Archive for category North East

Success sees local entrepreneur open micro-brewery

• Ainsty Ales Brewery opens its own micro-brewery in Acaster Malbis
• Firm focussed on growth and expansion across the UK and abroad
• Royal Bank of Scotland and Lombard support company with funding deal

Left to Right - Andy Herrington Owner of Ainsty Ales with Gary Butterfield from Royal Bank of Scotland

Following two successful years in business, developing the Ainsty Ales brand across the Greater York Region, local entrepreneur Andy Herrington has opened up his own craft-ale micro-brewery.

Funded with support from Royal Bank of Scotland and Lombard, the brewery, which is located at Manor Farm Buildings on Intake Lane, Acaster Malbis, York, will produce 1,080 gallons of cask-ale per week to begin with and will house production of all six Ainsty Ales core-beers.

Established in 2014, Ainsty Ales is the brewery behind the popular ‘Flummoxed Farmer’, ‘Wankled Waggoner’ ales and will be imminently adding ‘Ainsty Angel’ a 3.7% Pale Ale, ‘Crafty Chocolatier’ a 4.8% Chocolate-Porter, ‘Kolkata Karma’ a 5.0% IPA and ‘Moloko Mild’ a 3.9% Mild. The brand has developed a strong following in the region with its products being sold in a wide range of pubs, sports clubs and hotels in the Greater York area as well as in 12 local Costcutter stores.

To date the firm had ‘cuckoo brewed’ its products at both the local Blass Castle Brewery and larger Hambleton’s Brewery but increasing demand for the brewer’s beers has necessitated the creation of its own production facility. The opening is a major step in Ainsty Ales Breweries impressive growth strategy which is now focussed on securing distribution in more outlets across the region. The firm also plans to introduce its products to outlets in London and is actively pursuing exporting opportunities with the help of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Royal Bank of Scotland has supported the development of the micro-brewery and Lombard, the bank’s asset finance arm has also provided finance for brew-kit, three fermenting vessels and three conditioning tanks.

Ainsty Ales Brewery has recently been shortlisted for the 2016 New Business Award in The Press Business Awards 2016 which are run by The York Press.

Andy Herrington, Owner of Ainsty Ales Brewery, said: “I am thrilled that the company has developed so quickly and that we have now found ourselves in the position of opening our own micro-brewery.

“Brewing started out as a hobby for me and I am so pleased that I am able to run a business I am passionate about. When setting up Ainsty Ales, I focused on developing the products and promoting the brand locally so that I knew we had a solid customer base in place before making the huge investment into our own brewery. I think this strategy has really paid off and I am confident now that the business can sustain the costs of its own brewery. The site has plenty of capacity to accommodate our growth and we will be able to produce double the volumes of ales we currently brew. I am really excited about the future and focussed on increasing sales throughout the country and abroad.

“Royal Bank of Scotland and Lombard have been extremely supportive of my business plans and it has been great to work alongside Gary Butterfield and Tracy Brown who have provided a great deal of guidance throughout this process.”

Gary Butterfield, Business Manager at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Andy’s passion for his business is plain to see and it is great to work with him to support the growth of the business. He has created an excellent micro-brewery facility and I am looking forward to being a part of the firm’s expansion.”

Ainsty Ales Brewery is currently organising its third annual “Coptoberfest”, a charity beer festival in St. Giles Church Copmanthorpe, on 14h & 15th October, to raise funds for local charities and organisations.

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East Yorkshire brewery shortlisted in Hull Daily Mail Business Awards

A Yorkshire coast brewery has been shortlisted for the Exporter of the Year award in the Hull Daily Mail Business Awards 2016.

Wold Newton based Wold Top Brewery has built on its local following and has created a thriving export business that includes regular deliveries of Wolds brewed beer to Italy, Sweden, Norway, Finland, The Falkland Islands, Ireland and Canada.

Kate Balchin, the brewery’s Export and Accounts Manager, said; “For a small brewery, we export a significant percentage of our beer and we’re delighted to reach the final in the Exporter of the Year category in these awards.”

