Cleator Moor Brewery


Cleator Moor Brewery Co. Ltd, was located on Birks Road, just over the railway bridge, on the road to Rheda and Frizington. It was originally established in the 1800's and was built on the site of a natural water spring. Originally it was a private family run concern but later became the Cleator Moor Brewing Company. Some buildings remain.

There was a long driveway running parallel to the Rheda road which led up to the Brewery premises and on entering the high iron gates there was a large square yard surrounded by a complex of buildings. The main tall stone building on the right side of the gates had a long boarding across the top of the wall and painted on in large letters was the Cleator Moor Brewing Co.

The Brewery buildings surrounding the square yard comprised of houses (later made into offices) and the Brewer's House was on the left of the yard behind the offices. Next to this was a large garage which housed the fleet of wagons and filled the left hand side of the square. Across from this, facing towards the entrance was another fairly large building referred to as the 'Joiner's Shop' but in actual fact it was the maintenance centre for the whole premises. The Wine & Spirit Store was next to the joiner's shop and next to this was the barrel compound where the casks were cleaned in repaired. On the right hand side of the square there was the Bottling Store which was behind the loading bay and was attached to the main building where the actual brewing took place. There was a huge boiler behind the main building which had to be kept at a constant temperature all the time.

The main building contained the storage rooms for sacks of hops, malt etc and the Weighing Room which housed a huge scale to weigh out the exact ingredients for the beer. The Brewing Room itself contained steel vats in which the beer was fermented and next to this was the Brewer's Room where all the apparatus for testing and sampling the beer was kept and where all the records were kept for every individual brewing and had to be completed in readiness for the inspection of the Custom and Excise Officer.

Underneath the main building and the bottling store were huge cellars where the barrels of beer were stored and had to be kept at a controlled temperature until they were taken to the loading bay when the wagons loaded up for deliveries.

In the late 1960's the brewery was taken over by Matthew Brown & Co Ltd, of Blackburn and due to the takeover this meant that many of their pubs and club premises had to be supplied from Cleator Moor. The Blackburn Brewery wagons brought their own products to Cleator Moor on a daily basis in order to be delivered along with the beers that were brewed at Cleator Moor.

In the 1950's to 1970's the Brewery was one of the main employers in the county and several well known local businesses benefited by supplying materials and contract work. The Dent Aerated Water Co, of Wath Brow supplied mineral waters etc., and Bethwaites Printer's of Ennerdale Road supplied stationery and office sundries.

Most of the employees over the years were locals living in Cleator Moor and the surrounding districts, and the majority of them had worked there for many years. Sadly with the merge with Jennings the Company considered the Birks Road premises was no longer a viable concern and the premises were closed down. Some of the workers moved to the Workington premises, others found alternate employment and the the rest either took early retirement or were made redundant.

Nowaday all that remains on the site are a few buildings which have been used as different concerns over the few years. The houses and offices have been demolished together with what was originally the Spirit Store and the main building still has two Lion Ales Boardings on the front and the faint outline on the side of the left hand entrance which was there when it was a private concern. Houses have been built in the field along the side leading up to the old building and their front gardens have covered the original driveway.

Top Photo: Cleator Moor Brewery, C1970

Cleator Moor Brewery, C1970




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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Cleator Moor Brewery
Cleator Moor Brewery
Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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