The Great Yorkshire Brewery

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Things to do


Date of travel

December, 2019

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Following on from my celebrated (by me anyway) 200th review, which was about the “North York Moors National Park”: I didn’t anticipate returning to the area quite so soon, but a surprise brewery tour bought as a present took me straight back there.

Which of us males (oh go on then, and females) have not at some time or other messed about with home brew kits, trying to brew that perfect pint? I know I have and so have many of my friends and acquaintances .Tried and failed in most cases.
I’m getting a headache just thinking about it!

Running a pub might have given more of an insight and I remember fondly my holiday visits to the New Inn at Cropton near Pickering in North Yorkshire in the 1980s. This pub, still family owned and operated, started out in the same way, in the cellars of the pub with brew kits.

The resulting brew, called ‘Two Pints’ was sold in the pub and quickly became a favourite of many. The name came from the two brewers who, when arriving home and questioned as to the quantity they had drunk, could honestly answer, “I’ve only had Two PInts”.

The pub itself is homely and down to earth, with friendly staff. It now has 11 en-suite bedrooms for guests whilst a more recent innovation is the small next door campsite which has toilets and running water.

It is for the food that many venture here, however, all of it home cooked using local produce. There is a small beer garden to the side too.

Anyway, back to the beer. Several different brews were produced and once it became clear that the ales were going to be successful, a micro-brewery was opened in a building to the rear of the pub. Over the decades, this has expanded into a new, larger building, with production increasing massively as a consequence.

An international investor in the brewery in 2010 meant a re-branding, with the Yorkshire name prominent. The brewery itself became The Great Yorkshire Brewery, Two Pints ale became Yorkshire Classic, alongside Yorkshire Golden, Cider, Lager and other smaller production ales. Corporate companies often ask for branded beers and one such from here is supplied to the North York Moors Heritage Railway which runs from nearby Pickering. Other brews are destined for both UK and foreign climes, as far away as Australia.

The brewery tours are at 11am and 2pm on most days but must be booked in advance either by calling direct on 01751 417330 or via one of many discount coupon sites.
The tour takes around an hour and includes lunch either after or before the tour. This is no white coated, technical walk and talk, it is pragmatic, very open and friendly, using easily understood terms, with the chance to smell and feel ingredients and see all of the processes from brewing to cask-filling, canning and bottling.

Lunch is taken in the pub and consists of a Yorkshire Pudding Wrap with various choice of fillings, chunky chips and a pot of gravy. There are other items on the menu of course, but the Wrap is included with the price of the tour.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a Yorkshire Pudding Wrap, it has come into vogue in the last few years. Quite simply, it is a giant Yorkshire Pudding, in our case filled with sliced beef and onions, the ends folded, and then rolled and griddled between two hot plates.It can either be hand held or eaten in the usual way. Delicious. One take-away restaurant in York city centre even has a full roast dinner Yorkshire Wrap on offer and the queue is often out of the door.

Each tour includes a wooden tray of three third-pints of different ales or a full pint, and a bottle to take away. Great value, so hop to it!

You can find the New Inn and The Great Yorkshire Brewery just five miles from Pickering at YO18 8HH, on the edge of the Cropton Forest and just five miles south of Rosedale Abbey.


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