The judges, Helen Roberts, HR director at KCOM; Victoria Jackson MBE, founder of Kingston Recruitment and Jan Brumby, chief executive of For Entrepreneurs Only, were looking for businesses that have developed new markets outside of Hull and the East Riding. Wold Top Brewery and Heald Ltd are the two finalists and the results will be announced at the Hull Daily Mail Business Awards ceremony at Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel in Willerby on November 17th.

The Exporter of the Year award is sponsored by Associated British Ports.

Farm-based Wold Top Brewery brews award winning beer ale from home and Wolds grown malting barley, hops and pure, chalk-filtered Wolds water. Its beer is available through the Wold Top website, independent and multiple retailers, farm shops, delis, hotels, pubs and off licences throughout Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

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Rudgate Ruby Mild takes Overall Champion at SIBA North East Beer Competition

Rudgate’s Ruby Mild has been named Overall Champion at the Society of Independent Brewers’ (SIBA) North East Beer competition, taking place at the York CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival, Knavesmire Racecourse, York.

Maxim Brewery also took home a top prize, winning overall champion in the small pack (bottle and can) competition with their bottled premium strong beer, Maximus.

Commenting on the quality of winners, SIBA Chairman and beer judge, Guy Sheppard said,

“There were some excellent beers in the competition in great condition and the winners deserve huge praise for setting themselves apart, but I’d like to thank all of those who entered as the standard of entries from across the North East was very high this year. All of these breweries are producing fantastic beer which can be sampled at the beer festival in coming days.”

Winner of the Overall Champion of the Competition, Ruby Mild, is brewed by Rudgate Brewery’s Craig Lee,

“Its fantastic to win overall champion in the SIBA North East competition as it proves we’re making consistently excellent beers and makes me proud of everyone at the brewery. I’m very, very happy to be taking home this award.”

The small pack winner was Maximus by Maxim brewery. Managing Director Mark Anderson commented,

“We’re really pleased that one of our flagship beers Maximus has been recognised by beer tasters and brewers its a great result for us to win the SIBA competition. We hope this award will mean Maximus can be drunk by more people across the country!”


For further information email

To see the full list of winners please visit the competition page.

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Great Newsome Brewery awarded 3 Great Taste Stars!

East Yorkshire’s hidden gem, Great Newsome Brewery has been awarded the highest of accolades in the 2016 Great Taste Awards, winning 3 Great Taste Stars for its Liquorice Lads Stout. The award winning beer is brewed using real liquorice root and named after the men living in and around Pontefract, who dug the liquorice root by hand and hence were known as the Liquorice Lads.

“The Great Taste Awards are acknowledged worldwide and are probably the most trusted of all the food and drink awards “commented Matthew Hodgson, brewery owner, “to be awarded 3 stars is a huge achievement for the brewery” he added.

The judges called Liquorice Lads Stout an “interesting and exciting beer” also noting “its balance is expert, nothing over riding the other elements of this superbly crafted, accessible beer”

“As a brewery we pride ourselves on taking great care in terms of the quality of the product we produce, and being based on a farm means the provenance of all our ingredients is very important to us” said Matthew.” I believe this award clearly demonstrates how important these values are to the Great Newsome brand,” he added.

For further information contact
Matthew Hodgson
Tel: 01964 612201
Or visit our website :

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Wold Top Brewery wins national award and is shortlisted for another

In the space of just one week, the team at Wold Top Brewery has picked up two awards and a place in the final of a regional food and drink awards for its coastal inspired beer.

Just days after being awarded a bronze medal at the International Beer Challenge, the Wold Newton brewery’s Scarborough Fair IPA was awarded Highly Commended in the Great British Food Awards this week and has also been shortlisted in the Best Drink Product category of Yorkshire Life magazine’s annual Food and Drink awards.

Kate Balchin, accounts and export manager at the brewery, said: “In the space of just three weeks Scarborough Fair IPA has won a national beer award, been highly commended in one prestigious food and drink award and shortlisted in another – it’s amazing!

“We’re very proud that Scarborough Fair has been acknowledged as an award winning beer in two different competions, and it would be fantastic if we were to win the treble with a Yorkshire Life award too.”

