Hoof - Lancashire’s coffee milk stout

Steve with head brewer Darius Darwell

Steve with head brewer Darius Darwell - Credit: Archant

Moss Edge Farm from Cockerham and Atkinson’s Coffee from Lancaster make the perfect blend.

Steve Holmes pours a pint at farm yard Ales

Steve Holmes pours a pint at farm yard Ales - Credit: Archant

It’s always good to see local food producers working together to create unique, high quality items. But the combination of beer and coffee requires a drinker with a real sense of adventure.

However, a glass of milk stout made with Atkinson’s Coffee from Lancaster is a revelation – creamy and intense but with some burnt bitter notes that tell you it’s beer. And quite delicious.

The beer is called HOOF – as opposed to their German Pilsner HOF – and with a name like that it’s no surprise to discover it is made on what was a dairy farm.

Moss Edge Farm has been in the Holmes family for five generations and 31-year-old Steve is determined that he will be the sixth. But he accepts that it will be very different from the operation run by his forebears.

Milking was no longer viable in 1986 and they have been prepared to have a go at just about anything to keep in business - beef cattle, cereals, high quality haylidge…you name it, they’ve done it.

In his spare time – if he has any – Steve has worked as a truck driver while his wife Janet is an air ambulance paramedic. ‘Something drastic had to happen on the farm for me to be able to take it over from dad,’ says Steve. ‘I’d always had an interest in brewing and Farm yard Ales grew from that.’ What started as a hobby has now grown into a respected brewing business supplying discerning drinkers across the region with eight core beers, from golden ales to IPA with a few off-piste concoctions such as a brew made with Seville oranges. With their own canning line, Farm Yard Ales are also to be found in Booths. Steve says much of the success is down to being joined by Darius Darwell, a highly experienced head brewer.

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Not content with just making beer, they also have a mezzanine bar that is open at weekends and can be used for weddings, celebrations, music events or just a beer.

‘Janet and I hope to have a family one day and we want them to have the chance of becoming the seventh generation on the farm,’ says Steve. ‘That’s what this is all about.’


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