THE Kendal micro pub industry has been championing local indepedent brands of craft ale.

The progression of the craft ale business has seen the introduction of new flavours, tastes and ingredients that keeps this proud English tradition going through the years.

The brewers and pubs themselves being the driving force behind it, each outlet and business is working to support local independent brands and give their customers exactly what they expect.

Adrian Norris, Indie Craft Beer Manager said: “We tend to concentrate more on independent craft beers and try and stay clear of big brands in favour of smaller brands”.

“Some people like variety. There’s different flavours, tastes, colour and strength.

“We go for small independent brewers; they produce good quality and very tasty beers.

“The generally focus for us is on UK brands for craft ales.

“For us we started off in the business about four years ago.

“It was the passion for it that drove is and we were able to make it work.

“People like the variety craft ales offer, there’s more to it than just the taste, colour, look and smell.

“It’s about always looking ahead and planning for the future”.

Karl Smallshaw, 19 The Wine Bar Manager, the oldest wine bars in Kendal said: “Cask ales are popular because it’s a local product and its more of a regional product.

“You can see the value people hold with the local connection. If you see national brands but you see them beside local brands, you see the difference in popularity.

“It’s the local link.

“The younger generations tend to like more funky Indie Pale Ales. It’s a constantly changing market with the introduction of hybrid lagers. It started just as English Pale Ales but over the years its now blondes, golds and stouts”.

“Always goes down well with the older generations, and it’s cheaper.

The Fell Bar owner, Andrew Carter said: “We try our best to get people drinking more progressive beers and try new flavours.

“We began in July 2017. We are brewers primarily and we try our best for our customers.

We aim to push more progressive beers and we try to make our products as exciting as possible.

“We represent local independent brands across England, no mass brands. They’re full of flavour and far more interesting.

“It’s about going for the flavour. People come for the flavours and they like to support local independent brewers”.

Dan Carll of the Masons Yard said: “Kendal has always been a massive craft ale town for a very long time.

“We originally had four pumps when we started, and we soon realised that we needed six.

“Camra has always done a great job in promoting. We won 2018 Pub of the Year.

“It’s always been popular. You can see it with places opening up in town, it shows the popularity this line of work has.

“We buy locally made brands like Hawkshead and Lancaster brewer.

“It’s all about the customers. It’s all about giving the customer what they want.

"We are really lucky to live in an area like this with so many brands to choose from.

“We will be selective. We only go for brands based on quality. We pride ourselves on our choices.

“The secret is to look after your cellar. It all begins in there.

"If you look after your cellar then you are looking after your beer, and if you are looking after your beer than you are looking after your customer and their needs.

“We like to put offers on, we have a pound off for pints on Mondays and Tuesdays here”.

The local support for independent brands has been the backbone for the craft ale tradition.

A representative of the Hawkshead brewery said: “It’s all very positive for the craft beer market and it has now gone into overdrive.

“People are now more conscious about what they drink rather than just going for the cheapest option.

"They are thinking more about what they are spending their money on.

“When we started back in 2002, the market it was dominated by traditional bitters.

"But now there is so much in the way of variety with Indie Pale Ales, hops and even milkshake stouts.

“There are so many new ingredients to try. If you can think of it then you can make it.

“There are new experiences and new tastes out there, it can be a lot of fun for us to get to play around with.

“It is good for us because we have such amazing local pubs. We see them popping up all over the place. Cumbria has a very high population of brewers. There is a lot of competition as well.

“It’s a business that is always growing and its always expanding. It goes hand in hand with people beginning to think about what they are drinking.

“We see where the interest is, and we work to develop it. We are seeing the trend in non-alcoholic or low alcoholic beers emerging.

“We are also seeing a surge in cans and bottled beers on the rise.

“It’s about the hard work and the need to look after what you are selling. We try to educate our pubs about how to look after their beer and how to keep our products in the peak condition. That’s what people are after.

“The craft ale market is expanding. We are expanding our range and giving people a lot more options.

"It’s what the customer expects and that's what we always aim for and will never turn our backs on".

With the popularity of craft ales in Kendal, and across Cumbria, brewers and brands are moving to create more inventive and imaginative tastes and flavours.

Supporting local brands over national brands is done by both the businesses and their local customers, which both go towards keeping the tradition alive.