In recent years, there has been a craft brewing revolution in the UK. The number of breweries around the country increased to over 2000 operating businesses in 2018. Although a lot of these are based in or around the commercial hubs of Manchester and London, the Yorkshire area has a proud brewing heritage upon which to build on.
Many delicious new and old beers are produced in the county, that export to the rest of the country and the European continent. What then, are just three of the best breweries Yorkshire has to offer?
The oldest brewer on this list, Tim Taylor have been pumping out craft beers for a hundred years before the term even existed. Founded in 1858 in Keighley, near Bradford, West Yorkshire, Timothy Taylor is family owned to this day. It was also run by a direct descendent of the original Timothy, until as recently as 2014. All their beers are brewed with naturally filtered Pennine spring water, as well as their own strain of yeast – called Taylor’s Taste. Some of their popular beers include four-times Beer of Britain winning pale ale, Landlord, and a 4% Yorkshire bitter entitled Boltmaker.
Black Sheep brewery was established in 1991 in Masham (appropriate enough) near Harrogate in North Yorkshire. The founder, Paul Theakston, was the managing director and family owner of Theakston Brewery. Theakston is also based in Masham but hasn’t brewed there since their takeover by Scottish & Newcastle – so we did not include them on this list.
Anyway, Paul was bought out of his control of Theakston in the early 1990s and he left to found Black Sheep. Their first beer, Black Sheep bitter, proved wildly successful and is now available in pubs all around the UK. One of their most acclaimed beers today is Riggwelter, a 5.7% Yorkshire dark ale named after the shepherding term for a pregnant sheep who has gotten stuck on her back. Just don’t be tempted to go sheep tipping after you’ve had a few
Eagle-eyed readers may remember seeing the name Magic Rock on these pages before. They appeared in our round of Britain’s most expensive pints, with their triple-hopped pale ale Unhuman Cannonball – which weighed in at a heft £15 a pint. However, it is only brewed in one batch every few years. Oh, and it’s also 15% ABV. Which means it packs a punch closer to a bottle of wine than your standard pint. If you want to splash the cash on a taster though, you’ll have to be quick as it is only available by visiting the brewery itself or at a select single bar, usually in the Manchester area.
Outside of that eye-wateringly priced exclusive creation, Magic Rock actually make reasonably priced and extremely tasty beers. The Huddersfield based brewer has a great reputation and have included such artfully named beers as Rapture and Inhaler – both of which come with six different kinds of hops, no less.