Brewtown Tours offers beer lovers the chance to visit some of the best breweries in the county. Tours are all inclusive, with Mark from Brewtown doing the driving, taking you to breweries in either York or Leeds where you can meet the brewers, learn more about the process of brewing and, of course, sample the goods! My husband and two of his friends recently went on a brewery tour of three Leeds breweries and this is his review… * spoiler alert: they loved it! *
Mark met us just outside the Leeds train station in his Brewtown van, where we were introduced to other beer enthusiasts who would be joining us for the days tour. When the van was full, we departed for our first stop: Quirky Ales.
Quirky makes cask conditioned ales. And they are amazing! We were offered a selection of hand-crafted beers in the cosy tap-room. From there we moved to where the magic happens: The brewery. We were welcomed by owner Mike Quirk who talked us through some history of brewing, a discussion on styles and types of beers and a taste and smell of the grains and hops that are the building blocks of beer.
Mike was a gracious host, explaining all about his brewing and fermentation kit and walked us through the whole brewing process. There is no doubt this guy is living the dream! Since he had a batch of beer ready for casking, he invited us to all grab a bottle, drop in some sugar, fill and cap our own to take home with us. This bottle-conditioned Winter Warmer will be ready in about 4 weeks. Looking forward to cracking it open on Christmas Day!
“A great day out with great company. Learned a lot more about brewing beer than I thought! And all on our doorstep. From garden shed to full on brewery there’s a world of producers in between and Brewtown know some of the best! I would definitely recommend anyone to go on the Brewtown Tour…if nothing else just to give you some ideas for retirement!” Simon
From there, we jumped back in the van and headed over to Holbeck. We stopped outside an impressive 1800’s Grade II converted flax mill that is the home of Northern Monk. What a place! On the ground floor we saw the impressive brewing area making 20,000 pints each week. Upstairs is what they call the Refectory. I call it an amazing space to taste the 16 beers they have on tap along with cans and bottles to take away. Here we were offered another tasty flight of beers. We challenged our pallets and tried to identify flavours in each sip with the help of a flavour wheel. More grains were sampled, this time trying caramelised and toasted barley. You can immediately taste how the ingredients contribute to the final product.
“A great way to spend an afternoon with your mates. Interesting, educational and above all else good fun. Mark was a great host – instantly made us feel relaxed, really looked after us and shared lots good beer knowledge and stories with the group. The breweries were all very interesting and quite different from one another. We got to sample a fantastic range of beers on the tour and I would highly recommend it. The perfect way to catch up with your mates!” Mel
Last stop: North Brewing Co. I’m sure just about everyone has a favourite North Bar location in Greater Leeds. But I never thought too much about where their beer comes from. Brewtown gave us chance to follow the river to the source. North Brewing is a modern brewing operation with a retro-cool tasting area. You are sitting IN the brewery while the fermentation process happens in the tanks towering all around you. Another flight of amazing beers and a visit to the Jamaican Jerk BBQ guys who just happened to have set-up out front.
Brewtown Tours is a fun way to connect with friends, make new ones and learn about beer.
A Brewtown Tour makes a great gift for any beer lover. Book yours here!