>Visiting WharfeBank Brewery
Yesterday morning we attended the official opening of WharfeBank Brewery. Despite only being a recent addition to Yorkshire’s brewing fraternity they’re causing a ripple already with their full-bodied ruby beer CamFell Flame winning Beer of the Festival at the Leeds Beer Festival this year.
We timed our arrival perfectly to coincide with that morning’s mashing in, which unleashed great malt-scented clouds of steam up into the rafters; no matter how many times you smell it, it always takes me by surprise at how wonderfully comforting it all is. Tony Jenkins, working tirelessly throughout the day, took us through the process, the equipment itself, and the genesis of their core beers.
WharfeBank currently brew three core ales: Tether Blond (4.1%abv), Slingers Gold (3.9%abv) and the aforementioned CamFell Flame (4.4%abv). Seeing the hops piled high in the cold storeroom, I remark that there seems to be a lean towards high-alpha hops (which I’m happy to see), and Tony concedes that the recipes have been formulated to simply give new twists on traditional tastes. This seems like simplicity itself, but as an ethos it’s a good one.
Taste-wise, the beers are certainly very good. CamFell remains my personal favourite of the stable, full of gently roasted flavours and an ever-so-subtle coffee aftertaste. It’s a surprisingly light beer for one with such a deep, rounded flavour, and is dangerously sessionable. Sessionable seems to be a pre-requisite, as Tether Blond is refreshing; super-pale and loaded with fragrant citrus notes. Slingers Gold continues that citrusy freshness on the nose but is smoother and fuller in the body.
WharfeBank is the baby of Martin Kellaway, an ex-cricketer who dived into the world of brewing whilst working with Caledonian and Fuller’s. He also owned the Fox & Newt Brewpub for a while as a tenant landlord and began crafting beers on their on-site kit. After gaining some investment through local grants and supporters, WharfeBank was born.
He should be proud; the brewery itself is all excitingly shiny and new, and the staff were only too-happy-to-help. The opening itself was a success; plenty of people there, some wonderful locally-sourced barbecue to go with the beer, and I’m sure that when Lib Dem MP and all-round-good guy Greg Mulholland formally declared WharfeBank open, the team breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Leeds-wise ,Wharfebank’s beers are currently available at The Grove, and will be available in Wetherspoon’s shortly. If you are a pub who wants to get WharfBank’s wares on the bar, then jump over to their website (linky above) for details. Special thanks to Tony Jenkins and Dhiraj Pujari.
Posted on 17/07/2010, in beer history, beer in leeds, beer in yorkshire, Beer Review, CamFell, Slinger's Gold, Tether Blond, WharfeBank Brewery. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.
>God, you're spoiled for breweries.
>At the moment, there seems to be something in the air. Quite a few springing up. It's not all bad, 'up north', you know!!
>I was sorry to have missed this, but I just had the week from hell at wok. And I didn't start back from holiday til Wednesday
>Zak, dont you find that the work stacks up so much when you're gone that any relaxation you gained whilst on holiday is eradicated the second you sit back at your desk? Or just me?
>Zak – if you want, give me an email at the brewery and we'll sort something out if you want to come email@example.comCheers,Tony
>Hi Leigh, I noticed a sign had gone up the other day when I drove past but hadn't really heard anything about it before that. It's great that such places are springing up all over the area! I believe they are getting some in at my local (The Junction in Otley) soon and can't wait to try it! Do you know if they plan to bottle any?
>Donk – not sure about bottling yet, but if they do it'll be reported on here – WB beers are getting about now, I hear The Hunters in Pool have them if that's not too far away.