When you make beer inspired by the landscape and history of North Northumberland, it makes sense to brew in a location within that historic landscape. At Cheviot Brewery our ambition was always to make great beer and to create an experience. Being within the Ford and Etal Estate gives us a great opportunity to create experiences around our beer and the places that inspire it.
We took our first steps towards this vision of becoming more than a brewery in late 2019 when we took over management of The Black Bull Inn, Etal. A joint venture with the Ford and Etal estate, we turned The Black Bull (Northumberland’s only thatched pub) into the pub it deserved to be, serving quality traditional pub food and fresh cask ale brewed just up the road in our Slainsfield brewery. We even got our neighbours at Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre involved, who would deliver our casks to the pub by a Clydesdale horse-drawn dray cart.
In summer 2020 we added to the offer on our brewery site, when we refurbished and revamped the old kennels across the yard from the brew house to create our onsite tap bar, Cheviot Tap. The tap bar is the perfect place to enjoy our ales, beneath our hop pergola; built from the abundant managed woodland from on the estate. Our tap sessions, which we ran as socially distanced events, with stone-baked pizza cooked in our pizza oven, were incredibly well supported and popular. The appeal is that not only is the beer as fresh as it possibly could be (given that the casks only travel about 20 yards), but also the atmosphere and environment; the tap bar is a mostly outdoor (but partially covered) experience in stunning surroundings at the edge of Slainsfield wood.
Our dreams however extended beyond having an excellent tap bar where people could drink our ale “at source” and unwind; the bar is a little out of the way up in Slainsfield and as such is more of a destination bar than somewhere that benefits from passing trade. So whilst it is a great base for brewery tours and events (when we can offer them), it is a perfect centre point for a campsite.
Next to Cheviot Tap is a large field which we knew, nestled beside by Slainsfield Wood, could be an excellent campsite, or as we decided, a glamping site. With the pub and bar shutdown due to the lockdowns of late 2020 and early 2021, we got to work on Cheviot Glamping. Cheviot Glamping completes our vision of the perfect brewery resort experience. Luxury camping accommodation is complimented by an onsite tap bar, opportunities to take part in brewery tours, and with the addition of our new furry neighbours, you can have an alpaca experience added into the mix. Sounds like a great relaxing weekend. However, when you consider the attractions of the Ford and Etal estate, the cycling, walking, history and fabulous attractions; and opportunities that North Northumberland and the Cheviot hills offer visitors, we think we have a winning formula for a holiday in the great outdoors.