Brewtown Brewery Tours 2017 launch
A lot of nice invites land in my inbox and the one from Mark at Brewtown was no exception. ‘I’m getting in touch to tell you about the 2017 launch of Brewtown Brewery Tours, and invite you to enjoy a sample tour with us.’
He continued ‘Brewtown, which launched in York and Leeds in October 2016, is an enterprise which gives beer lovers the chance to go behind the scenes of Yorkshire’s top breweries and sample some of the best beer in the county.’
Now whilst it would have been churlish of me to suggest the word ‘county’ should be replaced with ‘country’, this was one invite I found very difficult to refuse…
And so to York
The 12:15 meeting at York Tap gave me just enough time to sample a Cwtch by Tiny Rebel. One of my favourite beers in one of my favourite pubs. Unfortunately this example, whilst drinkable, wasn’t up to the usual standard of either.
Mark tracked me down and introduced me to the other four member of the party, ran through a few ‘rules of the day’ and led us out to our transport for the day.
The first brewery we visited was Rudgate, a 30bbl brewery in the Vale of York. The drive took about a half hour, with Mark encouraging us all to divulge our beery histories, so the time passed quickly. We were shown round by brewer Daniel who enthusiasm was plain to see and he gave us an engaging walk through the brewing process. It was nice to sample a few thirds as we walked round the brewery rather than have to rush a couple of beers down after the tour. We were later joined by MD Craig and both were happy to discuss any of the topics raised by our party. With Rudgate being a camra favourite and some people having the opinion that they are a ‘safe’ brewery, I have to say that the beers we tried were spot on, i’ll be looking to try more in the future.
Back in the bus and a short while later we arrived at Yorkshire Heart. Now this was a complete contrast to Rudgate being a smaller, 6bbl plant in an old farm building on a working farm. The enthusiasm of head brewer Tim however, was just as infectious. Again we sampled some of the beer as we were shown around. Not having tried a Yorkshire Heart beer before I was more than pleasantly surprised to find it full of flavour and in excellent condition, the Mild being a particular favourite (which surprised me as i’m not the biggest fan of dark beers). Their rhubarb beer (Rhubarbeer) also deserves a mention – if you get the chance try it, i think you might be pleasantly surprised. On the way back to York the party reflected on how two such different breweries could both produce really good beers.
Brew York, a 10bbl Craft Brewery & Tap Room just off Walmgate in the centre of York, was our final stop. Here a brewery tour wasn’t required, you walk past it to get to the bar where we were joined by co-owner and brewer Lee. Settling at one of what now seem to be the ‘de rigueur’ brewery tap tables, Lee walked us through a selection of their beers, each of which were met with nods of approval from the group. Happy to answer any question thrown at him, Lee proved good company and no subject was taboo.
And so our day ended, well not quite. Mark would have been happy to drop us back at York railway station where some of our party needed to catch trains but most of us decided to stay a while and sample a few more beers before finding our own way back.
So, Brewtown Tours. Are they to be recommended? I think that’s a resounding YES… An amiable host, a small group of like-minded people, some friendly, knowledgable brewers and some great beer. An excellent way to spend an afternoon and if you don’t fancy York, they do Leeds too.