A trip with two brewery tours deserves two blogs and we start with the first brewery of our annual trip, Theakston. Back in the 19th century, pubs would brew generally brew their own beer until the government encouraged beer drinking (including among children!) with the Beer Act in 1830. Robert Theakson took advantage of this and started expanding the brewing side of his business to sell to other local pubs. From there we get classic beers like Theakston’s Best Bitter and the famous (but deadly if you have a few!) Old Peculiar. There is something about having a beer that hasn’t travelled far and brewery tours are perfect for that. I did enjoy an Old P that close to the brewery, although it was only a third- partly to try a variety but also because it’s quite strong, it was just after the 11am tour and we had Black Sheep Brewery to follow!
We like a traditional brewery and one of the things we most enjoyed about Theakston was right at the end where we discovered that they still employ a cooper making wooden casks by hand! If I understood the technicalities correctly, they are the only brewery in the country that has a hand craft cooper and he still makes casks that are used for the aforementioned Old P. The further good news is that he has an apprentice, which means the tradition will continue, which we thought was fantastic- highly recommend a tour of Theakston!
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