The UK has a fantastic brewing tradition with many men and women enjoying a sociable pint of their favourite beer. As well as drinking in pubs and clubs there are many beer festivals staged across the country throughout the year. However, a visit to one of the breweries is a very interesting way to sample the beers and find out how they are made.
There is no better way to stimulate the taste buds than taking a visit to a brewery and smelling the hops in the air. Many of the major breweries in the UK help the public to celebrate British beer by offering guided tours. The history of some of these breweries is quite fascinating with stories of small family breweries that started over 100 years ago and are still in existence.
Masham in North Yorkshire is home to Theakston, one of the best known brewers in the country. Visitors to the brewery can taste their classic ales, discover how they were created and will be provided with tasting notes. The end to end process of beer making is followed from blending the ingredients to filling the casks and even the making of the barrels.
There is a large choice of brewery tours throughout the UK with their own unique history and tour itineraries. For example the Fuller’s Brewery in Chiswick begins in a pub, which is perhaps the best place to sample the beers.
Shire horses delivered barrels in Victorian times and some breweries such as Youngs in Wandsworth and Samuel Smith’s in Yorkshire still keep these fine beasts for the benefit of tourists. Some breweries have their own museums with exhibits of the machinery and tools used many years ago to make beer.
UK breweries are not just makers of beer as there are many people in the country who enjoy a nice cool glass of cider. This increasingly popular drink is made at numerous places across the UK and Ireland with cider farms open to the public. Taunton in Somerset produces Sheppy’s Cider and there are other interesting farms at Truro in Cornwall and Hereford on the Welsh/English border.
A visit to one these fine establishments may inspire visitors to try their hand at making their own beer or other alcoholic beverages. Courses are offered on how to make beer, but if you prefer to see the experts creating your favourite ales, then a visit to a brewery is well worth the trip.