Breweries in East Lancashire
East Lancashire is very fortunate to be the home of around 20 real ale breweries. These range in size from national suppliers Moorhouses & Thwaites, smaller micro-breweries including Hopstar & Northern Whisper, as well as the nano/pico breweries The Folly Brewery, Hop Doctor & Snaggletooth. Between them they brew many fine cask conditioned ales, including some former Champion Beer of Britain winners, whilst also embracing the craft & keg beer market.
12 Steps (Darwen)
Started brewing September 2021. The name comes from the number of steps to the cellar of the Bird in th'hand pub in Darwen where a 2½BBL plant is used.
Address: 12 Steps Brewery Ltd, Bird in th'hand, 225 Duckworth Street, Darwen, BB3 1AU
Small micro-brewery based within the Coach & Horses in Bolton-by-Bowland, where beers are only available on the bar.
Address: Coach & Horses, Main Street, Bolton-by-Bowland, nr Clitheroe, BB7 4NW
Tel: 01200 447331
BB18 Brewery (Earby)
Steven and Linda Pickles, who used to run Picks Brewery in Accrington, created a new home brew brewery and tap bar in Earby in late 2020, after installing a 5-barrel plant which was previously at the Whitstable Brewery in Kent.
Big Clock (Accrington)
After reopening the previously boarded up Hargreaves Arms in 2000, Justin Grant was so successful in reintroducing real ale to Accrington it made Grants Bar the go to place. Following on from that success, in March 2014 using a 6BBL plant housed in the back rooms of the 200-year-old pub, Big Clock brewery was born. With bottles stamped ‘Made in Accrington’ the towns name was well and truly back on the map.
Established by Richard Baker in 2003 who started life brewing on a one Brewers Barrel (BBL) plant, formerly used by Picks Brewery, in a store room at the Bashall Barn farm shop a few miles North West of Clitheroe, on the edge of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Brewing was briefly transferred to an industrial unit in Accrington in late summer 2003, using the 5-barrel plant which was previously at the Fuzz & Firkin, Southsea, to allow for structural work to be carried out in what used to be the farm's milking parlour at Bashall Barn, where they returned to in January 2004. In 2014 the brewery was bought by brothers James and Andrew Warburton and in July 2016 the brewery relocated to Holmes Mills in the centre of Clitheroe, a Grade II listed site dating from 1823 which has lain empty since the 1970’s, where they now use a 30-barrel plant together with a nanobrewery for experimental brews. The site features a beer shop and beer hall with 42 handpumps on the longest bar in the UK featuring beers from Lancashire and beyond.
The Folly Brewery (Clayton le Dale)
Started brewing mid 2020 on a one-barrel pico-brewery in home garage. Brews once a fortnight around day job. Three core beers; a flavoured stout, a rye IPA and a blonde.
In 2004, Barry Tyson started brewing on a 2.5-barrel plant, based in the garage at the back of his home, as a hobby to produce some great local beers using only the finest ingredients. The enjoyment came in producing good quaffing ale where folk come back for more and have won over 20 awards nationwide. The brewery relocated to a to a new unit in 2010 and expanded to a six-barrel plant. They now supply more than 100 outlets around Lancashire and the Greater Manchester area, along with the Number 39 Hopstar Brewery Tap in the heart of Darwen town centre. PLEASE NOTE - The Number 39 Hopstar Brewery Tap in Darwen, where 4 handpumps dispense their ales, is a separate business from the Brewery.
Address: Unit 9, Rinus Business Park, Grimshaw Street, Darwen, BB3 2QX
Mighty Medicine (Whitworth)
Established in 2016 this brewery is committed to using the finest ingredients to produce an eclectic range of beers. A tap room is attached to the brewery. (Currently closed)
Originally established in 1865, to brew hop bitter for the Temperance market, and is still on the same historic site as William Moorhouse’s original brew house built in 1870, in the shadow of Lancashire’s famed Pendle Hill. They switched to producing cask beer in 1978, and after a succession of owners failed to realise the potential of the company, Bill Parkinson took over in 1985, since when the brewery has grown substantially. A modern brewhouse was installed in 1988, additional fermenters in 1991, new warehouse in 1995 and two further new 30-barrel fermenters in 2000, there followed a significant investment in 2010 with a new cutting edge brewhouse and visitor centre opening in 2012.
