Organic beer is becoming pretty popular as an option for craft breweries across the U.S. and in other countries as well. With a large social shift towards clean living, organic food and drinks, and recycling/upcycling, it only makes sense that brewmasters would eventually follow suit. After all, the main ingredients in beer are hops, barley, and yeast, all of which are produced by farms that have begun to shift to sustainable and safe practices over time. With the entire world looking at the future, the brewing industry wisely realized that it was time to look into a niche for this type of beer. Although many thought that organic beer would never make it on the market, they were certainly wrong. The organic brewing trend seems to be holding strong and our hats are off to those who have undertaken this journey.
One such brewing company is Samuel Smith’s Brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England. This place is a playground for brewing expertise and a tour is certainly worth the time! Take a walk with us and learn a bit about the dedication and innovation of this wonderful UK brewing company and how they continue to uphold tradition while providing brews that are tasting pretty darn great.
Samuel Smith’s Brewery was established nearly three centuries ago and the original well is still in use today! Sunk to a depth of 85 feet, this well produces some of the best groundwater in the area and provides plenty for their brewing process overall. As if that wasn’t enough to make us smile, the brewery still uses a cooper to keep their oak kegs in good shape and taps straight from the keg! That is outstanding!
Their fermentation process has us in awe, with all but two of their brews being fermented in stone Yorkshire squares made of slate, just as it has been for all these centuries. The way these guys stick to history is amazing and we salute that effort and the outstanding craftsmanship that has been passed on through the many generations. In addition to their traditional fermentation tanks, Samuel Smith’s has stuck with the same yeast for over one hundred years, providing them with a control against which to compare their newer brews. The use of completely natural ingredients, free of any synthetic treatments, ensures that all but two of their brews are perfect for those who practice a vegan diet.
This brewery does not end their traditional practices there. The brewery still uses a team of beautiful gray Shire horses to make nearby organic beer deliveries every day. While we, here in the U.S. are waiting for parades to see these gorgeous creatures at work, the residents of this brewery’s village have the opportunity to witness it every day. We’re quite sure this creates one very laid back atmosphere, something we could all benefit from!
This delivery system has created more than just Brewing Industry fame. The shire horse, Extra Stout, made Guinness Book of World Records as the both the tallest Shire horse and the heaviest horse in the world at the time. Apparently, their dedication to the breed shows just as much excellence as their beer!
In this article, we have pictures of their Organic Chocolate Stout, which is a great choice on the journey to trying all of their fantastic brews. This one features chocolate malt and organic cocoa and the resulting brew is smooth and absolutely delicious! While we realize that not everyone is a chocoholic, we can’t argue that this organic beer could be the cause of a new sweet tooth or two among craft beer enthusiasts.
Another outstanding brew they produce is their Organic Handcrafted Fruit Beer label. Included in the lineup are Strawberry, Cherry, Raspberry, and Apricot. While it might sound like these are a “weaker” brew, you will be very pleasingly surprised to find that these outstanding barley and wheat blended brews are actually higher in flavor and strength than their counterparts. The mix of barley and wheat is aged longer than other brews and the resulting blend of the brew with the completely organic fruit juice is great!
Besides running more than one top-notch facility, Samuel Smith’s also manages upwards of 200 pubs in England. These old-world style watering holes are small on average and are generally located in old mill and warehouse districts and have remained open, even when other area pubs are closing. The brewery is just as dedicated to serving the public as they are about brewing their organic beer. This means that smaller communities have no need to worry about missing out on the great small town pub revelry.
Stop in at one of the many locations and order yourself an Old Brewery Bitter, Alpine Lager, or even a Cider Reserve and enjoy the atmosphere of the pub while visiting with the locals. We guarantee you’ll love the brew and even have some great stories to take home with you. You might even learn a bit of history from some of the patrons or meet some of your family members from the area (after all, genealogy is a very big thing these days too).
We hope you get the chance to try out some of Samuel Smith’s organic beer. We have and we can’t wait to try another.