A love of good quality beer led two friends to set up their own brewery in Quernmore - more than 30 years after the pair first met.
David Cross and Alan Rainford, both 48, created Avid Brewing Co in 2017 - and have since seen their beer being poured in pubs and restaurants across Lancashire and beyond.
From Raspberry Ripple Pale Ale and Whiskey Vanilla Stout, to the more traditional Golden Ale and Bitter, David and Alan have been experimenting with style and taste, researching and adapting ingredients while improving their brewing kit.
They have also taken to packaging and supplying their beer in a 20 litre and 10 litre “bag in a box”, alongside cask, which they say has enabled them to increase the range of beer produced and its shelf life, and cater for everything from large pubs and festivals to smaller venues and events.
Father-of-two David, who is a former electrical engineer and part time IT engineer, said: “We met some 30 years ago, at a time when our love of beer was much more about quantity not quality.
“Fortunately, with maturing years came maturing tastes and, alongside what felt like an awakening in the production of real ales, we became more discerning about what we liked to drink and would actively seek out new flavours and styles of beer.
“It wasn’t until we were approaching our 40s that the opportunity arose to take this further, we went on a full mash brewing course ‘a birthday gift’ and by the end of this we had hatched a, possibly drunken but no less exciting, plan.”
David said following experimentation in a garage in St Michaels, the pair produced a “better than good” American Pale Ale, and went on to produce a range of styles they were happy with.
“Eventually we were consistently creating great beers ranging from zesty Pale Ales through Golden Ales to heavy winter Stouts, something for everyone,” David said.
“The brewery became ‘Avid Brewing Co’, ‘Avid’ because we felt it epitomised all we stood for regarding brewing and consuming.”
At the same time as Avid’s popularity was increasing, Clitheroe based Bowland Brewery was also increasing its capacity, and their equipment became available. “A chance we jumped at,” David said.
“Getting the kit across the Trough of Bowland was an interesting experience,” he added.
Avid, which is a member of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), is currently in the process of doing its first run of bottled beer, and plans to further increase capacity with its recently acquired kit.
They are also brewing a 10 per cent Imperial Stout for Clitheroe Beer Festival, and their Raspberry Ripple Pale Ale won a SIBA Gold award at the Liverpool Beer Expo.
David said social media and marketing is a very important part of the process in terms of directly engaging with customers and other breweries.
“We’d love to collaborate more,” David said.
“We attend all the events and are keen to build relationships. We’re constantly learning and are still home brewers at heart.
We are proud to be SIBA brewing members and are looking to help shape the future of craft brewing and drinking in this country.”