WITH a brewing tradition that dates back centuries, Yorkshire is synonymous with a decent pint of the good stuff.
And it seems that the county’s ability to produce some of the world’s best ale is showing no sign of slowing down, with the region’s pubs and breweries boasting more than 100 new entries in the Good Beer Guide 2018.
Published by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), the latest edition features 85 new pub entries across Yorkshire.
But it is a boom in the popularity of small-scale breweries that means it is fast emerging as a capital of craft beer, with an impressive 33 new entries in the beer bible.
The book’s editor Roger Protz said: “It’s fantastic to see a continued growth in local brewing.”
Roosters Brewery, in Knaresborough, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, was one of the first microbreweries to set up in the region and has appeared in the guide every year since the company launched.
Commercial director Tom Fozard said: “It doesn’t surprise me at all that there are so many new entries. In the last five years there has been an increase every year.
“We hear of new breweries opening in Yorkshire all the time. It comes as no shock, as it has got a rich history for brewing beer dating back hundreds of years.
“It puts another focus on the county in terms of it having a great brewing scene.
“Roosters is almost part of the old guard really as we turn 25 next year. I would imagine that back then there weren’t as many start-ups.”
Mr Fozard put the growth down to a sea change, which has seen people revert to buying local produce.
He said: “Whether it’s food or beer, I think there is now much more of a focus on supporting local businesses and eating and drinking local. We went through a stage where there was a mass increase of supermarkets and convenience and there is now this natural pull away from that where people are starting to think ‘if we don’t use local suppliers, they will be gone’.”
Mr Fozard added that the rise of social media had also played its part, with consumers becoming more personally engaged with breweries through the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
“People can share their experience and become more connected with breweries than in the past,” he said.
As well as listing new and existing breweries in the area, the UK’s top pubs are also listed in the guide. Yesterday The Yorkshire Post revealed that the George & Dragon in Hudswell, near Richmond, was named as one of 16 finalists in Camra National Pub of the Year competition, meaning it is in the running to be named the best in the country for a second year in a row. The community pub was recently rescued and refurbished in 2010 and now features its own library, shop, allotments, as well as food and Yorkshire beers.
In total Yorkshire has 394 pubs listed in the guide, which was published in the wake of a report from Camra warning that as many as 28,000 pubs have closed since the 1970s as the sector faces a “ticking timebomb” over its future.
New breweries which feature in the Good Beer Guide 2018 include:
East Yorkshire: Rawcliffe Brewery, Gene Pool Brewing
North Yorkshire: Ainsty Ales, Bilbrough Top Brewery, Brew York, Breworks, Little Black Dog Brewing, Northallerton Brewery, Eyes Brewing, Isaac Poad & Sons
South Yorkshire: Emmanuales, Jolly Boys Brewery, Little Critters Brewery, Mitchell’s Hop House Brewing, Penistone Brewers, Sentinel Brewing, True North Brew
West Yorkshire: Blue Square Brewery, Boothtown Brewery, Chin Chin Brewing, Cobbydale Brewery, Eagles Crag Brewery, Hogs head Brew House, Horbury Ales, Morton Collins Brewery, Steampunk Brewery, Whippet Brewing, Wilde Child Brewing, Nomadic Beers, Zapato Brewery, Frisky Bear Brewing, Golden Owl Brewery, Legitimate Industries Brewery.