Yorkshire is a county in the north of England and is home to some of the most widely-known of British breweries. Samuel Smiths and Timothy Taylors to name a couple. The beers made in Yorkshire are not far different from anywhere else on the island with breweries sporting assortments milds, pale ales, bitters, IPAs, porters and stouts. They just seem to make them their own way. They use water from their own wells, hundred-year-old copper brewhouses and open fermenters to best serve ancient top fermenting yeast strains (sometimes the open fermenters so old they are made from slate.) The beers are best served from cask, pulled through a sparkler to give some spritz and solid half inch of white creamy foam. If you ask a local what the best beer in the world is they will point to the one they are drinking.
You would think that in an area where such a high quality beer is and has always been produced there would be very little uptake of new styles of beer, but you would be wrong. My visits to Northern Monk in Leeds and Magic Rock in Huddersfield proved this wrong. Both are making American/new world inspired beers and nailing it.
Their taprooms are great and their local support is fantastic. To take modernity one step further a highlight in Leeds was bustling hip bar that served craft beer and Indian street food, an amazing combination that should not have spent so little time together.
The Yorkshire countryside is stunning with rivers, lakes, drystone walls and little cottages spotting the rolling hills and green fields. Whether driving between small towns or perhaps on the train between stops on your own Ale Trail, the scenery is just as delightful as… a well-balanced pint of bitter.
I love the passion for tradition in Yorkshire. Tried and true local breweries and pubs are treated with reverence and respect. But newer trends are not completely rebuked. The migration from south Asia in the 20th century has turned Yorkshire cities such as Bradford into a curry hub! If as a visitor you were not convinced of their prowess, the numbers do not lie; Bradford is the reigning Curry Capital of the UK and has held the title for 6 years running. A British tradition which is wholeheartedly embraced in Yorkshire is a late night curry after an evening enjoying fine beverages. At first I was hesitant but after sampling a few midnight kormas served with a naan as big as the table you just cannot deny the satisfaction of heading home to bed with a belly full of delicious curry.