Brewed from Wolds-grown malt, a blend of triple hops, maize and chalk-filtered water from the farm’s own borehole, Scarborough Fair IPA has previously won a 2 Star Gold in the Great Taste Awards from The Guild of Fine Food.

The results of the Yorkshire Life awards will be announced during an evening celebration hosted by TV news presenter Claire Montgomery on Monday, September 26th at Rudding Park in Harrogate.

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SIBA Members invited to book launch of ‘Beer and Pubs: a Global Perspective’ in York

The Editors of a new brewing book have extended an an invite to SIBA Members. The official launch of Brewing, Beer and Pubs: a Global Perspective will be held at York Brewery on Friday 15 July 2015 – starting at 5.00pm, with a public debate running from 5.30pm until 7.00pm.

The debate will see the participation of Professor Charlie Bamforth (UC Davis), Mike Benner (SIBA) and Greg Mulholland MP (APP Save the Pub Group). It also forms part of the York City of Ale Festival which will be ongoing that week.

The event is free of charge but please email Gina at to reserve a place (first-come first-served policy applied due to limited capacity of premises). Drinks and light refreshments to follow the debate.

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Cheers! Cullercoats Brewery raises £25,000 for the RNLI

Cullercoats Brewery has raised £25,000 for the RNLI with the sale of over 835,000 pints of beer inspired by the heroism of their local lifeboat crew.

The brewery, established by Bill and Anna Scantlebury in 2011, is a staunch supporter of the lifeboat charity and donates 3p for every pint sold

Bill said he was thrilled the brewery’s fundraising has raised such a significant milestone, adding: ‘Having lived in Cullercoats for over twenty years and seen the RNLI crew in action and training every week, I’ve always admired their dedication and bravery. Those who live by the sea are always in awe of the RNLI volunteers, and we can all do our bit to support their critical work saving lives at sea.

‘I’ve surfed in the past, been caught in a rip tide, and am all too aware of how easily I could be that person hoping the RNLI will reach me in time. Hats off to them – corporate fundraising is a financial challenge for such a small business but it’s easy compared to the work the charity’s volunteers do.’

Two of the beers, Lovely Nelly and Jack The Devil, draw on the history of RNLI lifeboats at Cullercoats, particularly the stormy events of New Year’s Day 1861 when local fisherwomen pulled the lifeboat two miles to launch it at Whitley Bay.

The lifeboat was launched into rough seas to rescue the crew of the Lovely Nelly which had run aground off Cullercoats Bay. Among the lifeboat crew was bowman John Chisholm, whose nickname was Jack the Devil. All lives on board the Lovely Nelly were saved except one 12-year-old cabin boy, Thomas Thomson.

The brewery supplies its real ales to pubs in the Newcastle and Northumberland areas and around the UK and has won awards for Jack the Devil, as well as other beers Rocket Brigade IPA and Polly Donkin Oatmeal Stout.

David Wakenshaw, Chairman of Cullercoats RNLI, said: ‘We are extremely grateful to Bill and Anna for their continued support, which really does make a huge difference to the work of our charity. The RNLI relies on fundraising and donations from the public and so contributions like this are vital if our volunteer crews are to continue saving lives at sea.

‘We love the fact that the beers are inspired by the history and bravery of Cullercoats lifeboat crews in the past, and hopefully everyone who buys a pint pauses to think about the work of the RNLI before they take a sip!’

For more information about Cullercoats Brewery and its links with the RNLI, go to: []

Picture captions

1. Bill and Anna Scantlebury and son Ben receive a plaque from Cullercoats RNLI volunteers to thank them for their fundraising efforts. Credit RNLI/Michael Scott

Notes to editors

Cullercoats Brewery is a 10 barrel brewery on Tyneside, run by Bill and Anna Scantlebury with the help of assistant brewer Sean Hardy. It brews all English beers mainly for the pub trade but also in bottles for independent off licences and restaurants. Production is about 5000 pints per week, 5 cores ales and usually 5 or more specials available. 3p of every pint sold is donated to RNLI.

