Liverpool sees launch of joint brewery and distillery

The former MD of Caledonian Brewery has opened a new brewery, distillery and retail space in Liverpool.

H1780, which opened this month, is the result of a multi-million pound investment to convert a run-down warehouse in the Baltic Triangle area onto a new brew space. The brewery will see 9,000 hectolitres produced each year, reviving the Higson’s beer and Love Lane brands, which have been synonymous with Liverpool for more than 200 years.

The project has been masterminded by Stephen Crawley, who, in his time with Caledonian, helped build brands such as Deuchars IPA and Harviestoun. He acquired the Higson’s brand and at the same time purchased the Liverpool Craft Beer Company, makers of Love Lane beers, which was based at the current Baltic Triangle site.

Crawley said: “We loved the building but we needed to make it fit for purpose. That meant stripping everything out, taking it back to its solid foundation of red brick and weaving a modern operation into the space while retaining the character.

“Offering the opportunity for visitors to see the brewery and sample the product straight from the brewhouse is a special experience and made me want to offer that same opportunity to the people of Liverpool and those that visit the city. As a result the project expanded into a site that now offers a brewery, a distillery, three bars, a kitchen, event space, as well as enabling us to offer tours and tastings starting in early 2018.”

Crawley explained that the company will not be using the original Higson’s recipes but it will be creating a range of new beers “to better reflect the taste profiles expected from premium craft beers” as well as building on the success of the Love Lane brands.

He added: “The introduction of our gin distillery and the launch of our Ginsmiths of Liverpool brand is equally exciting with some exceptional flavour profiles pulled from the historic trading links for which Liverpool was famous.

“This project has been inspiring. We are proud of the past and excited by the future.”

The company’s name – H1780 – was inspired by H for Higson’s and the year in which the brewer first began production from premises in Liverpool. Higson’s ceased production in 1990, having been acquired by Boddington’s which, in turn, was acquired by Whitbread. ‘Boddies’ in Manchester was preserved while ‘Higgies’ was closed.