Bridestones Brewing

Brewery Profile

The simple yet appealing branding for Bridestones Brewing

I first encountered Bridestones Brewing’s beer on hand pump at Leeds’ North Bar. It was a grim snowy evening and their Winter Stout was the perfect remedy. The simple branding and the taste of the warming roasted stout was the perfect antidote for the Winter Blues. A few months later I spotted their American Pale Ale at Bradford Beer Festival. It was fresh with tart citrus and earthy American Hops. I sadly missed out on their offerings at Leeds Beer Festival later on as the Whisky Beer had all been supped by the time I gained admission.

A month or two ago I received an invitation from a couple of friends to have Sunday lunch in Hebden Bridge. After lunch I persuaded my fellow diners to take a drive out to an old country pub called The New Delight Inn. By using my newly purchase iPod version of The Good Beer Guide I knew this pub was owned by the same people who own the Bridestones Brewing. This would hopefully provided the pleasure of drinking those fine ales as close to the source as possible.

The New Delight Inn and a Bridestones Brewery poster in the window

The Brewer

So where better to start than to hear from the brewer at Bridestones Brewing, Dan Tasker.

Rob Derbyshire HopZine Co-Editor – Can you give us a little background on the Bridestone Brewery and how you started?

Dan Taster owner/Brewer of Bridestones Brewing –The brewery commenced brewing operations in May 2006, this incredibly is our 4th year anniversary and the time has flown!! The brewery was born out of the fact my family bought the New Delight Inn which I ran from 2002 – 2009 when I had to leave to concentrate more fully on the brewery. I was sick of paying other brewers (albeit for quality beer) and wanted to get in on the act. The family still own and run the pub ably assisted by some incredible staff. The brewery is solely mine although I have an office manager/sales assistant Fay who is integral to the running of the operation.”

RD – What style of beer do you brew and why do you brew the types of beers that you produce?

DT – Originally started with 1 beer called (and still is at the New Delight) Bottleneck Bride, this is now more widely known as Pennine Gold. The next brew out was a complete disaster as I tried to brew a beer solely with Crystal malt – thinking this was how you did a dark beer. Naive and expensive mistake!! Going back through the brewing records we have brewed almost 50 different beers and I can honestly say I have been happy with the vast majority. The range has settled down now to 4 core beers; Sandstone 3.9%, Pennine Gold 4.3%, Dark Mild 4.5% and American Pale Ale 5% supplemented with a couple of monthly specials if we have the capacity!”

The type of beer I brew stems simply from selfishness. I like pale hoppy beers and this is the variety I produce! I do try and be considerate to other drinkers needs and have won awards for the Dark Mild and stout and occasionally produce ruby beers but in the main the concentration is on pale ales.

RD – What are your ideals and goals as a brewer? What are your future plans for the brewery?

DT – As for ideals and goals I don’t know. I am very happy in my job and would like to see the brewery grow, however, I would not want to relinquish brewing responsibility so this is a limiting factor in how big the operation can be. I think a maximum of 20BBL which would quadruple the existing size would be more than adequate. I would also dearly love our existing government and indeed successive governments to stop inflicting pain and burdensome taxation on an industry that is already over regulated and is given a frequent kicking by the mass media. Pubs are good and perhaps this recession has been good for increasing the quality of the remaining pub stock – some good operators will sadly have been put out of business, however it has mainly been the poorly run pubs that have gone to the wall notably in tied estates.

RD – Who are you influences as a brewer?

TD – As a brewer I like the intensely hoppy American IPA’s notably Goose Island’s, I have a lot of respect for Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery and admire Brew Dog’s courting of the media and Portman Group. Dave Porter deserves a mention for helping many craft brewers set-up and also for the wonderful after sales support he provides.”

Three great Yorkshire ales with a nod of the head to hoppy American brews.

The Beers

Coiners 4.1% ABV
A pale amber ale with a soapy white head. With a gorgeous big sweet aroma of sugar cane or fudge. Some fresh hops sneak in the backdoor. A wet and refreshing mouthful of fresh hops without becoming resinous. A good amount of caramel malt and pale stone fruits. It ends with a lingering bitter aftertaste of soft malt and balanced hops.

Flockin’ Ale 4.3% ABV

This ale doesn’t use the bold Bridestone branding but uses a black and white photograph by Leanne Bolger. The beer has a rich mahogany body with a ruby tint around the edges. A creamy off white head sits on top. A darker beer than I expected. On the nose you get raisins, a little roasted beef and molasses. There is some of that ratty “farmyard” about it too. When you taste it is very smooth and medium bodied with lots of roasted malt before a burst of hops. There is certain tartness like black coffee. I wish more bitters were like this.

Pennine Gold 4.5% ABV

A well-filtered golden ale topped with a creamy white head. There wasn’t a great deal to report from the aroma but I did get impressions of apricots and hops behind a prominent scent of sweet malt. Once you begin to drink it you can tell it’s a Bridestones beer they all have a familiar flavour, I think it’s the backbone of sweet pale malt. The malt is once again edging towards caramel and biscuit. The hop presence is very well judged and plentiful compared with other English golden ales. Fuggles and Golding a-plenty on a very clean and easy drinking beer..

For you information visit:

Bridestones Brewing l Smithy Farm, Long Causeway, Blackshawhead,
Hebden Bridge,

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