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Brass Castle Brewery, Sunshine

We could talk to people like Phil Saltonstall for days. Phil is the founder of Brass Castle Brewery and he’s proper interesting. Even by Yorkshire standards.

Taking a break from the oh so dull job that being a helicopter pilot in the RAF must be, he followed his wife Harriet, a diplomat in the United Nations, to New York. Swapping East Yorkshire for the Lower West Side Phil began some home brewing experiments in their Manhattan apartment. And it didn’t stop there. During a meal at the UN and a chance meeting with a fellow guest with a brewery connection, Phil found himself working as a “brew monkey” at a Princeton based microbrewery.

Returning to their native Yorkshire in 2011 Phil and Harriet started brewing using a one barrel kit in their home in Brass Castle Hill. Using the small brewery experience gained from their time in America and with a focus on selling beer in local bars, restaurants and bottle shops in the same way that they had witnessed in New York, it was here that the Brass Castle nano-Brewery was born.

Within two months Brass Castle had won Champion Beer at the York CAMRA Beer Festival. As they outgrew their advanced homebrew setup an opportunity arose to use Lord Halifax’s historic Garrowby Estate brewhouse. It was here that Sunshine (this week’s beer) was first made.

In late 2013 they relocated to Malton, often heralded as the foodie capital of Yorkshire. Operating an "open doors" policy the brewery is always open to visitors and passersby. There are no formal brewery tours but instead, if anyone is interested they are welcome to pay a visit and get an informal tour of the brewery for free. There’s also a tap room which opens once a month and a homebrew workshop on site.

Brass Castle Brewery now consists of five “beer evangelists”, turning out about 120 casks of a range of award winning, thoughtful and vegan-friendly beers each week.

This week’s beer, aptly named Sunshine is described as a hybrid of a traditional English IPA using Yorkshire malts and yeasts with bold new world hops. The result is a very clear beer, something that Phil attributes to the yeasts used and is remarkably balanced despite the 100 IBU claim (for non beer geeks this means that the beer should be very bitter). This is a great example of just how diverse the world of the IPA is and it is no shock that it won the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) 2015 Champion Bottled Beer of Britain for beers over 5% abv.

Serve this beer chilled so just over a half hour in the fridge should do it. Maybe sit outside and enjoy the sunset too.



Vital Statistics

Style: IPA

Ingredients: Yorkshire malts and hops, only with a pile of new world hops for fruity citrus bite

ABV: 5.7%

OG 1.061

IBU 97-100


Food pairings

Phil says that this beer is served in his local curry house where it has replaced the stereotypical cold beer synonymous with a curry. We are pretty hooked on Maunika Gowardhan’s Cook in a Curry book at the moment so we’re going to go with the vegan friendly sweet and sour lentil dal. We hope that Phil and you will approve.



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