North Brewing Co.

• • • UK Champion Brewery / Best Pale • • •

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Our UK Champion is always the hardest award to pin down, especially this year when so many of our favourite breweries have gone to such incredible lengths to keep moving forward. In the end though, the decision to give our Gold award to North was unanimous.

If you’re in any way interested in the UK craft scene – and we have to assume you are – you will already be familiar with North, and it’s growth from Leeds’s iconic North Bar to become one of the most respected breweries in the UK. So we’ll skip the origin story and dive straight into the meat. Where most breweries would have consolidated their position in the face of such an existential threat as a pandemic, North pushed ahead with the development of its new Springwell brewery and taproom, in an area of Leeds best described as ‘up-and-coming’. Awaited with frenzied anticipation by a legion of fans local and further afield, Springwell was already an institution by the time it finally opened its doors in April this year, and has attracted other small artisanal businesses into its orbit, including two permanent street food traders. If you build it, it seems they really will come.


“In a somewhat unfathomable turn of events, we’ve already had to bring in rental tanks at Springwell, despite only starting to brew here in January 2021,” says Sarah Hardy. “We have six 50HL rental tanks arriving in August, with more permanent tanks on order for September. We have also finally hosted in-person collabs there, with breweries including Queer Brewing, Beak, Overtone, Alpha Delta and Ridgeside. It felt brilliant to show off the space and pour some of their beers at the tap after the brewday.”


In the box, The Order of Things pale ale was a genuine brewing experiment for North, and in particular for Springwell production manager Sam, as Sarah explains.

“It was the first time brewing with Amarillo hops in a lower ABV beer at North,” she says. “It’s a little lighter than our ‘Sea of...’ series of pales, and has inspired a new series which is currently in development at the brewery. Made with extra pale malt and wheat, fermented with our house ale yeast and hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo, The Order of Things holds a balance of sweet malt, fine fluffy texture, lemon rind, fresh cut grass and freshly squeezed orange juice that washes through this laid back and crushable 4.8% pale ale.”


The beer name is inspired by the brewing process itself, in recognition of the fact that some processes need to happen in a certain order. “We mash, sparge, boil, chill, pitch yeast, dry hop, transfer, carbonate, package and deliver. You choose your drink, take a seat and enjoy. It’s the order of things.”

PHOTOS: Amy Heycock

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