Ah Lincolnshire, famed for Lincoln’s 11th-century cathedral, the Wolds and for producing tonnes of root vegetables. But that’s not all. Lincolnshire is also developing a reputation for brewing excellent beer as well.
According to the brewery rating system* put together by Untappd (the world’s largest beer review app), these are the top ten breweries in Lincolnshire. If you are looking to sample the best beer that the county has to offer then get yourself down to one of these Lincolnshire Breweries.
Scores correct as of 23rd February 2021.
*Untappd’s top-rated brewery list shows the top breweries, based on a weighted average formula, which effectively rates all breweries against each other and gives weight to their beers with higher rating count. A brewery must have at least 1,000 ratings and at least 5 beers in their portfolio to qualify for this list.
Docks Beers is Lincolnshire’s highest-rated craft beer brewery according to Untappd.
Based in a converted Church in Grimsby, the 28 hectolitre brewery was founded in 2018 by the three men behind Axholme Brewing Company (Mike Richards, Shaz Shadan and Will Douglas). The trio has created a brand which mirrors their location (it’s a mere 200m from the docks) and the hard work ethic of dockworkers, past and present. The large taproom overlooking their exhibition brewery is definitely worth a visit. While you’re there, have a browse in their beer shop, take a look at Docks Academy, their 300 person capacity music and comedy venue on the first floor or book on to a brewery tour.
Never Say Die, a 6% New World IPA is Docks Beers’ most popular core beer on Untappd. It’s refreshing, crisp, tropical and very sessionable as well. Their highest-rated brew is a Hefeweizen called Docktoberbier a fruity wheat beer which is currently on sale at the Docks Beers online shop for the reduced price of £22.50 per 5-litre keg.
Axholme Brewing Company was founded by Mike and Jules Richards in 2012. Their vision for a truly local brewery, promoting local pride in customers and reflecting the area and history, began life with a 400l brew kit on an industrial estate in Scunthorpe before it moved to Crowle.
Their beer is on sale in pubs, taprooms and bottle shops all over Lincolnshire and beyond. The brewery now operates from its Docks Beers site in Grimsby.
Axholme’s range consists of classic beer styles and they include seasonal and homegrown ingredients in their brews. A good example is their hugely popular Cleethorpes Pale Ale which contains sea buckthorn berries. The 10% Baltic Porter Stealth Mode has a score of 4.15 out of 5 on Untappd, you’ll love it if you like your beer rich and intense.
Batemans is known and loved for its classic beers such as XB and Triple XB so they launched Salem Brew Co to respond to the increasingly popular craft beer market and to brew innovative flavours alongside their real ale favourites.
Salem’s Dark Fruits Porter is worth seeking out. It’s packed full of delectable dark fruits for a sweeter finish on this rich, nutty, spicy beer.
Since 1998 this brewery based in Grantham has used Lincolnshire barley combined with either American or British hops to create their distinct ales.
Run by Robert and Christine March, Newby Wyke is named after an old 178ft steam trawler built for the West Dock Steam Fishing Company. Robert’s grandfather had been the skipper, so he named the brewery after it.
Brewsters was founded by Sara Barton back in 1998 and has been flying the flag for women in brewing ever since. Sara, who has a Masters Degree in Brewing and Distilling, even named her company ‘Brewsters’ as it means ‘female brewer’ in old English!
The 32 hectolitre brewery (also in Grantham) makes a variety of beers, but according to Untappd reviews at least, their 4.5% ‘Aromatic Porter’ is the one to sample.
Based in Fiskerton near Lincoln, Ferry Ales makes a wide range of beers, ales and lagers; from pale ale to dark stout. Brewed using traditional ingredients, the beers produced here are either racked to cask or bottled and kegged by the brewery itself.
Their 4.9% Porter ‘Smokey Joe Porter’ is their beverage with the most love from the Untappd community.
Batemans has been going strong for almost 150 years and has a national reputation for brewing excellence.
The family business has remained true to their founder, George Bateman’s original mission statement of making good beer, looking after good people and remaining independent for four generations *we doff our cap in respect*.
Their top-rated beer is ‘Mocha’ a 6% coffee and chocolate stout sensation which previously won the Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt award.
Lincolnshire Craft Beers is the third incarnation of this brewery after Highwood Brewery foundered in 2011 and Tom Wood Beers went into administration in 2017.
Based in Melton Ross, the buildings where the brewing happens used to be used for farming but now they make distinctive craft beers, inspired by the Wolds and the county of Lincolnshire itself. According to Untappd, their top rated beer is ‘Salty Dog’, a 4.4% Brown Ale.
Zest Brewery makes a range of traditional and innovative beers in cask, bottle and can format. They were established in 2019 after Oldershaws (their parent company) ceased trading after 22 years and now run a popular mobile converted horsebox bar.
Zest continues to brew beers that cater to their traditional real ale-loving customers, while also experimenting with new brewing techniques and flavours. Their top rated beer on Untappd is ‘Heavenly Blonde’, a zesty 3.8% blonde ale.
These guys get their name from the unique eight-sail windmill in the rural village of Heckington, near Sleaford, where the brewery is situated.
The 8 Sail microbrewery was set up in 2010 and their mission is to recreate traditional beer styles that used to be popular, as well as brews to suit more modern tastes. Their top rated Untappd beer is ‘Imperial Porter’ a warming 10% Impy with roasty notes. That’ll warm the old cockles!
Other breweries worthy of mention include Poachers which falls just outside the top ten and Firestation in Louth and Boozy Bob’s in Grimsby which don’t have enough ratings to make the list… yet.