York’s brand new brewery ready to roll about the barrels

Andy Herrington toasts the opening of his new brewery

If you like a Yorkshire beer, you’ll already know the name.

But for the first time this week, Ainsty Ales will be shipping out beers it has created in its very own brewery.

Found on a farm at Acaster Malbis to the south of York, the new brewery is set to send out it first batch of ales this Wednesday (September 28).

Previously the Ainsty beers were brewed in other breweries, including the Brass Castle Brewery in Malton and Hambleton Ales.

Big moment

The brewery under construction. Photographs: Ainsty Ales
The brewery under construction. Photographs: Ainsty Ales

After two years’ work building up the brand, it is a big moment for Ainsty Ales’ owner Andy Herrington.

The 38-year-old former York policeman is just putting the finishing touches to his ten-barrel microbrewery. And it even boasts its own field of hops, being grown in a plot next to the building.

Andy had many years’ home brewing experience before turning his hobby into his business. He told YorkMix that he “knew it would be difficult” as the sole director, as “I don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off”.

But that has now changed with the appointment of Ainsty’s first head brewer: Alan Hardie, formerly of York Brewery. There’s also an apprentice on board.

“In my eyes I’ve gotten through the hard points,” Andy added.

Wide beer range

All that hard work deserves a beer or three…
All that hard work deserves a beer or three…

The business takes its name from the old Ainsty wapentake bounded by the rivers Nidd, Ouse, and Wharfe.

Initially Ainsty Ales will produce a golden ale, pale ale, a chocolate porter and an IPA. Andy hopes to be able to expand the selection by spring.

The plan is also to offer brewery tours, perhaps bringing people to the brewery from the city centre via York Boats.

Brewing is a competitive market but Andy is confident his local connections and Ainsty Ales’ quality and branding will see the brewery stake a place among Yorkshire’s flourishing indie market.

York St John’s University has close ties to the local business. Two years ago Andy was invited to give lectures on brewing to students – and one of them is now interning at Ainsty Ales.