It’s good to celebrate the anniversary of a brewery at a time when so many are closing as a result of Covid and the energy crisis.

In the case of Bateman’s, the family who own the brewery will be toasting a remarkable 150 years of beer making.

The celebrations include an IPA brewed in the American style and using three hops from across the pond.

Managing director Stuart Bateman says it’s the first time he’s used American hops in a bottled beer, which is also available on draught as a seasonal ale.

Bateman’s is based in Wainfleet in Lincolnshire. It enjoys one of the finest locations for a brewery in the country, with an ivy-clad windmill fronting the brew house, small museum and bar, all standing alongside the River Steeping.

The official address is the Salem Bridge Brewery and the early English settlers in America took the name Salem with them.

They opened a town called Salem in Massachusetts that became notorious for its witch trials in the late 17th century. Bateman’s celebrates the historic link with a beer called Salem Porter.

The brewery has had its own trials and tribulations over the years, the biggest of which was a threat to its very existence in the mid-1980s.

Chairman George Bateman was told by his brother and sister, who controlled 60 per cent of the shares, that they planned to retire to the Channel Islands and proposed selling the company.

George, his wife Pat and their two children spent three exhausting years attempting to raise the money

to buy out their relatives. They were boosted when their premium bitter, XXXB, won CAMRA’s prestigious Champion Beer of Britain competition in 1986.

The media coverage was widespread and a director of the Midland Bank head the news, invited George Bateman to a meeting and offered to lend him the money to save the brewery. A new beer was launched, suitably labelled Victory Ale.

George and Pat have since died, but Stuart and Jaclyn Bateman, the fourth generation of the family to run the brewery, have thrown themselves into growing the business.

They have survived Covid and lockdowns and have even bought a few new pubs: they now have an estate numbering 62 outlets.

Jaclyn is in charge of sales, including exports, while Stuart’s family is involved in the brewery. His wife Rachael is an area sales manager while their children Harri, Edward and Eliza work at the brewery during university holidays and will join full time in due course.

Apart from bottled beers, Bateman’s produces only cask-conditioned real ale. "Cask beer is in our DNA," Stuart says. "It’s what we do best."

Triple Hop IPA, 5.3 per cent, is a seasonal ale that’s paving the way for great celebrations in 2024. It’s brewed with Summit, Sabro and Idaho-7 hops and, Stuart says, is designed to bridge the gap between West Coast and East Coast styles of IPA brewed in the U.S.

While West Coast versions of the style burst with fruity and bitter hops, East Coast IPAs are better balanced.

The Bateman beer has rich orange, lemon and marmalade fruit from the hops but it has a good honeyed malt note and the hops don’t overwhelm the taste buds.

The beer is on sale in Bateman’s pubs but bottles can be bought online at, £27.50 for 12 bottles.

A trip to the brewery is recommended. It’s just a hundred yards from Wainfleet station on the Skegness line.

Brewery tours and beer sampling sessions can be booked, meals and snacks are available and there are cottages available for hire.

Why not join the celebrations for 150 years of beer and passion?

▪ It’s now just a few weeks to CAMRA’s beer festival in the Alban Arena: 27 to 30 September. I shall be hosting a beer tasting on the opening night: