York meets Lancaster and both are winners
The white rose met the red this week when York Brewery beers were guests of honour at a special ale tasting event hosted by the Waterwitch in Lancaster. Real ale enthusiasts were able to taste five distinctive brews while chatting to York’s general manager, Andrew Whalley, who spoke in very positive terms about the brewery’s future.
Members of Lunesdale Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and other regulars offered enthusiastic support for the venture, a joint promotion by the pub’s management and Mitchell’s of Lancaster, which showcased York’s 3.6% abv Guzzler, a refreshing session bitter, the 3.9% malty Constantine, the ever-popular Yorkshire Terrier (4.2%) and the award winning, full-bodied Centurion’s Ghost (5.4%). New on the scene, and beer of the evening for many, was the magnificently rich Black Bess stout (4.2%), a special brew for St Patrick’s Day.
Asked about the tie-up with Mitchell’s, Mr Whalley said that the development had been in everyone’s interests &mdash the brewery, Mitchell’s, and the thousands of real ale drinkers who stood to benefit in terms of choice and variety. “Mitchell’s don’t want to change what we do, because it’s working so well, and we at York are delighted with the arrangement.”
Mr Whalley, who is also chair of the northern section of SIBA (the independent brewers’ organisation), was upbeat about the future of real ale, despite the crisis that is affecting other areas of the industry. “Cask ale production is increasing, and the indications are that this will continue, thanks largely to the regionals and local micros who put quality and flavour first.”
Quality and flavour were certainly much in evidence on the evening in question. We are grateful to Jane Barnes of the Waterwitch and Emma Procter of Mitchells for organising the event so efficiently, and thank them for their warm welcome and hospitality.