Our Story

With over 200 years of heritage, we’ve been on quite a journey since Daniel Thwaites first invested into the brewery. Scroll down to find out what has happened along the way.


Best in class

Thwaites Shires win at National Shire Horse Show

The National Shire Horse show returned to Staffordshire Country Showground for 2024. The three day showcase in early March is the worlds largest gathering of pedigree shire horses. The shires are put through their paces in various classes, giving horse lovers a unique insight into the gentle giants of the horse world. 

We are therefore delighted to have won the Championship Turnout crown with Regal. Congratulations to Regal, Richard and the team!


The reviews are in

Langdale Chase is No.3 in the UK

The Times & Sunday Times have unveiled their list of 100 Best Places to Stay in the UK. Every year their experts visit hundreds of properties the length and breadth of the UK, on the look out for interesting openings and established hotels reinventing themselves. 

That’s why we are delighted to be number 3 on the list of 100 Best Places to Stay in the UK. As well as being honoured as the North Hotel of the Year and Countryside Hotel of the Year.

‘This classy revival of a gothic pile right on Windermere’s waterfront opened at the end of 2023 and is exactly what the local tourist scene has been so desperately lacking’.

Find out more


The jewel in our crown

Langdale Chase reopens

In November 2023, after being closed for 12 months Langdale Chase reopened. To celebrate the occasion, the team behind Langdale Chase joined Rick Bailey and Samantha Scott, High Sheriff of Cumbria for a reception exploring the building and showcasing the work of the craftsmen who have been involved in the sensitive restoration of this landmark building on the banks of Lake Windermere. 

The full refurbishment has returned the hotel to its former glory, have a look for yourself here.


Investment in yorkshire

Bedroom refurbishments for The Red Lion and Middletons

In April 2023 we completed the bedroom refurbishments of the Lady Anne Middletons Building at Middletons Hotel, York, and The Manor House, at The Red Lion in Burnsall. 

As part of the Lady Anne Middletons refurbishment we wanted to focus on details of the building’s past, developing House Suites and Heritage Suites to tell the story further. 

At The Red Lion, this was our first significant investment since purchasing the Inn in 2021. We’ve created eight comfortable rooms, timeless in design. 


Our Digital Upgrade

New websites launch for our Inns & Hotels

In January 2023 we began the rollout of our new websites across all of our hotels and inns, beginning with Lister Arms, Malham and The Golden Lion, Settle. Our aim was to simplify the customer journey and showcase our outstanding properties through on-trend videography and photography


Bringing it all together

Daniel Thwaites Visual Refresh

In 2022 we refreshed our brand look ahead of a major push to help our customers understand the whole of our company, our rich history, and our story through visuals, new photography and new websites.

Along with our new brand website, we were proud to showcase Daniel Thwaites at the Great Yorkshire Show in spectacular fashion with our pop up Lister Arms. Throughout the four day event thousands of visitors popped in to taste our award winning Thwaites Ale and learn more about everything we do at Daniel Thwaites.

We continue to invest in our properties

Langdale Chase Closure

In September we closed the Langdale Chase hotel to embark on the most extensive refurbishment project since it opened as a hotel in 1937.

We worked closely with local planning authorities and heritage groups to ensure that the original features of the Victorian buildings, which date back to 1895, are preserved and restored to their former glory, with a contemporary feel. The historical features, including the original wooden wall panelling found in the Main Hall and the Thomas Mawson landscaped gardens form a centrepiece of the development.

Further investments saw Middletons Hotel in York and the North Lakes Hotel & Spa underwent extensive refurbishments to improve customer experience, and we launched The Lawn Club at Kettering Park Hotel & Spa. We have also purchased Lendal House, next door to The Judges Lodging in York with plans to further expand our offering in a prime city centre location.


On the road to recovery

Welcome Back

With the pandemic still affecting most areas of the business, 2021 was about innovation in our properties in order to welcome customers back within the government guidelines. Our pubs did an amazing job of supporting the heart of their communities and our inns and hotels trailed new business ideas, such as takeaway food, to provide our customers with the quality they love during the difficult start to the year. We also invested throughout our properties including The Lister Arms, The Beverley Arms and The Judges Lodging to build weatherproof outdoor seating areas to welcome guests back.

2021 also saw a staycation boom which was so important for our business. Our teams were ready to welcome back returning customers and also show new visitors what Daniel Thwaites hospitality is all about throughout our hotels, inns and pubs.

In September we continued to grow our property portfolio with the purchase of the Red Lion Inn in Burnsall. This beautiful 16th century coaching inn in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales joined our collection of outstanding properties in great locations and we plan on brining it in line with the rest of our inns in the next few years.



