Our guide Flo, was engaging and informative. She began with a summary of York Brewery’s history, explained the main ingredients, passed around bowls of dried hops, malted barley, and roasted barley and let us feel and taste them, then walked us around the brewing floor.
In the first room, a large wall map showed where the brewery sources its hops, as well as the names of the special brews made with the different hops, and a diagram of the brewing process. The brewery and a local farm have a deal – the farmer picks up the waste oats, as well as the waste hops, and uses the goodies for animal feed.
The brewery also has a small pub onsite (where you pay for your tour and collect your samples) but plenty of locals come in for a pint or a bite after work. And speaking of bites, The Tap Room (the pocket pub at the brewery) offers samples of the various real ales.
York Brewery also now owns several offsite pubs in York: Last Drop Inn, Yorkshire Terrier, Mr. Foley’s Tap House, The Tap Room, and The Three-Legged Mare. In all their pubs, they put a small closed jar of each real ale next to the badge, so you can see what the real ale looks like, and they are more than happy to discuss the mixture and give you a taste of any of their brews.
All-in-all, a good afternoon’s education, and tasting!
The Skinny: 40-minute brewery tours are offered several times most days (Tuesday – Sunday, 12.30, 2.00, 3.30 and 5.00). Adults: £8, Concession: £6, Child: £4. Any drink-eligible members get 4 chits for a ⅓ pint of the real ales produced by the brewery, either before or after their tour (the specialty ales cost 2 chits to try). In addition, the brewery has a small number of gift items for purchase, including pint and half pint glasses, as well as bottled beers to take with you. If you live in the UK, you can order beer for delivery, or become a member, as well.
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