Introducing the Lancashire Life 70th anniversary ale
PUBLISHED: 00:00 23 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:52 04 August 2017
Lytham Brewery has produced a special beer to mark our 70th anniversary. Paul Mackenzie went along for a taste. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN COCKS
It’s our 70th anniversary this year and if you’d like to raise a toast to your favourite magazine, we’ve just the drink for you. Lytham Brewery have created a special beer which will be available in good pubs across the county this summer.
Lancashire Life Anniversary Ale is a light, refreshing drink, perfect for a summer’s day, made by the Booker family who have earned an impressive reputation since they began brewing just ten years ago.
Back then – to mark our 60th anniversary – Bonds of Elswick produced a celebration ice cream called Red Rose Ripple, made with vanilla ice cream with a swirl of strawberry and balsamic vinegar.
There’s no such exotic flavour combinations this time, just the finest quality barley, yeast, malts and English hops.
‘It’s a light, easy drinking 4% beer that should be popular through the summer,’ said James Booker, who runs the brewery with help from his parents Andrew and Julie, and his brother-in-law and head brewer, Will Godley.
The brewery was originally established in 2007 when Andrew ran The Hastings Club in Lytham. ‘We had some spare room and put a small brew plant in,’ Andrew said. ‘Initially we were just supplying ourselves, then we started to produce beer for one or two other places and it has grown from there.’
They now produce a range of beers and brew 10,000 pints every week which are distributed to pubs all over the north west.
Having moved on from the Hastings Club, Andrew and James set up a larger scale brewery in premises just outside the town centre. And although a fire ripped through the brewery in 2011, the business bounced back and they have multiplied their capacity several times since they began.
They are now based a couple of miles away in St Annes – ‘We may have moved from Lytham but we didn’t want to change the business name, it trips off the tongue nicely and people recognise it now,’ said Andrew.
Indeed, the brewery has established a reputation for quality ales in pubs from Liverpool and Manchester up to the Lake District. In addition to their core range of six beers – including the popular Lytham Blonde, Lytham Gold and Lytham Amber – they produce seasonal beers and experimental brews.
James said: ‘It’s nice to introduce other ingredients and try different recipes. We make a new beer once a month and it allows us to play around a bit. We’ve had a honey bee beer with honey in it, an ape ale with banana and other animal themed beer.
‘We only use the finest malts and hops and we never compromise quality but we have an understanding of the ingredients so we have a good idea of the colour and the strength of the beer before we start but sometimes there is a little fine tweaking needed until we’re happy with the recipe.’
And Andrew added: ‘We are constantly evolving, trying new recipes and taking the business forward. We are now looking at getting involved in kegging our beer, making a new carbonated beer. We’re working on the recipe now.’
And the brewery’s innovations haven’t been restricted to the contents of a glass. They have also developed a ‘Pull your own’ service providing their beers to private functions and they will hold their third annual open day on Bank Holiday Monday, August 28 offering beer tastings.
For more information about the brewery, co online to www.lythambrewery.co.uk
You can try the Lancashire Life 70th Anniversary Ale at the following locations:
Zy bar, Blackburn
Lord Longworth, Oswaldtwistle
The Ale house, Clitheroe
The Premier, Widnes
Running Horses, St Helens
Sir Thomas Gerard, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan
The Railway, Lytham
Pump and Truncheon, Blackpool
Blackpool Cricket Club
Court Leet, Ormskirk
Grey Friers, Preston
Lime Kiln, Liverpool
Roscoe Head, Liverpool
Tap and Vent, Longridge
Velvet Coaster, Blackpool
Victoria, St Annes
Barkers Brewery, Huyton
Sir Henry Sirgrave, Southport
Bob Inn, Chorley
Hare and Hounds, Bolton