Beatles and football aside, Liverpool is arguably most famous for its illustrious shipbuilding and maritime heritage. But travel to the other side of the Baltic Triangle and you’ll be reminded of its other important industry.
Founded by Robert Cain in 1858, Cains Brewery was at the heart and liver of Liverpool’s rich storytelling history. Producing ales and beers and owning establishments such as the historic Philharmonic Dining Rooms (check the gents toilets, trust us!), Cains was unavoidable for the dockers, the businessmen, the working classes and anyone else who fancied a tipple in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
However, years of ups and downs left Cains a shell of its former self. Tossed aside by bigger breweries in Britain and across Europe, the brewery building – the ‘Terracotta Palace’ – amounted to little more than an impressive monument to Liverpool’s former glories, a gorgeous mass of redbrick, spires and chimneys.
Thanks in part to the burgeoning community that has evolved around the Baltic Triangle in the last five-to-ten years, the brewery is set to become a centrepiece of Liverpool again. All eyes in the city are on the creative hubs and event spaces that have sprouted in the area, and the brewery’s redevelopment as a vibrant new community of bars, eateries, markets and workspaces.
The first redevelopments in the form of working space Northern Lights, and the immensely popular Ghetto Golf have piqued public interest in the brewery and surrounding grounds, but it’s the new Baltic Market that has tongues wagging and saliva glands working overtime.
Spearheaded by Independent Liverpool, the Baltic Market will be the focal point of the regeneration of the area. Launched at the end of June, the market is an eclectic space for pop-ups, pints and parties. The opening weekend itself was a rousing success, with massive queues for entrance
on the Friday and Saturday – as those lucky enough to get in were treated to everything from cheesecake to squid and enough craft beer to make even the most ardent hipster blush.
Upcoming events include farmers market and flea markets, reminding people that shopping local and reinvesting in community is not only rewarding, but is what this city is all about. We reckon that Robert Cain himself would raise a wry smile at how his name lives in in a new capacity with this current generation and hopefully many others for years to come.
Jack – @von_hooligan