It’s been a busy month for Ainsty Ales, with plenty of new developments keeping the team out of mischief. Last week saw the launch of the brewery’s new ale, a permanent addition to the Ainsty brew schedule. ‘Moloko Mild’ is a 3.9% dark mild, boasting a silky mouthfeel and a smooth sweet finish with hints of vanilla.
February has also seen exciting growth and progress for Ainsty. At the start of the month, Sarah Gowers joined the team as Sales Manager, with the aim of increasing sales in the immediate York area before reaching further afield. And - perhaps most exciting of all - March will see the opening of Ainsty’s hotly anticipated tap room and bottle shop, which will adjoin the brewery site in the beautiful village of Acaster Malbis just outside York. We’ve had a few sneak peeks, but we can’t wait to see the space unveiled in its full glory!
The Bad Seed team are never ones for taking it easy, and March looks to be no exception. They’re starting the month by launching a new beer – their ‘Electric: Hard Wired Hopfenweisse’, a classic German wheat beer style with a monster, fruity hop hit.
This month also sees the launch of Bad Seed’s collaboration with Silchester beer buffs Wild Weather Ales: an ultra-hazy, ultra-hoppy New England IPA, cheekily named 'The Great British Opaque Off'. The launch will be held at the Rake Bar in Borough Market, but don’t despair if you aren’t planning to visit the capital any time soon – it’ll also be coming out across Yorkshire in keg and can.
Closer to home, Bad Seed are hosting another launch event at the Woolpack Inn on Fawcett Street in York: this time, it’s a jasmine tea and lemon peel pale ale, the product of their collaboration with Derbyshire brew-newbies Intrepid Brewery.
Brass Castle founder Phil Saltonstall is quite the transatlantic traveller, having recently relocated from Malton to Massachusetts. He’s making the most of his move, however: the end of February sees the beginning of the Brass Castle US Cask Beer Project.
Brass Castle has partnered with four outstanding New England breweries, whose shipment of American cask ale – an enormous rarity in this country, since most US beer comes to the UK in keg or can – will arrive at the Brass Castle tap room at the end of the month. With contributors including Massachusetts staples Aeronaut Brewing and Mayflower Brewing, this is a fascinating opportunity to try some cask concoctions which have never been seen in a UK pub before.
Based in the back room of Pickering pub The Black Swan, new addition to the local beer scene Breworks may be micro-sized, but head brewer Tristan has plenty of big ideas. Currently in the tank is Breworks’ new American pale ale, which due to be launched on March 3rd in conjunction with the reopening of the Black Swan’s in-house cocktail bar Whistlers.
The recent expansion of Brew York’s brewing kit has given the York duo the space to experiment with more collaborations and seasonal specials while still satisfying demand for their ever-popular core range. This month sees the first of these ‘beta’ releases with the launch of 'Amber Herd' a 5.5% American amber ale, and Wayne and Lee will also be brewing the first of their new ‘Chameleon' series of session IPAs with a Citra, Simcoe and Chinook Session IPA.
But the Brew York boys aren’t stopping there – they’re currently in the process of acquiring three further 5000l vessels, which will allow them to produce an even wider range of beers and ensure that more of these make it into cans for distribution.
Transatlantic brews seem to be the flavour of the month this February, with Rudgate working on a collaboration with Hogshead Brewery in Denver, Colorado. This will be exclusively available in Mitchells and Butlers pubs across the UK.
Rudgate are also keeping it local with their March range of specials, fresh from their brewery in the Vale of York. This coming month, look out for ‘Stars and Stripes’, a fruity sensation of an IPA infused with seven different hop types; ‘Jerusalem’, a copper-coloured seasonal ale with blackcurrant aromas; ‘Red Ryder’, a rye beer with subtle hints of lychee; and the aromatic, refreshing ‘Hermione’, a pale ale with a gentle melon aroma.
Tim and Gillian at Yorkshire Heart have their noses to the grindstone at the moment: they’re busy planning their Yorkshire ‘Hearty’ festival. We don’t want to say too much just yet, but it’s bound to be a blast: held over the last weekend of April, the event takes place in their home village of Nun Monkton and will feature six live bands, over twenty real ales, and a wide range of ciders – all from Yorkshire – as well as the vineyard’s very own wines.
For those wanting some instant gratification, keep an eye out for Yorkshire Heart’s current special: a 5.4% oatmeal stout called Pride of Yorkshire, which features the brewery's sales assistant Eden’s horse, Pride, on the pump clip and bottle label.
If that wasn’t enough, Yorkshire Heart are also celebrating the opening of the vineyard’s brand new visitor centre, shop and tap room on site. The doors opened on Saturday February 25th and the team celebrated by running their first ‘Evening in the Vineyard’ dinner and wine-tasting event, which they plan to run monthly throughout the year.