If I had to describe my ideal way to relax after a long day, it would be me, feet up in front of the fire, a good book in one hand, and a pint of craft ale in the other.
I’m a fan of proper ales, not watered-down lagers you buy in cans from your local supermarket, which is why I’ve been looking forward to writing this week’s post for quite some time. As you can probably guess from the title, today I’ll be looking at breweries to visit in the UK.
Over the last few years, the craft ale and brewery industry in the UK has grown hugely, and now there are more micropubs and microbreweries in operation across the UK than ever before, and that number is growing.
Today, though, it’s not microbreweries I’m talking about, but rather large scale breweries that make for the perfect day out.
Here’s my look at the se7en most interesting breweries to visit in the UK.
Robinson’s Brewery, Lancashire
Up first, I’m going to take you up North, to Stockport, Lancashire, in fact, to Robinson’s Brewery.
Lancashire is home to many classics, including delicious hot pots and Eccles cakes. It turns out, though, that Lancashire is also renowned for its real ales, which is why Robinson’s Brewery is so popular.
Robinson’s is actually one of the eldest independent breweries in all of the British Isles and it is real ales which they specialise in.
The tour of the brewery will take roughly an hour. During this time you’ll see how the ale is brewed, you’ll learn the history behind the brewery, and you will of course also get to sample some of their brews. In fact, you’ll get to try three 1/3 of pint samples.
There’s also the option to upgrade to their ‘Golden Ticket’ whereby you will receive a gift set, plus you can sample twice as much ale at their Unicorn Bar.
Beavertown Brewery, London
Up next we’ll travel down south to the nation’s capital to experience the Beavertown Brewery tour.
Located in Tottenham, North London, the Beavertown Brewery tour is well worth a visit.
Beavertown is responsible for some delicious ales, including their Neck Oil beer which is a big hit with beer drinkers across the land.
For the perfect day out, head over to their taproom before enjoying a guided tour around the brewery where you can see how the beers are made and maybe even enjoy a sample or two.
Hawkshead Brewery, Cumbria
Now we’re going to one of the most picturesque and beautiful parts of the UK, the Lake District, Cumbria.
Situated in the heart of the Lake District, Hawkshead Brewery makes for the perfect day out. If you like your beers unique and have many different tastes and preferences, you’ll love this tour as Hawkshead specialise in a number of different beers and ales.
The brewery tour is fantastic and is what you’d expect to find in the lake district, complete with cask wooden barrels for tables, and stacked up wooden pallets for benches.
Tours take place each day at 1 pm, there are samples, and there is also a restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious meal and wash it down with a pint or bottle of your favourite Hawkshead brew.
The Leeds Brewery Tour, Yorkshire
No prizes for guessing where this next brewery tour is located.
The Leeds Brewery tour is perfect because, if you’re greedy like me and you find that just one brewery per visit isn’t enough, you can enjoy four.
Yep, located in the cultural and historic city of Leeds, The Leeds Brewery tour is home to four breweries.
This is one you’ll definitely need to leave the car at home for because you can begin by visiting the North Brewing Co’s taproom and enjoy a series of unique creations, before moving on to Bundobust. Bundobust is perfect as it offers craft beer and Indian street food. Indian food pairs up very well with beer, and my oh my, will you find out just how well here.
Next up, once your food has digested, you can move onto American-style brewery ‘Tapped’, who specialise in kegs and casks of beer, before finally taking a guided tour at the Northern Monk Brewery.
Bristol Beer Factory, Bristol
Now we’re heading to the stunning Southwest of England to visit the Bristol Beer Factory.
This brewery started from humble beginnings back in 2004, as back then they would only produce a small amount of cask-conditioned ales, which proved to be massive hits. As time went by they expanded and they now offer a huge variety of bottled, and cask ales which are popular across much of the UK.
The tour itself is well worth it as it lasts for two hours, you’ll see how the beer is made, you’ll learn about its history, you will get three pints to enjoy, you’ll get a bottle to take away, plus you’ll receive a 10% discount on any products you purchase once the tour has ended.
At just £20 per head, this is probably the most generous tour I’ve come across so far, so what are you waiting for?
Brewdog Brewery, Ellon, Scotland
If you thought it was just Whisky that Scotland was famous for, you’ve obviously never visited the Brewdog brewery in Ellon.
Located in the lush countryside north of Aberdeen, this state-of-art brewery is one of the most advanced breweries of its kind. Brewdog has absolutely smashed it over the last decade and they are now one of the best-known names in the world of ale. They’re also the world’s first crowdfunded brewery and are now worth a staggering $2 Billion!
If you want to enjoy a ‘DogWalk’ brewery tour (more evidence of their clever marketing there) you can see the Brewdog HQ, you can see the brewhouse, you can learn more about the brand and the beer, and you can enjoy 4 tastings.
For just £15, and with tours lasting 90 mins, this is the perfect way to spend an afternoon before exploring more of Bonnie Scotland.
York Brewery, Yorkshire
Finally, let’s go back to one of my favourite UK cities – York.
Set within the historic walls of the city of York, the York Brewery was actually the first working brewery located within the walls for more than four decades.
Each day (other than Monday) the brewery hosts four guided tours where you will begin in the taproom to enjoy a tipple before the tour begins. Next, you’ll explore the brewery and see how their ales are made, before enjoying a series of samples.
In particular, their ‘Guzzler’ and ‘Yorkshire Terrier’, and ‘Minster’ (named after York Minster) are huge hits and if you sample them for yourself, you’ll know exactly why that is.
Now you are ready for the perfect day out! Which one is your favourite?
Until next time stay safe, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!