Top award is beyond the pale for Lancaster’s Borough Brewery

Rory Walker collecting his SIBA award.
Rory Walker collecting his SIBA award.

From starting out life in the cellar of The Borough’s city centre premises, Rory Walker and his brewery have come a long way.

And he has now scooped a top regional award for one of his beers, three years after starting his venture.

The brewery has been awarded a gold title for its pale beer at the SIBA – Society of Independent Brewers – north west awards.

“It was one of the hardest fought categories so I am really pleased,” said brewer Rory. “We were quite surprised.

“It’s a really good benchmark of how good a beer is.”

The awards are judged during a blind tasting session by brewers from outside the area, along with representatives from CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).

The Borough brewery had entered six beers into the awards in various categories, but it was a 3.7 per cent pale beer that took home the prize.

“The competition was really stiff,” Rory said. “It included breweries from across Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.

“Some of my favourite beers that are benchmarks for me were in the category that we won.”

The brewery has gone from strength to strength since it opened in the cellar at The Borough three years ago, and has now taken over new premises in a former garage site off Aldcliffe Lane.

“We have spent the last nine months working on our infrastructure,” Rory, 30, said.

“We have an increased capacitty and now have the space to grow steadily.

“Somewhere down the line we hope to look at expanding the team here.

“The award comes at a great time. We have done a lot of work to make the most out of getting the award.

“It just feels great after focusing so much recently on things away from the beer to know that we are still making beer that’s good enough to win awards.

“I do everything from cleaning to brewing the beer so I have got a real sense of achievement from picking up the award.”

Rory produces 56,000 pints of beer a year from his own range of ales including, bitter, pale, wintertime dark and summertime dark.

He casked his 200,000th pint earlier this month.

“There’s been a lot of landmarks this year and this award caps it all really,” Rory added.