By the time you read this North Riding Brewery of East Ayton, near Scarborough, will have become North Riding Brewery of Snainton as the brewery relocates to new premises.
A five mile move down the A170 doesn’t sound like a big deal, does it, but as brewer Stuart Neilsen says, ‘We’re going from cosy to comfortable.’
I went along with him to the old brewery in East Ayton. The small industrial unit was absolutely packed from floor to ceiling with casks. You couldn’t actually get into the cold store, it was that full, and Stuart explained they had to physically move casks in and out to get to the ones at the back. Like he said, they’d burst the seams of the 1300 ft2 premises.
Although, the new brewery, and a few new bits of kit, allows them to step up from a production of 30 barrels a week to 40, it was clear, the driving force behind the move was to create a more efficient, effective and user friendly brewing experience for the staff. As well as Stuart and his business partner Adrian there are currently two full time and one part time member of staff.
As the first tenants of the spacious new build unit in Snainton, they’ve been able to work with a blank canvass. For starters the cold store is four times larger than the previous one and the brewing area itself is about the same size as the entire old brewery. There’s even a purpose built office with French doors looking out into beautiful countryside.
It’s quite interesting to see the bare bones of a stripped back brewery. You don’t realise how big the heavy duty cables are and just how much power an operational brewery uses. Stuart laughed when I pointed it out and said it was a far cry from his early brewing days in the cellar of the North Riding Brewpub, Scarborough’s top pub by a country mile, which Stuart still runs. The 100amp supply to the pub means the 40amp mash tun and similarly rated kettle can never be switched on at the same time without everything going bang!.
I asked Stuart what his plans were for the future? He isn’t planning anything new and intends to continue brewing the same sort of quality beers, just more efficiently in a better environment. It’s obvious there’s a real focus and commitment at North Riding to doing things right. Things like being environmentally friendly and looking after people, that and brewing excellent beer.
The only new feature might be an open day in the Summer. The rural Ryedale setting would make a splendid back drop and there’s a regular bus service along the main road between Scarborough and Pickering.
When I visited they were still waiting for the newly laid, self draining floor to dry out before it could be resin sealed, but Stuart messaged me yesterday to say the all the kit had been installed but not plugged in yet. He expects to start brewing in the first full week of January.