Northern Whisper (Cloughfold)
Began brewing in 2017 in a 10-barrel brewery, on a site which was part of the premises owned by slipper wholesalers, Response Footwear, in Cloughfold, near Rawtenstall, nestled in the Rossendale Valley. Set up by Carmelo Pillitteri, a go-ahead and adventurous brewer who previously ran the Fighting Cocks brewery out of the rear of Nino’s restaurant in Cliviger, along with brothers Josh and Barney Vines, who regularly collected spent grain from Carmelo’s brewery to use for cattle feed at the Kiln Clough farm in nearby, Helmshore, where an annual beer festival is held on the August Bank Holiday weekend. They have Tap Rooms in the centre of Rawtenstall and Ramsbottom.
Address: Hill End Mill, Hill End Lane, Cloughfold, Rossendale, BB4 7RN
Tel: 01706 230082
Oscar's (previously Hart of Preston) (Nelson)
Small family run brewery which relocated to Nelson in February 2019 from Preston, Lancashire. They supply Lancashire, Cumbria and all of Yorkshire. Their beers are cask conditioned and available in 9 Gallon casks or pins to meet each publican needs. They aim to alternate their beers every 4-5 months to keep up with the demand for different ales, and to also bring on seasonal special beers.
Peregrine Brewing (Rishton)
A 1.5bbl brewery based in part of a former paper mill in Rishton founded in late 2020 on the back of Anthony Rothwell running the Caskbar in Darwen, where new brews created in the in-laws’ garage were put to the test on the not so unsuspecting locals and proved to be a real success. After selling the Caskbar to Mayflower brewery near Wigan (at the time Mayflower’s first pub/bar), Anthony made the move into full time brewing.
Address: B9 Riverside Industrial Estate, Hermitage Street, Rishton, Blackburn. England BB1 4NF
Reedley Hallows (Burnley)
Commenced brewing in 2012, and quickly built an excellent reputation for their range of craft produced beers, they then moved to a to larger premises in 2015 with a 3.5-barrel plant and nine fermenters to cope with demand. Pete Gouldsborough, the owner and head brewer (and former head brewer of Moorhouse’s) has earned some of the highest accolades within the brewing industry, including Champion Beer of Great Britain, 5 Gold Medals at the international brewing awards, and a beer that was voted ' The Best Beer in the World' The New Brew’m micropub in Burnley is the brewery tap run by his wife Sharon Gouldsborough.
Address: Unit B3, Farrington Close, Farrington Road Industrial Estate, Burnley, BB11 5SH
Tel: 07749 414513
Started brewing in 2007 after acquiring the pub, and 8-barrel brew plant and based in the cellar, which was previously used by Porter Brewing Co at the same location since 1994. Initially, the beers were badged as Pennine Ales and may still be seen under that name sometimes.
Established in 2012 by three beer geeks with a passion for crafting ales. Cuckoo brewing using a 2.5-barrel plant previously used Hopstar (before they moved to a new site)) which is used to produce small batch cask/bottle conditioned real ale. Rumour has it, if the Snaggletooth doesn't like it, it doesn't get sold!
Three B's (Blackburn)
Founded in 2001 by Robert Bell, whose love, dedication and over twenty years’ experience in the art of traditional beer making, is embodied in the beers produced. Only the finest ingredients are used, with no artificial additives, producing beers to satisfy the most sensitive and discerning palates.
