Published on October 16th, 2014 | by Alastair Gilmour


Brewery profile: Rudgate Brewery, North Yorkshire

The brewery’s regulars and seasonals are simply an adventure in ale

The brewery’s location was originally chosen because of the suitability of the area’s water for brewing and its easy access to the distribution network (the A1 runs close by). The 30-barrel brew plant is capable of brewing twice daily.

Only the finest malted barleys are used in a full mash infusion (Pearl is the main grist) while whole English cone hops – also those from New Zealand, Slovenia, Germany and the US – are added to the worts in the copper. The beer is then transferred to open fermenters where Rudgate’s own strain of Yorkshire yeast, originally sourced from the Cannon Brewery in Sheffield (Stones), is added.

But it’s the Yorkshire water that makes all the difference – it needs very little adjustment in the “burtonisation” process to becoming brewing liquor.

Rudgate Brewery, Unit 2 Centre Park, Moor Side, Tockwith, York YO26 7QF Tel: 01423 358382 www.rudgatebrewery.co.uk

Established in 1992, Rudgate seems to have been around for as long as the Roman road it’s named after. The Vikings who took a fancy to York used the road as a direct route to driving the long-settled Romans out of the area.

The beer
It’s a case of where do we start. Rudgate’s permanent portfolio includes Battle Axe (4.2% abv), Jorvik Blonde (5.8% abv), Ruby Mild (4.4% abv) and Viking (3.8% abv). The brewery’s regulars and seasonals are quite simply an adventure in ale and all its flavours and hues (York Chocolate Stout is a cracker).

The awards
Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) Champion Beer of Britain 2009 for Ruby Mild lays down something of a marker with accolades dripping in gold stars earned at beer festivals from Macclesfield to Otley to York and back. Attention to detail is the basis of the business with age-old tradition influencing modern techniques.

Where is it?
In the Vale of York at Tockwith 10 miles to the west of York itself. The original brewery was situated in the former ammunition building of RAF Marston Moor airfield which was home to the Halifax bombers that helped defend the nation during WWII. Now settled in an industrial estate, it is easily reached from J47 of the A1 (A59 turnoff).

About the Author

Alastair Gilmour

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