Brew York, Brew York APA
When Wayne Smith and Lee Grabham met at a friend’s stag do they bonded over a mutual love of beer. From being thrown together as drinking buddies their friendship continued to ferment as they became home-brew partners. It was during their homebrew dates that they would put the world to right over a beer or three and, inevitably ask the question,“What if we were to build our own brewery here in York?”
Spurred on by their successes in home-brewing Lee and Wayne took advantage of their separate offers of voluntary redundancy in 2015 and began to turn their pipe dreams into a reality.
Opening a year later Brew York became just the second brewery to open inside York’s historic city walls. The location alongside the River Foss and close to Walmgate is actually the original site of the Jorvik Viking Centre. The Norse gods, who are reputedly fond of a drink and a laugh, must have been looking down on the two of them in their ancient city of Jórvík and having a proper chuckle.
Yes, that popular school trip destination for many of us in the 1980s is now the site of a 20 hectolitre brewhouse and a recently expanded 260HL fermenting and conditioning capacity. Their space is made complete with a fully functioning taproom (above) and riverside beer garden. A place where you can sample seven cask and nine keg beers on rotation. A sort of dog and family friendly Valhalla.
Brew York have not let this sense of place pass them by. Their first commercial beer in 2016 was a smoked porter called Viking DNA. A part nod towards York’s Viking heritage and part homage to the popular, if somewhat pungent, Jorvik Viking Centre.
Since they opened, Brew York has notched up over 40 different beers with a diverse output of seasonal, collaborative and experimental offerings that sit alongside a solid core range. From obligatory classics like a Best Bitter (hey, this is Yorkshire) and craft beer staples such as hop-forward pale ales, these have been complemented with Imperial stouts, smoked porters, and hazy New England hop bombs. If it’s a beer style that they like to drink then Brew York are on it.
It was no easy task to choose this week’s beer from their range but we settled on one of our favourite styles, the American Pale Ale. Not only is Brew York, Brew York the namesake of the brewery it has also become the style to put your stamp on as a modern British brewery. At BeerBods we like our US pales on the juicy end of the hop spectrum rather than being astringent and very bitter. We get that drinkability in spades with this beer. Refreshing, quaffable and with enough malt in its backbone to give it a sense of balance. We think this is the sort of beer that has something for real ale aficionados and craft beer fans alike.
For those of you who want more of this week's beer and would like to try some of the other beers in the Brew York range we have a mixed case on offer. Just for you.