Navigating the pandemic

2020 saw an unprecedented time for the hospitality industry due to the global COVID 19 pandemic. The fall out of the virus resulted in a national lockdown being put in place in March resulting in the closure of all of our pubs, inns and hotels. Once lockdowns were eased the government enforced social distancing measures to reduce the spread of the virus which impacted all areas of our business. We’re proud that despite this time of uncertainty our teams remained at the heart of communities and did what they could to support local people, from delivering food parcels to offering to help collect and deliver prescriptions to the most vulnerable. It is our team across the country that make Daniel Thwaites what it is today.

Mark O'Sullivan

Head Brewer

Mark O’Sullivan became our Head Brewer. Mark joined Daniel Thwaites in 2003, taking on a number of roles in our Blackburn brewery from spending time in the packaging laboratory, working in the warehouse, beer processing & brewing. Now Mark leads a multiskilled team of 5 brewers who each do all parts of the craft brewing process including creating recipes for our seasonal brews and ensuring we constantly produce beer to the highest standard. He also maintains and leads on development of our brewery, works with the Pub Operations team to ensure the supply chains and production is on time and ready to be distributed to our fantastic properties. He still enjoys his days brewing, keeping his hand in to understand how everything is currently running… ‘the best part of the job’.


a new beginning

Head office relocation

We relocated our head office and brewery from Blackburn to a state of the art facility in the Ribble Valley.

A Breath of Fresh Ale

In the Ribble Valley

The first beer is brewed in the Ribble Valley.

The House of Daniel Thwaites

Brand Launch

2018 also saw the launch of The House Of Daniel Thwaites, bringing all of our Inns and Hotels together under one brand.


Inns of character

Award winning properties

Thwaites Inns of Character was launched in 2011, separating our spa hotels from our inns across England. This included The Fleece Inn in Cirencester which became an Inn of Character in 2012, followed by The Judge’s Lodging, York, in 2014 after a £2.2million investment. Thwaites Inns of Character won the Publican Award for Best Accommodation Operator in 2013, cementing ourselves in the sector. Our hotels and spas continued to attract success, winning the AA Hotel Group of the Year 2016-17.

We also won the Publican Awards Best Tenanted Operator – over 200 sites in 2012, and Thwaites 13 Guns received a Gold Award in the International Brewing Awards in 2017. All proving that whatever we put our name to, we do the best we can.

In 2015 the decision was made to sell Beer Co. free trade accounts and Wainwright and Bomber brands to Marston’s, signifying change was coming for Daniel Thwaites.


A new era

For Daniel Thwaites

The millennium signalled a new era for Daniel Thwaites as Ann Yerburgh became chairman. We also hosted Prince Charles at the Craven Heifer, Stainforth, where he toasted Thwaites Beers. Shire Inns was rebranded Shire hotels in 2001, with the group further expanding with the build of Thorpe Park Hotel near Leeds, opening in 2002 and winning the prestigious Catey award. Further success followed in 2004 as Shire Hotels won the coveted AA Hotel Group of the Year, backed up by winning the RAC Hotel Group of the Year in 2005.

We also launched the Lancaster Bomber in 2002 along with the opening of Thwaites Theatre in Blackburn. Our pubs portfolio expanded into Yorkshire from 2002 to 2004 which included the multimillion pound purchase of Rosewood Pub Company.

2005 also saw Thwaites marketing history made as we signed England cricketer Andrew Flintoff to be the face of Lancaster Bomber. Flintoff went on to help England retain the Ashes.

In 2007 Thwaites celebrated 200 years of brewing excellence with the Double Century beer.


Success brings opportunity

For Daniel Thwaites

After the success of Cottons and the North Lakes Hotel in the 80’s, further opportunities were found in the early 90’s. Between 1990 and 1993 Aztec near Bristol, Solent in Fareham and Kettering Park hotel opened. All following the same style as the North Lakes hotel, offering a mix of conference facilities with leisure.

In the brewery we launched the Northern Smoothie and Thwaites Smooth in 1996 and begain distributing Warsteiner in 1998.

The 90’s also celebrated the impact Thwaites was having in the community. 1994 saw the launch of the Daniel Thwaites Charitable Trust, with the aim of improving the conditions of life for the residents of and visitors of Blackburn. In 1999 we celebrated 40 years of the Travel Scholarship.

Shire inns founded

Our first steps into hotels.

