The revival of craft beer in recent years has emphasised the values and traditions that define our longstanding presence in the British brewing industry. We’ve embraced traditional artisanal methods and quality natural ingredients while reviving and experimenting with different beer styles, and we’ve created some outstanding craft beers throughout four generations of brewing.

Whilst our brewing business has grown, we’ve always stuck by the craft beer philosophy of using the best possible ingredients and craft brewing methods to ensure the highest quality, not the lowest cost.


In 1874, George Bateman began making beer for thirsty Lincolnshire farmers (who knew a good pint when they tasted one!). Technically speaking, though, Susannah (our great-grandmother) became the first Batemans brewer – she used to make the beer in her kitchen, alongside bread, for the thirsty farm workers. George Bateman soon decided to swap farming for brewing – a bold but savvy move that cask beer drinkers have raised a glass to ever since.

From its inception, Batemans has remained steadfast in adhering to time-honoured craft brewing methods and using only the finest malted barley and hops to craft each Batemans pint. This ethos that guided George and Susannah Bateman is immortalised by the slogan ‘Good Honest Ales’.

In 1880, the Batemans moved the brewery to Salem House in Wainfleet, with its beautiful old windmill on the bank of the River Steeping. This windmill is an enduring emblem of our unwavering commitment to the art of quality brewing. It’s a commitment that has never wavered. While many regional breweries have come and gone, continual investment in our brewery is a testament to Batemans enduring dedication to preserving tradition whilst embracing progress.

Discover our History

By 1960, Batemans had already established itself as a brewery of distinction, and we were brewing eight diverse beers. Among these were three draught beers – a light mild, a dark mild, and the iconic XB bitter. Complementing these draught brews were five bottled varieties: IPA, Double Brown, Nut Brown, Light Dinner Ale, and BBB barley wine. Notably, until the mid-1970s, Batemans also bottled naturally conditioned Guinness, Bass, and Worthington.

In 1977, our head brewer, Ken Dixon, introduced our renowned Triple XB (XXXB) – an English tawny beer distinguished by its smoothness and distinctive flavour profile. Swiftly and enthusiastically embraced by discerning beer drinkers, this brew became a beloved favourite and still is to this day. In 1986, Triple XB reached a pinnacle moment when it was honoured as CAMRA’s Beer of the Year at the prestigious Great British Beer Festival. Notably, it has secured the title of CAMRA Premium Beer of the Year on four separate occasions since.

In a celebratory nod to its 40th anniversary in 2018, we revisited the original recipe and potency of our Triple XB, restoring it to its authentic strength of 4.8% ABV. The inaugural first brew in January 2018 was commemorated with a ‘pulling of the first pint’ ceremony attended by four generations of Bateman brewers spanning back to 1959: Dennis Hartley, Ken Dixon, Martin Cullimore, and Scott Lawrence.

Expanding the Batemans range beyond the XB series, our permanent cask beer selection now proudly features Salem Porter – a two-time recipient of CAMRA’s Winter Beer of the Year title in 1997 and 2005. Our collection also includes Yella Belly Gold – a refreshing, citrus-infused beer crafted with lager malt and a blend of American Cascade and Chinook hops. Among our recent additions, Skull & Hammers stands out – a meticulously blended, slow-matured pale ale with limited availability due to its small-batch production. Additionally, our Dark Fruits Porter, and Gold medal winner at the Peterborough Beer Festival is making waves among enthusiasts for its unique flavour profile.

Batemans Light Dinner Ale

At Batemans, innovation is at the heart of our craft. We thrive on a culture that embraces experimentation, whether crafting speciality beers or pioneering fairer pub agreements, and we’ve always fearlessly charted our own course.

Pioneering innovation has been ingrained in our brewing ethos since the early days. As one of the early British brewers exploring seasonal and unique ingredients, we ventured into uncharted territory. This journey began with Mr George’s Unique Flavours – an assortment of beers infused with strawberries, vanilla, liquorice, and other seasonal delights. Whilst well-received by customers, the essence of strawberries proved a challenge to cleanse from pub beer pipes afterwards!

Among our other inventive brews, the introduction of Combined Harvest marked a significant milestone. This creation is the UK’s inaugural multigrain beer, crafted using a blend of malted oats, rye, and wheat alongside the customary barley—a tribute to Susannah Bateman’s bread-making.

The bottled rendition of Combined Harvest is readily available through our online shop, joining the ranks of our esteemed bottled brews: Triple XB, Victory Ale, Mocha, Dark Lord, and Vintage Ale. Additionally, during the festive season, we offer the beloved Rosey Nosey—a delightful Christmas speciality.

Mr George's Unique Flavours - Batemans Brewery

Our journey with Mr George’s Unique Flavours pioneered flavoured beers and laid the foundation for a tradition of themed monthly beer specials. We recognised a niche for quirky brews that captured the mood of the moment, celebrated big occasions or told fun stories that people could relate to. So we continued that tradition over the years by brewing all sorts of ideas.