Cullercoats Brewery only uses English Malt and hops and their own strain of yeast, to produce a wide variety of styles of beer. Recent successes have been the Dry Hop Project beers, highlighting the huge variety and quality of English grown hops, and the Shipping Forecast Series, focussing on the different varieties of malt. The Fortified Series harks back to an 18th century tradition of blending a rich matured strong ale with a newly brewed weaker one, and is proving very popular. These types of beer are often rare treats in the brewing world, and certainly ones to look out for.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact RNLI PR Manager, North, Alison Levett on 07786 668912 or at or Cullercoats Brewery’s Anna Scantlebury on 07837 637615

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 220 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 141,000 lives.

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Are restaurants missing out on the craft-brewed beer boom?

New research shows 1 in 3 people would visit restaurants more often if they served a range of independent craft brewed beer
New independent research released by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) shows that more than 1 in 3 people would visit restaurants more often if they served a range of craft brewed British beer.
The organisation say that despite the growth in the popularity of craft-brewed beer the majority of restaurants in the UK are not meeting the consumer demand. SIBA would like to set up meetings with small and large restaurants chains to offer them a solution that suits their business so they can benefit from the growing interest in craft brewed beer. SIBA are also encouraging their brewing members to use this research to open doors with their own local, independent restaurants.
Nick Stafford, SIBA’s Operation’s Director said, “Craft-brewed beer is growing in popularity across the UK and the restaurants which have recognised this and started to serve a range of interesting, flavoursome beers have thrived. Unfortunately though most restaurants don’t put in the same effort when it comes to beer as they do when selecting their wine list, something our new research suggests could be seriously damaging their commercial potential. 
This new research shows that over a third of people would visit restaurants more if they served craft-brewed beer. It seems consumers are wanting more than the traditional brands associated with perhaps an Indian or Italian restaurant. SIBA has access to thousands of different beers and therefore we would like to work with restaurants in the UK to create the right beer solutions for their businesses.”
SIBA currently represents more than 850 independent brewers who brew in excess of 5,000 different beers that offer a wide range of colours, tastes, strengths and styles. SIBA’s ‘BeerFlex’ service is already used by many of the large pub-companies to supply their pubs with independently brewed craft beer from SIBA members, and the not-for-profit organisation say the model is now being adapted to work for restaurants too, with a focus on bottle, canned and kegged beer, which is easier for restaurants to store and for their staff to manage.
“The advances made in quality bottled, canned and craft-keg beer means that it has never been easier for outlets beyond pubs to sell beer. Craft-brewed, canned beer generally comes in smaller 330ml cans, which can be stacked, fit neatly in fridges and get cool quickly – making them the perfect choice for restaurants who want to serve beer but don’t have the space or expertise to look after draught beer lines.”  Nick added.
It’s clear that the quality of beer in the UK has never been better and there has never been this much choice. From classic British Golden Ales, stouts and porters, to American influenced IPAs and Pale Ales, or even Belgian inspired saisons and sour beers – the breadth of styles being brewed in the UK in 2016 is staggering.
One restaurant which is getting it right, and was named the UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant by SIBA is Bundobust in Leeds, which fuses Indian street food with local and international craft beer.
“Beer was always going to be the star of the show at Bundobust. We took the nations favourite drink & the nations favourite food & put them together in a unique way. We have a beer list of 90 beers all of them complement our Indian street food. From Hoppy IPAs & pales, to salty goses brewed with coriander, & wheat beers that complement & cut through the spice. Bombay Dazzler, our house beer brewed by the local Northern Monk, is a Witbier brewed with Belgian yeast, coriander, ginger & cardamom. It’s light & easy & is the perfect accompaniment to our food. We are a casual Indian restaurant & we feel there is no better drink than beer to go with our food.” Said Mark Husak, owner of Bundobust in Leeds, who adds that the tide is turning and more restaurants are now discovering the importance of a good beer list to their business.