Address: The Black Bull, Brokenstone Rd, Darwen, BB3 0LL
Tel: 01254 581381
Three Peaks (Nelson)
Commenced brewing May 2021 in Nelson on a 5BBL plant which was previously located in Settle from 2006-2020 (The previous owner/brewer decided to retire but has since come out of retirement to help brew)
Thwaites (Mellor Brook)
Founded in 1807, Thwaites brewed in the centre of Blackburn until 2018 when it moved operations some five miles away to a rural site in the Ribble Valley. Brewing takes place on a 20-barrel plant and is exclusively for the company's own properties.
Address: Myerscough Road, Mellor Brook, Blackburn, BB2 7LB
Tel: 01254 686868
Unbound Brew Co. (Colne)
Opened in February 2021 and the only brewery in Colne. Owned and operated by Frazer Lowley and built around a 10 brl plant, beers tend to have some unique ingredients (eg tea infusion) and have outdoor themed names. Beers are mainly canned but occasional cask is produced. Occasionally found in the nearby Admiral Lord Rodney pub. .
Closed or relocated
Closed early 2020
Out of the blue in Autumn 2012, Glen Speak and John Chadwick decided to start a microbrewery in the rear of their Landrover business garage. Brewing takes place mainly at the weekend in a small 3.5-barrel brewery, using traditional methods including 'double dropping' fermentation. They sell cask conditioned bottles with casks available for beer festivals on request.
Address: Unit 6 Daniel Street Industrial Estate, Whitworth, Rochdale, OL12 8BX
Closed early 2020
A small independent brewery previously based in Darwen, which commenced brewing in 2016, having purchased the equipment from the brewery of the same name based in the Isle of Man. Thought to have relocated to Bury in Greater Manchester in 2019 but never confirmed.
Address: Unit 6 Watery Lane Ind Est., Darwen, BB3 2EB
The Old Boot Brewing Co (Bacup)
Closed 2022 due to knock on effects of the COVID pandemic and rise in costs
Set up by two brothers, Stephen and Andrew Pilling. in 2020 in memory of their Grandad of whom many happy memories as children helping him make home brew in the kitchen in the 1970’s. Beers are sold at The Old Boot Café and Wine Bar in Bacup.
Address: The Old Boot Brewing Co, Waterside Mill, 55 Burnley Road, Bacup, Lancashire, OL13 0EH
Closed January 2020 on Michael Jacques 71st birthday, when he took in a well-earned retirement
A three-barrel brewery previously based in the front room of the Ministry of Ale, Burnley’s 1st brewpub, which closed 3rd January 2020 after being unsuccessful in finding a buyer for the pub and brewery. Brewing started in 2001 continuing right up until it's closure, which coincided with Michael Jacques 71st birthday, upon when he took in a well-earned retirement.
Address: Ministry of Ale, 9 Trafalgar Street, Burnley, Lancashire, BB11 1TQ
Strata Brewing Co (Whitworth)
Brewing was put on hold from August 2021 when Andy was offered a job brewing in the Cayman Islands which was impossible to turn down. Will Andy be back and we will see Strata beers again? Only Time will tell.
The Strata seed was sown way back in February 2018, but was only truly realised in January 2019 when the opportunity arose to set it up, on a cuckoo basis (does not have its own brewery but brews at others) at the Mighty Medicine based in Whitworth, complete with it's own taproom bar. The Strata name and themes running through the branding come from Andrew Morrison’s (formerly of Rammy Craft) background in geology and love of the outdoors.
Address: Unit 4, Daniel Street Whitworth Lancashire OL12 8BX (Cuckoo brewing out of Mighty Medicine)
Closed early 2022 due to adverse trading conditions brought on by COVID restrictions.
Began brewing in 2011 using a 5.5-barrel plant, they then moved to larger premises behind the original building in 2014, followed by an expansion to a 10-barrel plant in 2016, which includes a licensed visitor centre.
Address: Unit 11, Siberia Mill Holgate Street, Briercliffe, BB10 2HQ
(Updated 31st March 2023)