County Stat Attack Week 22 - Lincolnshire

Back up to the East Coast of England and in theory the East Midlands we have Lincolnshire. It has a long coastline between The Wash and the River Humber and bordering many counties, including the shortest county border of all, 20 yards with Northamptonshire. The county was predominantly settled by the Corieltauvi people pre Roman. During Roman times Lincoln became Lindum Colonia. At one time, after the Romans, the county was called Lindsey from the area controlled by Danelaw, north of Lincoln, Holland and Kesteven were to the south, these were not unified into Lincolnshire until 1974.

The county has several geographical sub regions including the coastal area, the Lincolnshire Wolds and to the South there are the Fens. The more industrial areas are around the Humber with Grimsby and Scunthorpe, but predominantly the county is agricultural.

The county town is the City of Lincoln and is also the largest settlement with a flourishing beer scene. Next largest are Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Grantham and Boston.

On Ratebeer we have a total of 50 Breweries, 29 remaining open and 21 now closed. Only 3 of these are Client / Commissioner Breweries.

The oldest Brewery we have on Ratebeer is, perhaps a little surprisingly, Melbourn Brothers All Saints (Owned by Samuel Smiths) of Stamford, Established in 1825. If asked many would probably say Batemans of Wainfleet but not established until 1874. We have touched on Melbourn Brothers before when discussing Sam Smiths. It concentrates on brewing Organic Fruit Beers now still using antique steam brewing equipment. Batemans are the longest surviving independent brewery using the Salem Bridge Brewery in Wainfleet with its distinctive windmill tower. The brewery, after it became established, bought the neighbouring estate and expanded production at one time bottling Guinness and Bass. The brewery owns 68 tied pubs, mostly locally but with some much further afield, it is also in the hands of the same family.

The brewery with the largest range on here is Batemans with a total of 145 beers.
The 2020 Ratebeer awards gave us 8 Sail as Best Brewer and Batemans Victory Ale (Bottle) as Best Beer. No new brewery award was made.

The Top 10 Beers for Lincolnshire are –

  1. Hopshackle Imperial Stout
  2. Hopshackle Resination
  3. Hopshackle Restoration
  4. Brewster’s Stilton Porter
  5. Hopshackle Historic Porter
  6. Hopshackle Baltic Porter
  7. Brewster’s American Chopper R
  8. Hopshackle Vertigo “VF” R
  9. Brewster’s IPA
  10. 8 Sail Pacific Union

The Top Pubs / Bars in Lincolnshire are –

  1. BeerHeadz Grantham – 83
  2. Strait and Narrow, Lincoln – 83
  3. BeerHeadz Lincoln – 83
  4. Batemans Visitor Centre & Pub – 79
  5. Cardinals Hat, Lincoln – 76
  6. Jolly Brewer (Bakers Dozen), Stamford – 76

There is also a highly rated Beer Store in Lincolnshire –

  1. Message in a Bottle, Cleethorpes – 77

The Top 5 Raters of Lincolnshire beers are –

  1. @Mr_Pink_152
  2. @fonefan
  3. @imdownthepub
  4. @leaparsons
  5. @maeib

The Ratebeerian who resides in Lincolnshire with the most ratings is –
@Mr_Pink_152 who happily is still going strong with us.


Love this stat! Thanks as always for the great county write-up.

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Lincolnshire, my spiritual home. Brought up on the coast at little Sutton-on-Sea and then inland a bit in Alford, leaving in the mid-60’s for Singapore. First posting after my RAF training was to RAF Coningsby (1972-74); all well before the internet and Ratebeer of course.

Parents lived close to Wainfleet for years, so I have been back to the county many times, to see them, meet up with old school friends, drink beer and also to watch Grimsby Town home games and revisit my old haunts.

Lincoln is a great city for beer these days and the CAMRA festival in the Old Drill Hall was lovely on the one occasion I went. Boston used to have a good tent operated by their CAMRA area branch during a park festival, sadly that isn’t run my them anymore.

Some lovely rural pubs to find and the Lincolnshire Rivera has some strange brewpubs with indifferent beers (Bacchus at Sutton-on-Sea and Leila Cottage at Ingoldmells and Willy’s, Cleethorpes). Shout out for the Batemans Visitor Centre too, Sunday lunches there are excellent.

My Stats:
167 Beers (at 3.31), my 9th highest county total; gets me to 6th on the leader board.
26 Breweries, 6 of which are closed.

Top beers are all Batemans
Cask XXXB (when it was 4.9%, not the now 4.5% one).
Salem Porter
Vintage Ale

Most rated breweries
Batemans 57
8 Sail 28

Highest scoring breweries with over 5 rates
Tom Woods (now Lincolnshire Craft Beers)
Horncastle Ales

Surprised I’ve only reviewed 20 places; top of the pile for me
Batemans Visitor Centre (Wainfleet)
Strait and Narrow (Lincoln)
Message in a Bottle (Cleethorpes, ran by a Grimsby Town fan)

Not been to Lincolnshire for a while now for obvious reasons, parents have moved South to Devon as well. Love the county and will return when we get the chance.

