Cartmel Brewery Puts Beer on Michelin Starred Menu
When Michelin stars are awarded to restaurants in small villages a magical halo effect can take place.
Suddenly the whole village can take on a Michelin-starred aura. New businesses keen to capitalise on the mood spring up. Tourists alerted by the Sunday supplements descend from the cities and the local food economy flourishes.
Of course good food existed in the region long before Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume provided a focal point, but the restaurant’s influence is considerable.
In the shadow of the eight-hundred year old priory is Unsworth’s Yard. A site formerly dominated by a car-repair business, David and Peter Unsworth have redeveloped the yard (originally owned by their grandfather) and joined in the foodie fun.
On the site there is Cartmel Cheeses, The Bread Shed, The Red Pepper and Hot Wines shops.
Thankfully beer has not been neglected in the local boom in all things gustatory. The Unsworth brothers and colleague Mark Grunill have created the Unsworth’s Yard Brewery. Barely justifiying the prefix “micro”, the one and a half barrel* plant is squeezed into a unit at the back of the yard with a public bar and tasting room.
The brothers commenced brewing in January 2012, starting with just three beers: Festival Ale (4.1%Abv), Cartmel Peninsula (3.8%), and Crusader Gold (4.1%).
All are firmly traditional in inspiration: the classic English hop varieties “Fuggles”, “Goldings” and “Challenger” dominate. The latter imparts a flavour often described as “marmalade”. Fuggles imparts classic English earthiness, and Goldings delivers a smooth coherent sweetness.
The output is both draught and bottled. Until the tasting room is open, Cartmel’s Cavendish Arms is the closest thing to a brewery tap. Bottles are available from the “Hot Wines” shop also in Unsworth’s Yard.
Completing the circle, and basking directly in the halo, the beers are now stocked by Simon Rogan's L’Enclume restaurant and Rogan & Company.
Unsworth’s Yard Brewery, 4 Unsworth’s Yard, Cartmel, Cumbria LA11 6PG
*Don’t ever describe a vessel in which beer is kept and delivered as a “barrel”. A barrel is a unit of measure of thirty-six gallons. The most common size of container beer is distributed in is nine gallons, known as a “firkin”, or simply a “nine.” “Firkin” is derived from the Dutch “vierdekijn” which means quarter, in this case, of a barrel.
Article by Jeff Pickthall. Content originally commissioned and published by Cumbria Life Magazine.