Locally, it’s well-known that we’re a family-run business, as we have all lived in lovely Kirkby Lonsdale our whole lives.
We’re really proud to be a family business – there are two generations and two sets of fathers and sons behind Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery and The Royal Barn. Richard Taylor and Stu Taylor, and David Law and James Law, are all father and son. Also on the board is Alan Stephenson, who is Stu’s stepfather.
As our board of directors is made up of two families, it means our working dynamic is probably quite different to other businesses. However, we believe that is what plays in our favour. We all have a fantastic working relationship with each other and everyone knows their roles.
Stu and James have been friends for many years and grew up playing rugby together. James was employed at Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery and then, as a long-standing employee, bought into the business in 2016. The rugby connection runs through the board, as Richard Taylor is also a former player and Alan has always been involved with the transport side of the local rugby scene.
Richard Taylor has vast experience in hospitality in the town. He was born in The Snooty Fox on Main Street (which was then called the Green Dragon) and went on to run the King’s Arms for 10 years, before moving on to The Orange Tree in 1996. Stu was cooking burgers in the kitchen at The Kings Arms when he was 15 and soon realised he wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
From a marketing perspective, there’s a subtle nod to the family history behind the pub trade in Kirkby Lonsdale on the pub clips. During the rebrand in 2015 when the logo and clips were refreshed, we decided to introduce the family element to the design. The Loosehead brew features Richard playing rugby and most clips feature Stu’s children playing on their bikes outside Kirkby Lonsdale landmarks, such as St Mary’s Church and Devil’s Bridge.
Supporting the local area is important to us. We’re Kirkby Lonsdale born and bred, and we take enormous pride in doing everything we can to support the town.
Our passion for Kirkby Lonsdale is easy to see, thanks to the names of our brews which have been carefully selected to represent local landmarks and help to put Kirkby Lonsdale on the map.
We want our brand to give something back to the local community – offering a place for locals to visit for a cup of coffee in the morning, or to relax with a superb ale and live music on a Friday night. We want to drive more visitors to the town and offer something new for tourists to enjoy.
Our unique family-run dynamic, combined with a passion for top quality brews and Kirkby Lonsdale as a town, means the business thrives thanks to inputs and ideas from different personalities who each have each other’s best interests at heart.
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