The drive from Manchester to Glasgow takes about 3 & 1/2 hours via car which is not terrible considering the scenery. We left Manchester and headed to Glasgow not intending to make any stops on the way. As luck would have it, I stumbled across a starred location I had previously saved as a point-of-interest on my Google map app and we decided to make a small detour. I am so glad we decided to go because it was magical.
It was only about 15 minutes off the M6 freeway to the Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley, Cumbria. The roads weren’t that windy and were wide and well-paved so this is faring better than expected already. We arrived to where the brewery showed on my map, but it wasn’t there. The brewery was slightly up the road within a small shopping inlet next to a coffee shop. We parked and approached the brewery and were pleasantly surprised with how impressive the set-up was. The building was large and beautiful with large wood beams, huge windows, and comfy leather seats. It was so quiet in there I didn’t know how much noise we could make without being rude, so we opted to sit in the corner so we could strategize about which beers we wanted to try and how much time we wanted to spend off the road.
I ordered the Lakeland Lager which is a 5%ABV Lager/Pilsner and Sean had the Cumbrian 5 Hop 5%ABV Golden Ale. I really liked the Lakeland Lager because it was crisp and refreshing with a great hop flavor on the back-end. Most of their beers were “real ale” style, but the lager wasn’t. It was a nice change from all the real ales available. I also really enjoyed the Brodie’s Prime with is a dark porter-style beer and is 4.9%ABV. It has a very smooth mouth-feel and is extremely drinkable. We sampled almost their entire beer selection and overall their beer was very good. The styles were done well and the beer was clean and clear and cheap!
We were there around lunch time so we went ahead and ordered some food before they stopped serving. Sean ordered the beer cheese soup and I ordered the mushrooms with Stilton blue cheese on toast. The soup was served with large pieces of sourdough bread and butter so it was very filling for a good price. I tried some of the soup and it was really good. The mushrooms were sautéed in butter and the cheese was melted on top of the toast so it was damn delectable. I savored every bite of that toast. The soup was something like 2 pounds and the toast was 4 pounds. I think we walked out of there spending about 10-15 pounds total? Pretty decent if you ask me. Also, they refused to accept our tips. I am accustomed to giving tips always, but they politely declined my offer. Great service, delicious food, cheap and amazing beer and no tip?! It was one of the highlights of the trip.
We drove through one of the nearby towns of Kendal (which was adorable) to get back to the freeway. From what I could gather there was a lot of sporting good stores and a ton of people dressed in riding/biking/walking/fishing gear. It seems that Kendal is the place to stay if you want to visit the nearby Lake District for day trips. I wish I had spent more time here because the towns were so cute and I am sure the hikes through the lake district are breathtaking. It was such a great little detour! I will be back.