Despite being the newest brewers in the North East, we draw our inspiration from some of the oldest brewing traditions in the region; those of the Delavals of Seaton Delaval Hall.
Throughout the 18th century, the Delaval family owned a number of breweries across the region. The largest being the brewery at the former Glass Works in Seaton Sluice. Most are now lost, but the Brew House on the estate of Seaton Delaval Hall itself still remains.
Over the last year, we have pieced together some of the historic ales brewed by the family. From the original wells that supplied the water to the days of the week that brewing took place, the full history of Delaval brewing has been uncovered.
Long term our ambition is to re-establish the historic brewing traditions of the Delaval Family by returning a working brewery to the Brew House at the Hall.
Delavals and the National Trust
In December 2009, thanks to a tremendous fundraising effort, Seaton Delaval Hall was saved by the National Trust for the public to enjoy forever. 30,000 people were involved in the activities to save the Hall and today the Trust is committed to involving the local community which played such a key role in the campaign.
At beginning of 2010, having spent many hours researching the brewing traditions of the Delaval family, we approached the Trust with a view to working in partnership to re-create an ale based on the ‘Small Beer’ once brewed on the estate. Guided by the research team and supported by National Trust staff and volunteers, in October 2010 together we launched ‘Seaton Delaval Hall Pale Ale’.
Since then our partnership has continued to grow from strength to strength. In December, we braved the snow to launch our second ale for Souter Lighthouse and this year we have launched ales for Lindisfarne Castle and Washington Old Hall.
Working closely with the National Trust we will continue to help preserve our rich local history by producing a range of finely crafted real ales that promote and celebrate our great Northern landmarks.
Delavals was founded by David Gilfillan in 2010. David (centre) came up with the idea after visiting Seaton Delaval Hall and learning that the Delaval family used to brew their own beer on-site in the 18th century.
Many hours were spent researching and testing before David joined forces with his brother John (2nd from right) to bring their first ale to market
Since then, with kind support of family, friends and the local community, Delavals has grown quickly and today they are keen to expand their range of quality real ales – each with it’s own special link to the past.
Both brothers know the Hall well having grown up in Blyth just a few miles from the Hall itself:
“Like most people I am proud of our great regional landmarks. We have a rich local history and we need to preserve it. Our ales help to do this.” David Gilfillan
“Quality is paramount to Delavals and is synonymous with the National Trust. This is why we go the extra mile to make sure every pint is the best it can be.” John Gilfillan