The 18th century inn was purchased in 1987 by Jim and Liz Fearnley and with a dream of brewing their own beer they installed a brewery in a barn behind the pub. The Hesket Newmarket brewery began producing beers in 1988 and they were soon winning awards at beer festivals.
The pub was sold by Liz in 1995 and Jim continued to run the brewery until he retired in 1999. Fearful that the brewery may close or be sold, villagers formed a co-operative and bought the brewery. A few years later in 2003, the villagers formed another co-operative and purchased the pub. 125 regulars all chipped in £1,500 for shares in the pub. The shares cannot be sold on and can only be sold back to the pub. At the time it was believed to be Britain’s first co-operatively owned pub.
The Old Crown has a very traditional, village pub interior with a small but well-stocked bar, large fireplace, beams with hanging tankards and photographs of fell walkers and climbers on the wall. For entertainment there is a pool table in a separate room, beer related books and friendly locals that are more than happy to chat with you.
All beers at the pub are brewed on-site and an impressive 6 beers are available at any one time. When I visited in June 2012 seventh beer was available straight from the cellar. Beers from the brewery include the 3.2% Blencathra Bitter (first brewed in 1988), the 4.3% Doris’ 90th Birthday Ale (brewed in 1989 to celebrate the 90th birthday of Liz Fearnley) and the 6% Old Carrock Strong Ale.
Visiting the Pub
Before visiting it’s probably best to check the opening times on their website. It doesn’t open all day and is closed some lunchtimes.
More Photos of the Old Crown
The Old Crown
Tel: 016974 78288
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