Northern Breweries choose collaboration over conflict

Award winning Leeds brewers Northern Monk have joined forces with Hesket Newmarket Brewery, one of the very first microbreweries in Cumbria, to avoid a copyright dispute through collaboration. The two breweries first made contact when the small, cooperatively owned Lake District brewery flagged the use of ‘Scafell’ in the name of a recently launched Northern Monk beer, having already trademarked the iconic Northern landmark for their ‘Scafell Blonde Ale’.

The two breweries have taken a refreshing approach to avoid conflict with each other and have resolved the issue by collaborating on the beer going forward. ‘Scafell’ will now become the first Northern Monk / Hesket Newmarket collaboration on sale in supermarkets across the UK.

As part of a long running commitment from the Leeds brewery to support and uplift others in the industry, Northern Monk hopes that the share of sales from the brands distribution deal with Tesco will help the microbrewery recoup the losses following a devastating year which saw overall sales down 68% in March (year-on-year) with zero cask sales in April, May and June.

After the collaboration and introduction of ‘Scafell’ to Tesco stores, the supermarket giant has committed to set Hesket Newmarket up with their regional buyers in the North West to discuss finding a home for its bottled range in store with the view to helping this crucial local brewery survive, and thrive, through this crisis.

Following the immediate disruption of the brewery’s plans and an overnight 60% drop in trade as the pandemic took hold in March of this year, Northern Monk took stock, re-focused and set about doing what they could to help during the national lockdown. In the following months they have distributed 5000 cans of ‘Faith’ to frontline NHS staff, continued to support charities and community projects with £5000 grants via the For The North foundation, launched the ‘LDS AS ONE’ beer to support hospitality businesses in Leeds and set up a new boxed beer delivery to allow them to buy product, in cash and upfront, from other breweries and distribute to Northern Monk fans.

Viewing themselves as the latest in a long line of custodians of the brewing tradition, Northern Monk says it is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with the Cumbrian micro-brewery.

Russell Bisset – managing director, Northern Monk said: “When we were first contacted by Hesket Newmarket brewery about a trademark infringement we were gutted. We had no idea another brewery was using the name Scafell and it was a beer we were really proud of. 2020 has been a year that’s really challenged us and our industry as a whole, a year that’s forced us to think on our feet and work with our community to overcome challenges. Hesket are a small cooperatively owned brewery and we were determined to find a way that would help Hesket and keep our beer on the shelves. Thus a collaboration was born with a portion of sales going to Hesket Newmarket. We’re proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with this fellow Northern brewery metaphorically and on Tesco shelves across the country.”

Richard Lowth, chairman, Hesket Newmarket Brewery added: “Like many small breweries we have been struggling to survive the dramatic loss of sales during the pandemic and the collaboration offered by Northern Monk will help to support our business through the lean winter months ahead. We are very pleased with this invitation to work with such a prestigious brewing company and hope that other business opportunities will follow.”

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