 ”Until recently the standard of beer in restaurants has been pretty poor. Even in high end places where the wine lists were amazing, beer was always a second thought & main stream brews were the only ones on offer. Thankfully this is changing & forward thinking restaurants are starting to have cracking beer lists. From burger places like MeatLiquour & Byron to high end restaurants like Hawksmoor & Manchester House, beer with its many complex varieties & styles is being taken seriously & often is a better choice than wine. What’s better than a Belgian Wit with Fish & Chips, an IPA with a curry, or a Barley Wine with a cheese board” Mark added.
Eight UK restaurants serving craft-brewed beer 
East of England 
The Brewery Tap, Peterborough 
The combination of delicious, authentic Thai dishes served alongside Oakham brewery’s famously hoppy, aromatic beers is a winning one. Add to that the setting, with the restaurant perched on a mezzanine floor overlooking the bar and brewery, and you’ve got a restaurant unlike anywhere else in the UK.
Purecraft Bar & Kitchen, Birmingham & Nottingham
Craft-brewed beer is front and centre in Purecraft, with an extensive draught beer and bottled menu and a food offering that not only pairs the dishes with different beers but even features them too – how does Bavette steak with beer butter followed by Odells Cutthroat Porter Sticky Toffee Pudding sound?
North East 
Bundobust, Leeds
SIBA’s Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant 2016, Bundobust is a must-visit in a city blessed with more than it’s fair share of excellent specialist beer bars and eateries. Extra points can also be awarded for being a vegetarian restaurant that meat-lovers still flock to – when the beer and bhajis are this good who needs beef?
Honorable mention: Star Inn the City, York
A Michelin starred riverside restaurant serving fantastic beer in a cosy, pub-like setting.
North West     
Manchester House, Manchester
Aiden Byrne’s lavish restaurant is hotly tipped for a Michelin star so go now before it gets one and the bookings sky-rocket even further. Also make sure you have a look at the excellent beer menu when visiting as it is well-chosen, largely local, and perfectly suited for pairing with the exciting dining menu. Surely a model for other high-end restaurants to follow.
Timberyard, Edinburgh
The fresh, modern menu at Edinburgh’s Timberyard is complemented by an equally well-chosen and distinctly unusual beer list which focusses on British brewers doing something a little bit different. Whether it’s a sour style from Burning Sky Brewery or a saison or well-hopped pale ale from Wild Beer Co or The Kernel, the beers are as precise and well-thought out as the food.
South East 
Duke’s Brew & Que, London
The original home of the excellent Beavertown brewery, Duke’s Brew & Que specialises in authentic American barbecue and an extensive beer list comprising cask, craft keg, bottled and canned beers from Beavertown and other local breweries. The original beer & BBQ spot is still a must-visit if in London.
South West
Wild Beer at Jessop House, Cheltenham
Run by the excellent South West brewery Wild Beer Co, this is a restaurant that takes it’s beer seriously but delivers it with a laid-back atmosphere and effortlessness that has to be experienced to be believed. Seasonal, modern fare is perfectly suited to pairing with Wild Beer Co’s varied and often unusual beers, which range from rich red-wine-like ales to sharp, bright and citrussy sours.
Wales & West
Urban Tap House, Cardiff
Definitely more of a pub than a restaurant, but how could we feature Wales and not talk about SIBA’s Independent Craft Beer Pub of the Year The Urban Taphouse and their awesome beer and burgers? The combination of Tiny Rebel’s amazing beers and a great range of house-made burgers is a simple formula that never fails to impress.
For further information contact PR & Marketing Manager Neil Walker on 07493 883 273 or email 
The research was conducted by independent research company M&C Allegra Foodservice.

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New brewer joins the Taylor’s team

Heriot Watt trained Gordon McCallum has recently joined the five strong team of brewers at Timothy Taylor’s in Keighley. He takes up the role of Junior Brewer to coincide with the imminent retirement of Peter Eells and promotion of Andrew Leman to Head Brewer.

Gordon states ’‘It is a dream come true working for Timothy Taylor’s. When I reached an appropriate age, my father introduced me to Taylor’s beers as the pinnacle of real ale. I have enjoyed drinking them ever since that day and now count myself lucky learning how to brew that unique Taylor’s taste’’

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