One of the first was Mystic Brews, a series of beers that embodied the distinct characteristics of star signs. Virgo, brewed with virgin hops, exuded purity. Aries was infused with Ginseng, an aphrodisiac for a sense of allure. Aquarius utilised well-water, infusing the essence of the water-bearer. Sagittarius, featuring smoked malt, evoked fiery passion. Gemini underwent a double fermentation process. Libra was a harmonious blend of balance. And for Leo, a bold and golden strength prevailed.

The innovative concept caught the attention of Beer Seller, a national wholesaler who committed to a minimum sales volume in exchange for exclusive selling rights. We seized the opportunity and launched the beers with grandeur at their national sales conference.

Jolly’s Jaunts was born after this success—an homage to the ninetieth ‘birthday’ of the Jolly Fisherman of Skegness, a beloved figure from one of the UK’s iconic vintage tourism posters. This series revolved around Jolly’s participation in special events.

Our range expanded from Jolly’s Three Lions for the World Cup to Jolly’s Deuce for Wimbledon and Jolly’s Rugby Special for the Five Nations (now Six Nations). Not stopping there, we introduced Jolly’s Trick or Treat for Halloween and Jolly’s Rocket for Bonfire Night, further fuelling the spirit of celebration through our innovative brews.

Jolly Jaunt's Batemans Brewery


The overwhelming popularity of Jolly’s Jaunts spurred us to extend the thematic range – this, coupled with the millennium celebrations in 1999, led to the inception of Jolly’s Generations, which celebrated pioneers of history.

Here, our intrepid, Jolly fisherman assumed the role of various historical figures. The series included Jolly’s Lightening (honouring the invention of electricity), Jolly’s Giant Step (commemorating the moon landings), Jolly’s D-Day Landings, and Jolly’s (Millennium) Dome.

Jolly’s Follies followed in 2000, along with a ground-breaking innovation—Bateman’s became the first brewery to introduce three-dimensional pump-clips. The clips created more visual impact for beers, including Hair of the Dog (January) and Kiss Me Quick (February), ensuring they stood out boldly on the beer pumps.

Another cherished line was Good Honest T’Ales, delving deep into British myths and folklore. Utilising different malt and hop styles, we crafted an assortment ranging from Loxley’s Liquor, a premium bitter, to Owd Nessie, a Scottish peated beer.

Earning a reputation for our playful pump clips, the release of The Calendar Girls film in 2003 provided us with inspiration for a theme celebrating the traditional landlady in a distinctly tongue-in-cheek manner that became a memorable talking point for customers.

Celebrating the British love of biscuits, we created the Biscuit Barrel Beers – an ode to the shared ingredients between biscuits and beer. This concept resulted in the lovely biscuity flavours from brewing particular malts. Our delightful brews matched classic biscuit flavours to traditional brewing recipes, and we created one for each season. The series featured Oatmeal Biscuit Beer (spring), Barley Biscuit Beer (summer), Bourbon Biscuit Beer (autumn), Chocolate Biscuit Beer (winter), and Fruit Biscuit Beer (Christmas), each becoming a delightful treat for our audience.

Staying true to our ambition for our beers to reflect significant events, we created England Expects for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. This brew encapsulated the nation’s combined optimism and trepidation for their football team’s fate. Since it was initially brewed, it has made many regular appearances in the Batemans lineup.

However, our drinkers’ all-time favourite remains Rosey Nosey. This original Christmas brew debuted in 1998. It became an instant festive classic with its fruity Christmas cake flavour and distinctive bar visuals – including a Santa beard and flashing nose on the pump clip. To this day, it remains one of the nation’s most beloved Christmas libations.

Rosey Nosey has rightfully earned its place among our Legends. To add to this range, we reintroduced some of our most cherished beers from previous years—East Coast Screamer, Pilgrim Fathers, Valiant, and Hooker.


The resurgence of craft beer in recent years isn’t lost on us. Indeed, our passion for small-batch brewing led us to build our Theatre of Beers Brewhouse, which esteemed beer writer Roger Protz did us the great honour of opening in 2002.

In the Theatre of Beers brewhouse, our brewer Scott, spearheaded the creation of our Salem Brew Co range – which are that little bit different, not unlike Mr George’s Unique Flavours all those years ago. In our 2019 series, we dedicated ourselves to spotlighting British hops. We crafted each beer to highlight a distinct single-hop variety from diverse regions.

There are many views on what a modern craft brewer means. Perhaps breweries of a certain size, brewing according to traditional artisanal methods and using only good-quality natural ingredients – whilst also reviving, and also experimenting with, different beer styles from throughout the ages. Hand on heart, we can say we’ve done our fair share of that – and we’ve done it since 1874!

While opinions on the subject may vary, the definition of ‘craft’ is a set of skills passed down through generations. With four generations of brewing under our belt, surely we’re within our rights to call ourselves craft brewers.

As such, we’ve adopted a new slogan along with our updated logo: Craft Brewers Since 1874. Cheeky? Perhaps! But also true.