In 1926, after three quarters of a century of brewing,The Lion Brewery in the heart of Totnes ceased trading. At its peak, this successful brewery owned 26 pubs and employed many local people. People far and wide celebrated its famous porter and its “celebrated Totnes Stout.”
Now, a passionate group of Totnesians have brought that history back to life with the launch of the New Lion Brewery, a business that will once again craft award winning beers and help to boost the Totnes economy. New Lion began creating trial brews in temporary quarters in the autumn of 2013. Over that winter, we built a new brewery from scratch on Station Road, slowly expanding capacity. Now we’ve got a state-of-the-art brewery that can produce 45 barrels a week. In addition to our three basic beers, we are working with local businesses and community groups to create experimental and one-off beers like a pumpkin ale, a chilli beer, and a mushroom stout.
Our business model focuses on four pillars: community, innovation, sustainability and profitability. Through our membership programme, the community will help shape the company and, down the road, will have the opportunity to invest in it. We have become active participants in the Totnes economy, buying ingredients locally wherever possible, and supporting community events with special brews. In the long run, we hope to create employment, attract visitors to the town, boost the resilience of the local economy, and eventually provide a return to local investors. We also plan to share our knowledge of business and brewing through apprenticeships and training courses.
Totnes has a history of brewing. It is also famed for its culture of local food, seasonal produce and its many independent eating and drinking establishments. We seek to build on, and enhance, the town’s reputation as a place that is “proud to be different”. Our aim is to produce beers that capture that difference…beers that can truly be described as “Totnes in a bottle.”