Lincolnshire has some big skies!
image (not my picture)



But I do rely on you for the highest spots :grinning: Very much doubt I have managed Lincolnshire’s.

Hmmm, I’ve not really been to Lincolnshire that often, Stamford pre Ratebeer, the East Coast pre serious Ratebeer but with a lovely visit to the Batemans visitor centre. More recently a trip to Lincoln before the great plague, Lincoln is a lovely city to visit although it is a place of 2 halves, upper and lower with a most unexpected hill in between, lots of complaints from the better half with that one.
Can’t say that I’ve ever been to either Lincoln City or Scunthorpe’s grounds for football but I did spend a freezing cold midweek evening at Grimsby’s ground, has to be the coldest ground ever and I don’t remember getting into any pubs, miserable night, can’t remember the result either, probably 0 – 0. Apart from bits of coastal path I haven’t done any walking there either, I would love to try the Lincolnshire Wolds though.

So straight into the stats then. I currently stand 3rd for the county with 224 rates putting the county 29th in my list, mid table security, which The Mariners would like a bit of at the moment. The beers have an average of just 3.14, below my average rating unfortunately. My surprisingly high number of ratings is well and truly boosted by the fact that Batemans had a couple of tied pubs near here and we used to get inundated with their weekly specials, when they were into that sort of thing, plus they used to do the Wetherspoons Festival specials at one time. I have had beers from 31 different Lincolnshire Breweries getting me into 2nd in that list.

The Breweries I have most beers from are –

  1. Batemans – 72
  2. Brewster’s Brewery (UK) – 19
  3. Hopshackle Brewery – 19
  4. Zest Brewery (Prev Oldershaw Brewery) – 18
  5. Lincolnshire Craft Beers (prev Tom Woods) – 16

I have given a mark of 4 or over to just 5 beers from Lincolnshire –

  1. Brewster’s Belly Dancer – 4.2
  2. Oldershaw High Dyke – 4
  3. Brewster’s Stilton Porter – 4
  4. Hopshackle Hoptane – 4
  5. Hopshackle Imperial Stout – 4
    I have managed to get hold of 6 of the top 10 beers for Lincolnshire.

My highest rated breweries for Lincolnshire are –

  1. Hopshackle Brewery – 3.484
  2. Newby Wyke – 3.45
  3. Lincolnshire Craft Beers (prev Tom Woods) – 3.306

I have reviewed just 6 places in Lincolnshire, mostly from the day out in Lincoln, the best being –

  1. BeerHeadz Lincoln – 80
  2. Batemans Visitor Centre and Pub, Wainfleet – 78
  3. Strugglers Inn, Lincoln – 66

I do need to get back to Lincolnshire, a mate is a Yeller Belly, and do the Wolds and some of the smaller places. We didn’t really like the coastal area so probably give that a miss.


What, you didn’t like the Lincolnshire Riviera, playground of the East Midlands unemployed and the great unwashed from South Yorkshire?

We call people from South Yorkshire ‘Cumfuts’; they say things like “Cumfut day, stayed fut week”, “Cum fut beach”, “Cum fut kids”. There used to be a football tournament in Cleethorpes each summer called the ‘Cumfut Futball Tournament’ and teams from Rotherham and Sheffield, etc would be invited to play in it.

The Humber Estuary has Dolphins swimming in it, Birds of Paradise flying overhead, what’s not to like? The whole of the Lincolnshire coast is like a nature reserve with caravans, Ingoldmells near Skegness a highlight, as are the wind farms off the coast. There is a Butlins too!



is like a nature reserve FOR caravans…

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I’ve only stayed in Lincolnshire a couple of times - once in Lincoln for the Christmas market (which was lovely - it’s a very nice city) and once in Sutton-on-Sea, where unfortunately I must have missed the blue plaque marking @BlackHaddock’s birthplace,

The county’s mid-table for me in terms of ratings, with 41 to date. I’m not showing in the top 50 for the county, but I am theoretically in joint 48th place.

My top beers are from a varied bunch of brewers:
Poachers Black Crow Stout 3.9
Hopshackle Hop And Spicey 3.7
Brewster’s Seven Heaven 3.7
Tom Wood’s Vanilla Orchid 3.5
Newby Wyke Black Squall 3.5

I’ve had beers from nine different brewers; nearly two thirds of my Lincolnshire ratings come from Batemans, which is a shame given that it’s one of my least favourite brewers with an average score of just 2.64.

I’ve only rated one place in the county - the Bacchus Hotel brewpub in Sutton-on-Sea. Had a particularly good roast there I recall. I rather liked Sutton-on-Sea; one of the few attractive places on the coast (Mablethorpe was horrible, Skeggy not much better).

