Businesses in Kendal are taking part in #yourewelcomekendal, a campaign to promote all the fantastic cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars, producers and food retailers in the town.
We’ve been catching up with the people behind the businesses to find out why they love what they do.
Michelle Gay is co-founder and creative director at Lakes Brew Co, in Kendal. She runs the brewery alongside fellow founders Steve Ricketts, Matt Clarke and Paul Sheldon.
“Collectively the Lakes Brew Co team have over 60 years’ experience in the brewing industry, prior to this we have all worked various jobs in hospitality, fireworks and random factories before jumping into the fabulously collaborative world of craft beer,” says Michelle.
“Fate brought us together at Hawkshead Brewery and in a short time it became clear we shared a passion for great beer and many ideals. After being made redundant at the beginning of lockdown restrictions in March 2020 we reunited as Lakes Brew Co.
“We just couldn’t see ourselves doing anything else and why would we want to move to another part of the country when we live in such a beautiful place? Together we shared the ambition to be one of Cumbria’s progressive, sociably innovative breweries, complete with a strong ethos of support and collaboration.
“We brew beer, quite simply and love it. But what comes with that is the ability to bring people together, share a love of our surroundings and really experiment with different flavour profiles. These can come from the simple yet complex little hop, an ever evolving product, and also the addition of spices and fruit. We like to take our beer drinker on a journey of layers and flavours.
“We decided when starting the brewery to really have fun and have a good working environment for ourselves and the team. We love nothing more than having away days where we can all relax. It all helps with creativity and deciding what’s next for the brewery, whether we’re up on a hill in the Lakes or enjoying some other brewery’s beer.
“Everything is produced and packaged onsite, which is hugely important for us. It gives us overall quality control from start to finish. We can our beers literally metres away from the fermentation vessels, which gives us the freshest beer possible.
“Our focus initially is to feed our homeland and support local independent pubs and bars. We are regularly on the taps at Indie Craft and The New Union, in Kendal, and we also host monthly tap room weekenders at the end of every month in the brewery.
“We love what we do and we hope that shines through. We want to create a range of beers that are accessible to all. We have fun and we all share a passion to create and be the best we can be. I think if you surround yourself with a great team then it will be hard to fail. We love the fact we can connect with so many like-minded producers in the area and we love getting to drink great beer at the end of every day.”
#yourewelcomekendal is being funded by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund. The Welcome Back Fund is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.