Bringing brewing back to Coquetdale

Pulling a pint of Snitter Bitter at the Railway Hotel, Rothbury.
Pulling a pint of Snitter Bitter at the Railway Hotel, Rothbury.

A brewery is celebrating bringing beer back to Coquetdale as its fourth bar takes on the nectar.

Coquetdale Brewery was launched in 2010 by Rothbury-based father and daughter Owen and Caroline Jackson.

Its aim was to revive a centuries-old tradition of brewing in the valley and the range now boasts three brews – Thrum, Snitter Bitter and Simonside Blonde.

And after being sold in the Fishing Boat Inn at Boulmer, The Tankerville Arms at Wooler, The Railway Hotel at Rothbury and The Fleece in Alnwick, the beers will now be on sale in the Coquet Valley as Clennel Hall, near Alwinton, has signed up to take them on.

The brewery was set up in Rothbury Industrial Park after the Jacksons successfully applied for a grant, to equip the brewhouse, from the Northumberland Uplands Leader Local Action Group, whose remit is to nurture rural enterprise.

Owen said: “We were thrilled to get the grant.

“It meant the fulfilment of a dream and the support we have received helped us to keep our business plans on track.

“We want to keep the business local.

“We use local ingredients to provide ale that people in the area can enjoy, and we feel that it will add to the character of some already great pubs in upper Northumberland.

“Snitter Bitter is the flagship in our range, but we try to cater for all tastes.”

The brewers believe that water from the Rothbury area gives the ales their distinctive flavour.

The malted barley is from Simpsons, the Northumberland-based maltsters, and hops are the only product bought in.

Shaun Moyle, landlord at The Railway Hotel in Rothbury, said: “Coquet beers are local products, which is always a good thing. We have been selling Simonside Blonde, Thrum and Snitter Bitter for six months now.

“A group of walkers got a taste of Snitter Bitter and ended up drinking the whole keg! We certainly plan to work with the brewery in the future. After 11 years in the trade, this is the best-selling real ale I’ve seen.”

Northumberland Uplands Local Action Group chairman Dagmar Winter, said:“We were delighted to support Owen and Caroline and the Coquetdale Brewery in reviving a centuries-old tradition of brewing in the Coquet valley.

“It is fantastic to see a new business establish itself with very local credentials.”