Foodful Features: Cheviot Brewery

Published on 14 Nov
8 min read

Cheviot Brewery is based on the Ford and Etal Estate in the old North Northumberland hunt kennels as part of a regeneration programme. The buildings have been empty for a long time, but now these buildings house the facilities to create over 2000 pints of each beer Cheviot Brewery create.

The brewery is situated in a beautiful location, with a view of the Cheviot Hills and snuggled in between 2 quaint villages of Ford & Etal. Up a quiet country lane, past a few quaint country cottages and amongst tall trees, the brewery is perfectly situated. On approach to the brewery, there are breathtaking views from all directions including the famous, dramatic Cheviot Hills. It is easy to see why the Cheviot Brewery boys have been heavily inspired by what is in front of them. Who wouldn’t be?

Although the brewery is small, there is plenty going on as well as the different rooms which all need different temperatures depending on what stage the beer is at.

The Kettle: boiling the water is the first stage of brewing.

Only 5 months into production, with currently 6 different ale styles to try, there is a flavour for everyone. Keep your eyes peeled for more creations from Cheviot Brewery.

How did your business begin? Can you tell us your history/origin story?

Like all good ideas, the idea to set up a brewery happened over a throwaway remark over a beer, or maybe a few beers, in a Barcelona brewery tap in 2015. Whilst such ideas usually stay in the pub, Pete, Jonathan and Neil turned that remark into a serious conversation and a lot of research. Now, three years later with ale in our fermenters and casks all over the North East and beyond and bottles on shelves and in people’s cupboards at home, this dream has become a reality.

Our backgrounds are not exactly from the world of brewing or even the food industry, nor do the 3 founders of the brewery even hail from the same professional sphere.

Pete came to the brewery with 30 years in the high-end textiles industry, working directly with clients every day. Jonathan comes from 15 + years in Structural Engineering, handy when converting an existing building into a brewery. Lastly, Neil is a professional filmmaker and animator of 13 years experience. So a diverse team with a lot to offer a new venture, and all united by a love of good ale, the great outdoors and the stunning scenery of North Northumberland.

Cheviot Brewery entrance
Where the magic happens!

What values are at the heart of your business?

Cheviot Brewery is a business that is part of its local community with products and a brand that is rooted and inspired by the landscape and history of our area. We envisaged the brewery being part of and connected to the place in which our ales are made and come from. The artwork and beer names reflect our surroundings and what makes Northumberland special.

We value quality and aim to produce great tasting beer for a mix of palettes accessible to all drinkers using good quality ingredients, ideally locally produced where we can. Our malt is all Simpsons Malt so it doesn’t travel far from Berwick to get to us and after we have finished with it, we send it down the road (quite literally) to Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre where it is used to feed their animals including their rare breeds and working horses.

Selection of different malt strains from Simpsons Malt which change the taste, type and aroma of the beer

We want to work with and support businesses locally and regionally and that ethos is pretty prevalent in the North East which is great, we have benefited from the support of many great pubs and businesses and we like to pay that forward and be part of this exciting ale, food and tourism community in Northumberland. We also hope in time, like with many of the great food brands in Northumberland that our products can come to act as an ambassador or calling card for the county.

We want our beers to be enjoyed by the everyday drinker, from walkers grabbing a well-earned pint after a few hours in the hills to real ale enthusiasts, beer geeks and as an accompaniment to a great meal in a quality pub.

What does your product range include?

Great tasting ale, of course, we have a core range of cask and bottle conditioned ale. From our popular Best Bitter Upland Ale to a zesty pale ale Flodden Thirst, a refreshing session pale ale Harbour Wall and a couple of stouts. Menhir a dark and rich dark chocolate/coffee stout and our smooth 5 malt stout Black Hag. This is the current core range but new and special ales will be coming along soon so watch this space …

We also have a small range or merchandise for t-shirts to art prints of the illustrated artwork on our pump clips and bottle labels.

Some of Cheviot Brewery’s artwork inspired by the history and views of Northumberland

Where can people buy your products?

Our ales can be found on cask in many great pubs and beer festivals in Northumberland and beyond. From country pubs to city centre pubs and all points in between. Pints of Cheviot Brewery ale have graced the bars of many CAMRA “pub of the year” from Berwick to Derby, Lincoln, Bradford and beyond.

Our bottled ales have only recently been released and include many of the beers people may know if they have encountered our beer in pubs and bars. These are available and will be available at a number of stockists from specialist beer shops to tourist sites across Northumberland and also many village shops and off-licences local to the Berwick area.

The list of pubs and bottle stockists continues to grow but on our website, we have a “Where to Drink” page which is kept up to date as to where you may find a tasty pint or bottle of our brews.

How can your customers enjoy your product at its best?

You have a choice, hand pulled from a cask in a quality pub, or hand poured in the comfort of your own home.

A selection of Cheviot Brewery’s bottled beers you can enjoy at home!

How are you involved in the local food/drink producer community?

We are registered and listed as a brewery in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2018, and have recently been invited to join Northumberland County Councils new initiative ‘Produced in Northumberland‘ aimed at promoting all things food and drink produced and available to buy in Northumberland for tourists and residents alike…. and of course included on the Foodful website, all which we are very proud to be associated with.

How does your location influence your business and product range?

Our brewery is in the shadow of the Cheviot Hills, the view from the end of our road is stunning, we can see North to The Eildon hills and across to the Cheviots. Our brand and beers celebrate and are inspired by our locality.

A taste of the hills develops in the mash

Beyond that we collaborate with local businesses, we are soon to be offering a combined tourist offer with Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre and the Black Bull in Etal. We also supply ale for special recipes to a few pubs so you can have a pint of Upland Ale whilst you also enjoy a tasty Beef and Cheviot Ale pie.

Why do you think people should shop locally?

There are many well-known reasons why people should shop local and support local producers and businesses beyond supporting the jobs and economy of our region. From a very simple point of view there are some excellent producers creating amazing food and drink in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders and quite simply their products are tasty and exciting, so why wouldn’t you support them?

What is your favourite local food or drink?

What a question to ask! Beyond our ale, of course, there are other fantastic breweries in the county, well showcased by our great pubs! Locally to us, the Great Northumberland Bread Company produce just that, great Northumberland Bread which goes well with the great cheese from Doddington Cheese, or Heather Honey Comb from Chain Bridge Farm, is pretty spectacular.

How could Foodful help promote your business?

Features on new beers.

Help us to reach an audience in the wider Northumberland Community, we are very much working mainly in North Northumberland and the borders presently.

Possibly help us to promote or to feature events we may be doing in the future.

Hat-tip to the Producers

Thank you to the lads at Cheviot Brewery for their time and giving me a tour of the brewery.

The team at Cheviot Brewery

Cheviot Brewery beers are available at many local pubs and restaurants. You will also find Cheviot Brewery at some of the local Christmas markets and events over the next coming weeks including Ford Christmas Market and the Hay Farm Traditional Christmas Fayre.

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