Sutton-on-Sea & Lincoln aside it wasn’t one of my favourite counties to visit (sorry @BlackHaddock). The weather was horrible; and many of the tourist attractions were run down or closed. A couple of highlights were the lovely little zoo just north of Mablethorpe, and a model car museum (on your Marques) which we only went to to get out of the rain but which had a huge Scaletrix track which you could play on for 50p for 10 minutes - we had quite a few goes on that!

The highest point is in a field near a golf-ball radar station just north of Normanby-le-Wold. It’s far from being exciting, but in a rare moment where the rain cleared we got to see a glorious sunrise with the golf ball silhouetted against it, making it a more memorable “summit” than it would otherwise have been.

I’m looking forward to calling my Barnsley friend a cumfut when I next speak to her…


My second from bottom county with 5 ticks:


I have passed through Lincolnshire various times on the way to Hull but only stopped there twice.
Once for lunch in Lincoln.

And then for lunch at a lovely countryside pub called The Brandy Wharf. The menu consisted of 1 sausage + chips going up to something like 10 sausages + chips. They also specialised in cider and 70s folk music. It was slightly spoiled by a group of Grimsby football hooligans turning up. A bunch of guys in their 50s reliving the 80s heydays when they punched nurses and stuff. So I would say that @BlackHaddock was the first Ratebeerian I met but in reality I was hiding in the bogs.


I am taking all these personal attacks personally and feel very hurt at the cruelness being shown to me.

I will expect a nice beer from each of you for your cutting remarks next time we actually meet, same goes for anyone else joining in the perceived ‘fun’!


I have lived in Lincolnshire all my life so happy to see my home county getting a little bit of love. I was born in the small hamlet of Nocton, lived for my early days at the family home of Branston (not the pickle one the potato one), then my wife and I actually move into Lincoln itself, before moving to the village of Bracebridge Heath. All within about 5 miles of each other.

My house is a 2 minute walk from the Viking Way (Lincolnshires long distance footpath), as makes its way along the Lincoln Edge an escarpment that gives great views across Lincoln and onto Nottinghamshire.

Not surprisingly this is one of 3 local regions I’m top rater in. I have tried 514 Lincolnshire beers which is my third highest.

My top beers are:

Beer Rate
Axholme Epicurio Baltic Porter 4.1
Horncastle Balthazar’s Baubles 4.1
Brewster’s IPA 4.1
Batemans Mocha (Bottle & Keg) 4

I remember the top two beer being very good, the second 2 are very generous scores!! I did think Lincolnshire beer is stuck in a bit of time warp with breweries focusing on very traditional beers.

The breweries I have tried moist beers from are:

In terms of top rated brewery, I had to go a long long way down the list of top rated breweries to find a Lincolnshire one the short lived and closed Waddington Brewery, which has a score of 3.44.

I have rated 71 places in Lincolnshire my top 3 are all Lincoln based:

BeerHeadZ and The Strugglers are at the top of Steep Hill, The Strait and Narrow at the bottom.

Other places of note are Stamford Beers Direct, a newly opened online beer shop. If you are in the Lincolnshire Wolds, a stop in louth for the Consortium Micropub might be nice as it has its own brewery. BeerHeadZ Grantham is also worth a stop if you find yourself in the town for any length of time.

As mentioned before the CAMRA Lincoln Beer Festival has been held at the Drill Hall until Covid times, but probably no more as the Drill Hall closed when the City of Lincoln Council withdrew funding, who knows if, when and where it will return.

I certainly would recommend a trip to Lincoln if only for the amazing cathedral and castle.


32 Lincolnshire rates for me, just over half are ciders. Highest rating is Batemans / Wicked Weed Freak of Nature at 3.6, and Batemans is most rated brewery with 11.

There are 7 active cideries in Lincolnshire, with Skidbrooke Cyder in Louth having the most entries with 6.

The top raters for ciders and cideries in Lincolnshire are:

LincolnshireCider Ratings




I’m half Lincolnshire. There we go, I’ve said it. It felt good to get it out there. Please don’t judge…

My mum was an Alford lass, born in Chauntry Road @blackhaddock you may know it? Although she left as a young child she never lost the accent. Her family for generations had run the Blacksmith’s on East Street. I’ve visited the area a few times for family history research, got plenty of ancestors buried there and in surrounding villages, even sadly a mention on the War Memorial. So it is a county I think of fondly. And that even goes for Skegness (I said don’t judge)….

For me as a kid growing up, my parents were never adventurous with holidays. But one year my Dad pushed the boat out and instead of our annual pilgrimage up the Suffolk coast and over the border into Norfolk to stay a week in Hemsby, we went all the way to Skegness to stay at Butlins. My best childhood holiday was that. So it’s something I’ve then inflicted on my kids (although interspersed with a much more generous package of world travel) and we’ve actually had some really good times there. It does attract some characters though. And the beer there is shite.

