Background to Brewtown
Mark Stredwick is business owner and brewery tour guide for Brewtown Brewery Tours. We met Mark back in summer 2016 when we were both excitedly preparing to launch our new businesses. Mark had recently returned from Australia where he had most recently been a tour guide for Dave’s Brewery Tours in Sydney. A craft beer enthusiast himself Mark was blown away by the number of quality beers being brewed in his home county of Yorkshire and set up Brewtown Brewery Tours as a way of getting visitors to the breweries.
We really got on with Mark and loved the concept of his tours from the outset and were delighted to be able to offer the tours through our website. However, being confirmed wine lovers we were eager to try a tour for ourselves and see what the fuss was all about when it comes to the actual beer!
The Leeds Brewery Tour
Northern Brewing Co.
So, on a chilly Saturday in January we boarded the bus and headed out on a Brewtown Brewery Tour in Leeds with a group of employees from the Queens Hotel. Our first stop was at North Brewing Co. where Mark gave us a history of beer making and talked us through the brewing process. We tried four of their beers in the very cool brewery tap room, complete with deckchairs, fairy lights and table tennis table. Some of the beers were a bit ‘beery’ for my tastes but Transmission, their West Coast IPA wasn’t bad at all. At the end of our hour here I was beginning to get excited about the prospect of a whole new range of drinks for me to enjoy and what delights might await us at our next stop… Northern Monk Brew Co.
Northern Monk Brew Co.
Super-friendly, beer-aficionado Tara led our beer tasting session at Northern Monk and was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their beers and the history of the company. She showed us the brewery and talked to us about the different beers they brew and the inspiration for the often wacky names and flavours. As a group we’d pretty much decided by this second venue that we were less keen on the stouts and porters. Luckily that left a whole range of other beers that appealed to each of us for different reasons. My personal favourite at Northern Monk was the passion-fruit-lassi inspired ‘Northern Tropics’ which was fruity without being too sweet and bizarrely viscous for a beer.
Brewery Tap Leeds
Finally, we end up back by the station at the Brewery Tap Leeds where Mark has reserved us a table and we try our final four beers which have all been paired with an accompany bar snack. We discover that a chocolate porter is vastly improved by pairing it with a chocolate brownie and that anything tastes good with a decent slice of pork pie!
All in all the afternoon was tremendously enjoyable, very informative and a great way to learn about the amazing microbreweries we have around Yorkshire. It’s not just for craft beer enthusiasts but would appeal to anyone with an open mind and a sense of fun. Mark is great company and knows his stuff when it comes to beer and brewing.
The Brewtown Tours
Each of the Brewtown tours is five hours long and they all start and end in either York or Leeds city centre. You will taste four different beers at each brewery which equates to around four pints per person over the five hours. Mark is a stickler for responsible drinking and encourages you to top up with water between rounds and to leave anything you aren’t really enjoying.