How one man’s passion became a flourishing business for the entire family – the story behind the success of traditional cask ale producers Lytham Brewery and their plans for the future, writes Catherine Mallord
The Lytham Brewery was founded when Andrew Booker decided to put his passion into practice and discover the craft of brewing his own ale.
Andrew who previously owned renowned Lytham venue and winner of CAMRA’s pub of the year; The Hastings Club, turned his attention to developing the brewery into the business it is today, which employs himself and his wife and is now run by his son James with son in law Will taking the role of master brewer.
Passionate about a truly quality product for the discerning ale drinkers, Lytham Brewery has a range of core beers alongside seasonal and monthly specials which it supplies to pubs and restaurants across the North West and beyond.
The family business supplies free trade customers as well as pub companies and chains with its ales which it produces at its brewing plant in Campbells Court Lytham.
Selling the equivalent of around 10,000 pints a week, the business has thrived over recent years in a changing industry – where some see pubs as a declining market, they see an exciting future.
Andrew said: “Whilst headlines may have been filled with closing pubs we see the opposite, good pubs and restaurants are prospering along with the emergence of a new type of venue; pop up pubs in shops or markets.
“Many are also choosing the drink at home, a cask ale really has to be freshly pulled to be appreciated at its best and so to cater for this market we have also launched a home party package allowing customers to ‘pull their own pint’ and we hire all the necessary equipment to go with it.”
The next big plan for the brewery is to launch a range of bottled ales alongside its barrel service, something it hopes to do by the end of the year and will retail through local independents, off licences and supermarkets alongside real ale gift packs and mini kegs.
Andrew added: “Another first for us this year is a collaboration with Dorbiere Pub Group’s refurbished Bloomfield Pub in Blackpool, an eight pump dedicated cask ale venue who will be using our wort or part brewed mixture, and adding their own flavours to create a unique beer to serve alongside our other Lytham Brewery ales.”
“The Bloomfield will become a venue for beer enthusiasts and this is something we are passionate about, quality ales combining traditional techniques and feature flavours.”
When it comes to Lytham Brewery’s seasonal and monthly specials, Master Brewer Will knows his ales and has perfected many special recipes which always hit the spot whether you like your ales light and fruity or rich and golden.
Will added: “We like to make our specials really different, we have a summer and a winter range of four per season alongside our core six ales and our monthly themed beers, currently all named after various animals; from the extra pale Ice King to the golden ginger nut we make sure these beers stand up to the taste test as well as standing out on the pumps with their imaginative names and branding.”
Members of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), Lytham Brewery offer regular brewery tours and all important tastings for group bookings of fellow enthusiasts to get a behind the scenes peak at where and how the magic happens.
Andrew added: “We have our main 10 barrel plant as well as a smaller two and a half barrel production unit and with one barrel equating to around 36 gallons, that equates to a lot of beer and most importantly a lot of different ales, we specially blend hops and ingredients to create really different flavours, textures and strengths.”
Over the last seven years since its launch Lytham Brewery has grown year on year and with new branding opportunities through the bottled ales and an increased presence in pubs across the region and beyond we will be seeing and hearing a lot more from these master brewers.