So talking of beer, have rated 139 plus 7 ciders. Puts me 8th on the county list, with 24 different breweries which puts me 5th on that list. Top volume breweries are:

8 Sail 25
Batemans 23
Ferry Ales 14
Fuddy Duck 14

Not sure which brewery has my highest average. None of them will have scored very highly I’m sure as I’m yet to find a Lincolnshire brewery which has been consistently good (my average for the whole county is 3.13, only 4 or 5 others English counties have a lower average for me).

Top rated beers are:

Hopshackle Hoptane 4.5
Batemans Dark Mild 3.8
8 Sails Dark Side of The Mild 3.8

Have rated 19 places. An average score of 65 makes that one of my lowest averaging regions for places too. Though have enjoyed a few places especially:

Message in a Bottle Cleethorpes 84
Crafty Bottle (Closed) Lincoln 84
8 Sail Brewery Visitors Centre 78
Batemans Visitor Centre 76

MIAB is a cracking place to visit to shop for local beers, with (in normal times) a nice drink-in area too. Really friendly people there – people who run it and the customers who visit. Shame Crafty Bottle has closed. Liked that too. And 8 Sail/Batemans are both well worth a visit more for the history of the places themselves than necessarily the beers. Batemans brewery tour is good fun. As for Skeggy beer scene, the Red Lion isn’t the worst ‘spoons with a 58, and that’s its highlight. Beer wise at least.


Ah, Lincolnshire. Not the best beer scene, but I have done okay, partly due to its proximity to Cambs and partly because I dated a lady living in the Lincolnshire Fens for a while - beer scene around that way isn’t too healthy so no place rates but I did pick up more than my share of ticks. 59 rates puts me at 34th in the table.

I was also a massive Batemans fanboi when I started rating, which explains my top rates from the county:

I think Batemans Victory Ale was my first or second rate.

I’ve had beer from only 10 breweries (9 active, one defunct) and two cideries from Lincs. Most rated by a long way is Batemans (22), Brewsters (9), the defunct Star (6), Newby Wyke and Zest (Oldershaw) at 5 each.

My 14 place rates are limited to trips to Lincoln, Grantham and Stamford. Top jjsint places are:

I do love Lincoln, with the exception of that damn vertical street. Stamford is a good day out as well, no top top places but some decent enough boozers. And can easily be done while taking in some Rutland pubs.


8 lowest total of the 46 counties.

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Just 2 Lincolnshire rates for me, and both were Batemans bottles - looking at the list of Lincolnshire breweries, can’t say I’m familiar with many of them at all, assume they don’t travel too far. Reckon the last time I visited the county (apart from passing through on the HST from Yorkshire to London, or a U-turn to go back over the Humber bridge) was in the mid-70s, a family trip to Skegness - absolutely no memories of it, have to believe my mum that we went there! Can’t say it’s somewhere that’s top of the list of places to go, so unless I see loads of beers from there locally, I’ll be staying in single figures for some time

If you were looking to boost the numbers for the county I would suggest keeping an eye open for Hopshackle Brewery beers or the newer Docks Beers, both pretty decent these days.


Morrison’s stock Batemans bottles, even in Shropshire!


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I find it strange that I have rated only 41 beers from Lincolnshire given that I live in Nottingham (although an average of 3.1 may suggest that I have yet to find my favourite brewery). Several foreign countries have attracted me more frequently. I am also someone who likes a decent glass of Mild or Porter so the county’s traditionalist (or is that stuck-in-the-mud) brewing approach should also suit me.
This is certainly borne out by my top 5 beers
|Batemans Salem Porter|3.6
|Brewster’s Mama Cass|3.5|
|Brewster’s Aromatic Porter|3.4
|Axholme Figgy Pudding|3.4
|Newby Wyke Black Squall|3.4
In fact, it looks like a fairly large number of Lincs beers are on the list due to the annual Mild or Stout and Porter trails.
I echo the recommendations of places, particularly the cathedral city, although if drinking is a priority you do need to decide on whether it is upper or lower Lincoln since Steep Hill is not to be contemplated after a skin-full. I have always found the Beerheadz selection worth a look.
If there are any ratebeerians in need of obscure Puritan places to visit, I can recommend Scrooby. The village was a key launch point for the Pilgrim settlers to America. I once took a small group of students for a visit on a bleak winter’s day and we all agreed that we now understood why they left and why they might be the kind of people who would survive in the wilderness of the New World, even if it meant killing the natives, should they object to Manifest Destiny.
I will be interested to see whether Oldershaw thrives and changes under its new title of Zest. Otherwise, while I too have been to Skegness, the memory of it is too fresh to contemplate a return.