“Golden Goat” ale marks 50 years of iconic Lakeland minibus company.

A historic new beer has been created to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of the famous Lake District minibus company, The Mountain Goat.

“Golden Goat” ale has been specially brewed for The Mountain Goat by the microbrewery Bowness Bay Brewing in Kendal.


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Mike Meaney (left) and Robin Tyson (right) toast the new beer


A thousand litres of the special beer have been brewed to produce around 2000 bottles. The Mountain Goat’s Operations Director Robin Tyson says: “It’s wonderful to mark such an important milestone for the company by creating this new beer. It’s a triumph of local Lakeland companies working together.”


Robin adds: “After a long day out enjoying the Lakeland fells and witnessing some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, we hope it will be the perfect refreshing drink for people to enjoy.”

The beer’s label depicts a classic image of a Mountain Goat vehicle crossing Ashness Bridge – perhaps the most photographed packhorse bridge in the Lake District.

The Mountain Goat turns 50 this week, on March 31st, 2022, and the new beer is part of a year-long programme of events to celebrate the anniversary.

Head Brewer at Bowness Bay Brewing, Mike Meaney, says: “We are delighted to be involved with the celebration of The Mountain Goat’s fiftieth anniversary. Golden Goat ale is the ultimate refresher!

“It has hints of apricot, lime and peach and its irresistible aroma is combined with the freshness of our Lakeland spring water.”


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The Mountain Goat was determined that its new beer should be the result of local companies working together. Bowness Bay Brewing, in Kendal, is an award-winning micro-brewery known for its handcrafted beers brewed using the pure water of the Lake District. It was bottled by Bottled in Cumbria, a family-owned independent company based in Cockermouth.


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The Mountain Goat began its life back in 1972, on Good Friday, when the company’s first minibus set off on its inaugural trip over the Kirkstone Pass to Glenridding – without any passengers!

Since then, the company has flourished and now carries tens of thousands of passengers every year.

It’s estimated The Mountain Goat buses have covered enough miles over the last 50 years to travel to the moon and back 40 times!

It was first launched to link communities in Lake District valleys left isolated by cuts to bus services in rural areas.

But it soon became apparent there was a big market for carrying tourists around the area as well as serving local people.

The mainstay of the fleet in the early days were converted Ford Transit minibuses with roof racks to carry backpacks and other equipment. The company now has a fleet of around 30 vehicles, mostly Mercedes Sprinters, ranging from 6 seaters to 24 seaters.

“Much of our success over the years is down to our drivers – who are more than just drivers,” says Director Stephen Broughton. “They are guides who use their personalities and expertise to educate and entertain passengers while showing them some of the most stunning landscapes in the world.”