Cheers! Cullercoats Brewery raises £25,000 for the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Cullercoats Brewery has raised £25,000 for the RNLI with the sale of over 835,000 pints of beer inspired by the heroism of their local lifeboat crew.

The brewery, established by Bill and Anna Scantlebury in 2011, is a staunch supporter of the lifeboat charity and donates 3p for every pint sold.

Bill said he was thrilled the brewery’s fundraising has raised such a significant milestone, adding: ‘Having lived in Cullercoats for over twenty years and seen the RNLI crew in action and training every week, I've always admired their dedication and bravery. Those who live by the sea are always in awe of the RNLI volunteers, and we can all do our bit to support their critical work saving lives at sea.

‘I've surfed in the past, been caught in a rip tide, and am all too aware of how easily I could be that person hoping the RNLI will reach me in time. Hats off to them - corporate fundraising is a financial challenge for such a small business but it's easy compared to the work the charity’s volunteers do.’

Two of the beers, Lovely Nelly and Jack The Devil, draw on the history of RNLI lifeboats at Cullercoats, particularly the stormy events of New Year’s Day 1861 when local fisherwomen pulled the lifeboat two miles to launch it at Whitley Bay.

The lifeboat was launched into rough seas to rescue the crew of the Lovely Nelly which had run aground off Cullercoats Bay. Among the lifeboat crew was bowman John Chisholm, whose nickname was Jack the Devil. All lives on board the Lovely Nelly were saved except one 12-year-old cabin boy, Thomas Thomson.

The brewery supplies its real ales to pubs in the Newcastle and Northumberland areas and around the UK and has won awards for Jack the Devil, as well as other beers Rocket Brigade IPA and Polly Donkin Oatmeal Stout.

David Wakenshaw, Chairman of Cullercoats RNLI, said: ‘We are extremely grateful to Bill and Anna for their continued support, which really does make a huge difference to the work of our charity. The RNLI relies on fundraising and donations from the public and so contributions like this are vital if our volunteer crews are to continue saving lives at sea.

‘We love the fact that the beers are inspired by the history and bravery of Cullercoats lifeboat crews in the past, and hopefully everyone who buys a pint pauses to think about the work of the RNLI before they take a sip!’

For more information about Cullercoats Brewery and its links with the RNLI, go to: 

Picture captions
1.  Bill and Anna Scantlebury and son Ben receive a plaque from Cullercoats RNLI volunteers to thank them for their fundraising efforts. Credit RNLI/Michael Scott

Notes to editors
Cullercoats Brewery is a 10 barrel brewery on Tyneside, run by Bill and Anna Scantlebury with the help of assistant brewer Sean Hardy. It brews all English beers mainly for the pub trade but also in bottles for independent off licences and restaurants. Production is about 5000 pints per week, 5 cores ales and usually 5 or more specials available. 3p of every pint sold is donated to RNLI.

Cullercoats Brewery only uses English Malt and hops and their own strain of yeast, to produce a wide variety of styles of beer. Recent successes have been the Dry Hop Project beers, highlighting the huge variety and quality of English grown hops, and the Shipping Forecast Series, focussing on the different varieties of malt. The Fortified Series harks back to an 18th century tradition of blending a rich matured strong ale with a newly brewed weaker one, and is proving very popular. These types of beer are often rare treats in the brewing world, and certainly ones to look out for.

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact RNLI PR Manager, North, Alison Levett on 07786 668912 or at or Cullercoats Brewery’s Anna Scantlebury on 07837 637615

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.