We are over the moon to be working with Lakedown Brewing Co. to deliver this year's Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival social. What can be better than great fishing and even better beer with good friends? You'll be hearing more from the Lakedown Brewing Co. team as we approach September but first we speak to James Cutherbertson, avid fly angler, friend of Orvis UK and Partner at Lakedown Brewing Co.
You can still join us at this year’s festival! Limited tickets remain, book yours today.
Tell us a little about Lakedown - brewing company, fishery, and tap room?
The trout fishing lakes were established 40 years ago, when after a few refreshing beers at the local pub, The Kicking Donkey, Roger decided that he’d like a trout lake on his farm. I’m not sure how accurate this is, but apparently, Roger and the landlord’s son-in-law, fired up a JCB the following morning and started to dig. Now there are four stunning trout lakes, all expertly made.
The story then moved on during lockdown in 2020 when Roger, son Jamie and sons-in-law Des and Chris were having a beer in the lodge by the fishery when the idea of building their own brewery was hatched – as all the best ideas, it was beer-fuelled and on the back of a beer mat. Fast forwarding to today, the lodge is now the Lakedown Brewing Co. Taproom, and the brewery is being built on a site overlooking the lakes and is due to open later this year. Currently, we’re cuckoo brewing our beer in two different breweries whilst we watch our own being constructed – exciting times.
What is the inspiration behind the beer?
We’re lucky enough not only to be in a country with a great brewing heritage but also a country with an amazing brewing history, not least with our neighbors at Harvey’s. And it’s to brewing history that we take our inspiration, looking to recreate ‘best in class’ versions of classic styles like Sussex Best, American Pale Ales, and NEIPAs.
In terms of design, I suppose it’s pretty simple Water and Music and you can see that coming through in our branding.
What's your role there and what experience do you bring to the role?
I’m a partner in the business, working with Chris, Des, Jamie, and Roger. I was previously MD at Dark Star Brewery in West Sussex, so crossing the County border for this mission and having a great time doing what I love with fantastic people.
What makes the partnership with the Orvis saltwater events special to you?
When the brewery was established in 2021, we all agreed that we had three passions that were core to what we all love - beer, music, and fishing. So, to be partnering with Orvis is really great, not least because a lot of my fishing kit is from the guys, and I drift off most nights with Tom Rosenbauer talking in my ear – for those that don’t know he hosts ‘The Orvis Flyfishing Podcast’ rather than having him lying next to me.
What are you looking forward to at OSFF23?
I know how much I needed a beer after a day on the water last year, so I’m delighted to have our beer available this year. The social evening was brilliant great fun, and it was good sport listening to the tales and how the beer had a positive impact on the length of fight and size of fish…and on the quality of those that got away!
Where do you hope to take Lakedown in the coming years?
Hopefully still supporting events like this and being in pubs, bars, and stores across the World – you gotta dream big. As we grow, it’s our intention to set up a Trust/Foundation to raise money for good causes and of course, we’d like many of these to be fishing related, either helping people to get introduced to our sport, to use fishing for wellbeing and to assist initiatives that help protect the waters we fish.