jobs would be created at the new brewery.

“I was encouraged to go for this opportunity, by the reaction and positive feedback I’ve had for my beers, from customers and at local festivals such as Nuts in May, Solfest and Oktoberfest,” he said.

“The time is now right to build our own small but perfectly formed brewery, which will produce quality and crafted beers.”

Workington has a strong history for being the home of various breweries in the past.

In 1988 the Matthew Brown Brewery closed its doors at the Workington brewery building.

At its peak, the 200-year-old building housed a 120-strong workforce.

The building was originally the home of Workington Brewery before it was taken over by Blackburn-based Matthew Brown in 1975.

In 1987 it became the Cumbrian base for Theakston’s beers. In 1989, a year after a £195m takeover by Scottish and Newcastle, it was shut down and in 1990 the distribution depot, which still operated from the site, moved to the Lillyhall Industrial Estate.

The building fell into disuse, but was later transformed into flats.

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