Whether you’re a beer buff yourself, you know someone who is, or you’re planning a special outing or corporate event, we’d thoroughly recommend an outing with Brewtown.

 
 

Hop on board

Early this month, the Partners team was whisked out of the office for an afternoon and treated to a tour of some of North Yorkshire’s newest and most innovative breweries. It’s a hard life.

Our afternoon of brewery-based fun came as a sneak preview ahead of the official business launch of one of our newest clients, Brewtown Brewery Tours. Brewtown, which launches in York this week, operates minibus tours of Yorkshire’s top breweries, giving beer lovers the chance to look behind the scenes and sample some of the best beer in the county. 

Brewtown owner Mark picked up the team from Partners HQ, and the minibus set off for its first destination: Half Moon Brewery.

Half Moon is a tiny five-barrel microbrewery housed in a converted forge in the picturesque village of Ellerton… are you sold yet? A long-held dream of husband and wife team Tony and Jackie Rogers, the couple launched Half Moon in 2014 with a range of five classic Yorkshire ales, as well as collaborations and seasonal specials.

Tony and JackiFood pairings at the Half Moone spent some time talking us through the brewing process, from raw materials to finished beer.

The team was then ushered into Half Moon’s adorable ‘micropub’ in the back of the brewery, where sensory consultant Jo Menneer was on hand to give us a tutored tasting of Half Moon’s award-winning Yorkshire beers. From their Old Forge bitter to F’Hops Sake, a tangy pale ale, each beer was carefully paired with a selection of delicious nibbles from local artisans to enhance its taste.


Eventually we said goodbye to Half Moon and hopped back on the bus to head over to The Hop Studio's brewery tap in Elvington. Founded in 2012, The Hop Studio's beers have met great acclaim, winning a number of national and regional awards from CAMRA and SIBA. We made a beeline for their tap room, where owner Dave Shaw was waiting for us.

Hop StudioAfter trying a few of their current brews, including a lemon saison and a pale ale made with only British hops, Dave showed the group around The Hop Studio’s brewhouse and explained how the equipment worked. Particularly fascinating was the brewery’s ‘barrel-ageing’ corner, containing a stack of barrels which once held spirits and liqueurs but now are now filled with Hop Studio brews. After a period of ageing, these will become uniquely-flavoured, one-of-a-kind beers for real enthusiasts – and we were pretty enthusiastic about trying some, too.

After the tour, it was back to tasting (of course). The group tried some of The Hop Studio’s stronger brews: Rievaulx, a rich Belgian quadrupel, and Chocolat, an unbelievably intense white chocolate stout.

The day's third stop was Ainsty Ales’ brand new brewery and tap room at Acaster Malbis. With a blazing blue sky above and rolling green fields behind, we couldn’t have hoped for a more perfect day to visit such a beautiful location.

Gravity measureThe Ainsty Ales brewhouse is so new it hadn't even opened to the public when we visited (the grand opening was October 28th), so we didn't want to steal their thunder by taking lots of pictures and spoil the surprise. But they were already brewing hard and the Partners team was put straight to work, with Alan taking gravity readings through the froth to measure the strength of the beer in progress.

Brewing beer is thirsty work, so we were ever so relieved to take the chance to have a sit down and a lovely cool beer. Ainsty Ales founder Andy Herrington and his brewmate Alan Hardie explained the science of creating beer from its raw ingredients, before giving us a whistle-stop tour of the brewery’s current range. Among the items on the menu was 4.5% golden ale Wankled Waggoner (try saying that after five pints!), and Flummoxed Farmer, a deceptively drinkable fruity session ale.




Once we'd left Ainsty Ales, Mark took us back into the centre of York to finish the tour at the Brew York tap room on Walmgate. Brew York may be one of York’s newest breweries but its beers are already making a splash, with the Tonkoko milk stout winning the Locale award at this year’s York Beer Festival. With an onsite shop, sizeable tap room and charming beer garden overlooking the river Foss, Brew York provided the perfect end to our afternoon of beery fun.

Launching to the public this week, we’d thoroughly recommend an outing with Brewtown. Whether you’re a beer buff yourself, you know someone who is, or you’re planning a special outing or corporate hospitality event, their tours have something for everyone.

For more information or to book a brewery tour, visit www.brewtowntours.co.uk.
    
 
The Partners Group

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