Cold Bath Brewing Co
In association with Cold Bath Brewing Co
Saturday 05 June 2021
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Harrogate is the jewel in Yorkshire’s crown. Known as a historic Spa town full of quintessentially Victorian things: grand landscaped parks, filigree wrought iron shop canopies, and pretty tearooms but now has a burgeoning and vibrant independent craft scene.
Harrogate has long been famous for the quality of its water and its rejuvenating properties, and this historic connection to pure natural spring water was not lost on Cold Bath Brewing Co.
Founded three years ago by Jim Mossman on Cold Bath Road, Harrogate, the brewery’s sense of place is central to its ethos of creating clean, crisp sessionable beers. The intention was to use the provenance of that name (from the “cold baths” used in the spa town) and that special water itself to create its beer.
“Cold Bath Brewing Co’s heritage is steeped in the traditions of Harrogate water,” says Jim. “When you consider the success of Harrogate’s indie scene – tea, gin and spring water, we’ve got this quintessential Victorian Spa town that’s still all about the water and how we can use it to make artisanal products. Despite water being so important in lager brewing in the Czech Republic and Bavaria, nobody in the UK was really championing the water used in craft beer when we began.”
More than H2o
Harrogate, it turns out, loves to cycle. Jim explains.
“18 months into running Cold Bath Brewing Co., it was announced that Harrogate was to host the UCI Championships off the back of the Tour de Yorkshire,” — this would make it the UK’s largest sporting event in 2019.
“As an avid cyclist and follower of the sport, all my Christmases had come at once. I got thinking about what we could do. Craft beer and cycling are a great marriage, and when the unit next door to us became available I snapped it up, thinking about how we could use it as part of the event.”
That unit became “The Zwift Drafthouse”, now the brewery’s Clubhouse, a smart central point for cyclists to unwind after a hard day’s racing (or spectating) and enjoy a crisp lager, pale ale or even a radler. It all came together quickly — the brewery and taproom became a central hub for the whole event. Just two minutes from the finish line.
“Harrogate was going to be beamed across the world!” Jim says. “We had ex pros helping us, being hosts at the bar, ambassadors during the event, DJing in the Drafthouse, Zwift were here doing races. We just had the great and the good of the cycling world through our doors during that time.
“Choosing Zwift as our partner brand throughout the UCI Championships also meant that Harrogate had a virtual route that cyclists all over the planet can race on — and Cold Bath Brewing Co. are featured on it.”
For the uninitiated, Zwift is an online virtual training app for cyclists. You can set up your road bike on a stationary turbo trainer, and use virtual routes so that the inclines, gradients and so on are all replicated in your workout. Harrogate’s race route is in amongst some of the most famous road races in the world, and if you’re lucky you can find yourself up against real life cycling legends who actually use the software to train.
Harrogate’s connections to the cycling world go deep, as Jim explains.
“Harrogate is twinned with Montecatini in Tuscany, and it’s also a Spa town. It’s an important stage of the Giro d’Italia road race, so we’re intending to do a cycling trip over there.”
“Harrogate’s also twinned with Luchon in the Pyrenees — one of the most featured sections of the Tour de France. These connections to beautiful parts of Europe are so entwined with cycling and present a great opportunity to share in beer, culture and cycling.
Cold Bath’s Beer
Let’s have a look at what Cold Bath are actually pouring — namely a concise range of thirst-quenching beers, aimed at hitting the spot rather than chasing hype.
A premium pilsner, classic English pale ale and signature session lager are readily available, their small batch brews are numerous, featuring a coffee porter (who doesn’t love coffee?) an Irish cream stout and a Grapefruit IPA collab with Harrogate gin.
“We’re really interested in beer and food pairing,” Jim says. “We work with a number of Michelin star restaurants, hotels and farm shops. Combining our beer with a variety of chefs is something we’re really excited about. We’ve actually just brewed a lovely crisp pilsner with Betty’s of Harrogate using their Yorkshire Cobble bread, and Fortnum and Mason make their Rarebits with our English Pale Ale. We want to get our beers on restaurant wine lists and show that top beer really has a place alongside fine dining.”
What’s over the next incline?
“The legacy of UCI lives on. The next stop is Belgium, where we have a strong connection to the tourist board of Flanders, not to mention our love of Belgian beer. Naturally, the idea of hosting a Belgian beer and cycling festival in our Clubhouse is one that has us salivating already!”
Belgian-Yorkshire beer and road racing? Count us in.
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