Who is the brewer and how did you start?

Paul and Anita Swann, both from Ulverston, own the brewery with Paul as Head Brewer. The idea for the brewery first came to Paul in the late 1980’s, when Hartley’s Brewery was going to close. He was also inspired by the town’s Laurel and Hardy connections and thought that the titles of their films would make great names for beers. But it took until 2005, when encouraged by Anita, that they decided to start their own brewery. Anita learned how to brew by working with Stuart and Lynda Johnson at the Foxfield Brewery for a few months. She and Paul started in December 2005 with a five barrel plant in Lindal where Anita was the brewer. Needing more capacity, they moved to The Old Auction Mart in Ulverston in 2010, with a 12 barrel plant. At that time, Paul took over the brewing while still working full time at the local gas terminal. In 2012, brewing became Paul’s full time job.

What are the regular beers?

Paul and Anita’s regular beers are Fra Diavolo, Another Fine Mess, Laughing Gravy, Flying Elephants, Lonesome Pine and Celebration Ale, which was brewed for the unveiling of the town’s Laurel and Hardy statue. For their anniversary in 2016 they began brewing seasonal specials. For spring it is Call of the Cuckoo and summer it is Perfect Day. Bad Medicine is a regular strong winter beer. These can be found locally at the Stan Laurel in Ulverston and the beers can be found as far away as Llangollen in North Wales and Glasgow. Apart from the seasonal beers, all the regulars are available in bottles too. Brewery visits are available on request.

What next?

Paul wants to continue to brew beer of exceptional quality and consistency that will appeal to a wide range of tastes. Paul is very happy with how the brewery is going and is where he wants to be!

Favourite beers?

As it was his original inspiration, Hartley’s Best, when it was brewed in Ulverston, is still his favourite. Of his own beers, Flying Elephant is his preference, as he likes lower gravity beers.

Article with thanks to beer enthusiasts Chris Holland and Judith Moore.