Page 7 - InnQuirerWinter2019-2020
P. 7

The Old Friends, Soutergate, Ulverston

                              by Terry Ridal - Branch Member

                                                      and was getting very dog-
                                                      eared and tired. The Wilson
                                                      family moved in and to say it
                                                      was a bit daunting is an
                                                      understatement as there was
                                                      no gas, no heating or hot
                                                      water but after a period when
                                                      fan heaters ruled (it was
                                                      November) things slowly
                                                      improved. Robinson’s
                                                      maintenance team were a
                                                      great help and the pub started
                                                      to come alive again.
                                                      Three years of relentless hard
                                                      graft followed. Apart from
                                                      working full time Graham had
                                                      his work cut out bringing the
                                                      old premises into shape.
                                                      Despite this workload Graham
                                                      still harboured a strong urge
                                                      to brew his own beer and
                                                      after finally buying the
                                                      property from Robinson’s
                                                      breweries in 2014 which made
                                                      the Old Friends a Free House,
                                                      he left his lecturing job to
                                                      become a full time publican
                                                      and following his heart he
       If you stand with your back to the cross  designed some beers that he wanted to
       in Market Street in the middle of     make. With the help of Stuart at The
       Ulverston, then walk North along King  Ship at Greenodd he began to put his
       Street, then angle left up Soutergate for  beer designs to the test whilst tweaking
       a couple of hundred meters, you will  the brew here and there. He continued
       arrive at a jewel of a pub, “The Old  brewing in Stuart’s set up until it
       Friends”.                             became difficult to fit his brewing in
                                             with the Greenodd brewing, so he went
       Back in 2011 Graham Wilson was a      to Bowness Bay Brewing Company and
       lecturer in engineering. After        perfected his recipes there until he was
       discussions with his wife Andrea, they  able to source a brewing plant of his
       decided to take a leap of faith to take  own.
       on the management of the Old Friends
       for Robinson’s breweries with Andrea as  In 2019 a three barrel brewing plant
       the licensee and Graham in supporting  was installed in the barn at the Old
       role whilst still working full time.  Friends which relatively quickly came on
                                             line and after a few more tweaks his Old
       The pub at that time was an old       Pals Porter, New Acquaintance and
       fashioned local with a limited clientele  Best Friends went on sale from the
                                                                   continued on page 8

                             InnQuirer Issue 73- Winter 2019/20         Page 6
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