In 1980 Shire Inns was founded, this was our first step into hotels and originally consisted of 5 pubs with rooms and the Millstone Inn in Mellor. A room at the Millstone cost £11 a night. A few years later in 1984 Cottons Hotel in Knutsford became part of the Shire Inns, it was originally a pub bought by us back in 1956. Cottons was a storming success and set Shire Inns on course for profitability. A site in Penrith was soon acquired on which we built the North Lakes Hotel. Opening in 1985 it was one of the first hotels in the UK to offer a large indoor pool.

The Brewery continued to grow. We introduced a Stein Pilsner in 1981 and expanded our pub network after acquiring Yates and Jackson of Lancaster for over £5 million. In 1986 we were honured to welcome HRH Princess Anne to our Star Brewery, where she unveiled a plaque after £4million of investment.

In 1985 our Thwaites dray horses were awarded the freedom of Blackburn, after 25 years’ service to the community.


Marvel at our new world

Award winning bitter

Throughout the 70’s Daniel Thwaites focused on our beers. In 1972 we opened a new bottling facility and keg store. Considered the ‘last word in bottling complexes in the country’, groups of people on arranged tours came to marvel at our new world of brewing at the Star Brewery.

The 70’s would also be a proud decade for our brewers; at the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Great British Beer Festival in 1978 our Thwaites Mild was voted tops. The Sunday Mirror followed our award with the line “The North has once more proved it produced Britain’s best beer. ” We won the coveted Supreme Champion Bitter Award amongst other medals.

By the end of the 70’s a good food offering was now starting to be expected in pubs. This led to John Yerburgh mulling over the possibility of alternative revenue streams as trends in alcohol consumption began to change.

Supporting local students

Expansion continues

In 1960 John Yerburgh launched the Thwaites Scholarship. The scholarship supported selected students across Lancashire in trips abroad to countries like India and Costa Rica. John emphasized that the purpose of the scholarships was to understand how other nations lived and to present them with an image of Britons.
1960 also saw the return of the dray horses. Two horses were reintroduced to deliver beer to Blackburn town centre pubs. Expansion continued throughout the 60’s, with Eanam Brewery becoming Star Brewery with a £1.5 million expansion in 1966. Star Brewery became our iconic home in Blackburn until we moved to our new brewery and head office at the foot of the Ribble Valley in 2018.

150 years of old dan

The legacy continues

The late 40’s and early 50’s saw changes in the brewing industry with big breweries acquiring smaller local ones. Throughout this period Thwaites acquired Bury Brewing Company and Preston Brewing Company along with their pub portfolios. Mergers were touted, but John Yerburgh preferred to continue his grand mother’s legacy and retain Thwaites as an independent family firm.

We celebrated our 150th Anniversary by brewing Old Dan. Sales rocketed for this bottled beer, capitalising on the trend for bottled beer at the time.


Double Ben introduced

Thwaites begins to bottle beers

Double Ben was introduced and Thwaites began to bottle beers.

Thwaites expansion continues

After the flotation and as a result of the capital raised, Thwaites expansion continued with the purchase of James Pickup & Co Wines and Spirits and Henry Shaw.

Thwaites becomes a limited company

Thwaites becomes a limited company to keep up with increased competition in the industry and raise capital in order to support future growth.

Elma Thwaites inherits brewery

Elma Thwaites inherits the Brewery after Daniel Jnr dies. Against all expectations from society at the time, Elma decided not to sell the business and instead continued to grow the brewery with support from family member in situ, William Ward.


Thwaites aCquires snig brook brewery

With the continued growth in consumption of beer and due to the way Daniel ran the brewery, he was able to acquire Snig Brook Brewery which produced 10,000 barrels a year. Daniel also began building new public houses in central areas which allowed Eanam Brewery to expand production to 100,000 barrels a year by 1878. Meanwhile Daniel Thwaites became MP for Blackburn in 1875.


Daniel jnr, John and Thomas

Inherit the brewery

After the death of Daniel Thwaites, brothers Daniel Jnr, John and Thomas inherited the brewery. In 1858 Daniel became the sole owner of the brewery and continued to grow its success by investing profits back in the business, much like his father had previously.


Daniel Thwaites becomes a partner

In Eanam Brewery

On 10th June Daniel Thwaites became a partner in the Eanam Brewery. Joining William Clayton and Edward Duckworth. At the time neither had much experience of running a brewery and Blackburn was renowned for cotton rather than beer. However, in 1807 beer was regarded as a prime necessity for life and formed part of the British diet. Beer was drank as the common beverage with a meal due to poor water quality and was also used to quieten crying babies. By 1824 Eanam Brewery was the sole property of Daniel Thwaites.

Daniel Thwaites

Is Born