Inspired by a love of real ale and a desire to help put microbreweries in Yorkshire on the map, Mark developed the idea for Brewtown having seen a similar business model work successfully in Australia, where he lived for 16 years before returning home to the UK last year.
“I returned to the UK to a craft beer revolution,” Mark says. “The beer scene here is fantastic, and very different to the one I left 16 years ago, but I was surprised to see that brewery bus tours, which are part and parcel of the industry in Australia, simply don't exist here in the UK.”
With that, Mark set about researching and visiting microbreweries in his home county of North Yorkshire, discovering the quality and variety of beer styles on offer and exploring the appetite among breweries for welcoming visitors. Almost a year on and Brewtown has gone from strength to strength, attracting some of the UK’s most respected beer writers and adding more local breweries to its tour routes.
“Yorkshire’s beer scene is amazingly diverse,” Mark continues. “Between them the microbreweries have a huge range of styles, flavours and methods, but because they’re comparatively small and independent they don’t all have big distribution areas. This means there are plenty of well-kept Yorkshire beer secrets to discover on our tours – flavours you won’t find anywhere else!”
Based primarily around York and Leeds, Brewtown’s tours include a round trip of Leeds city breweries, with other tours taking in Malton, York and its surrounds, visiting breweries including Brass Castle, Half Moon, the Hop Studio and Ainsty Ales. Mark’s ambition is to bring people together to experience the Yorkshire beer community, giving guests the opportunity to taste and experience the craftsmanship of the region’s small-scale brewers – ideal for parties, gifts, or corporate events.
“Our tours are unique, guided, educational beer appreciation tours,” says Mark. “Hop on the Brewtown bus and we’ll take you behind the scenes to explore Yorkshire’s flourishing craft beer scene, meet the brewers and taste what's on tap. Groups will touch, taste, smell and learn about brewing good beer – and you’ll have the chance to enjoy plenty of samples, too.”
The guided tours each run as a round trip, visiting several breweries and including beer tastings, transport in the Brewtown minibus, snacks and water. Private charters and group bookings are also available daily.
For more information and booking options, visit www.brewtowntours.co.uk or call Mark on 01904 636666.