The craft brewery
With just three shiny fermenters in the brewhouse and a small tap room that doubles as a shop, Helmsley Brewing Co. must qualify as one of the smallest in the county. But in an era of proliferating independent brewers, it packs a punch. After only four years, their five craft ales are distributed across Yorkshire from Sheffield in the south to the Captain Cook Inn in Staithes on the farthest north east coast.
The man who created this microbrewery is Kyle Boote, a former history teacher who taught all around the world before deciding in 2012 on a radical change of direction. It was inspired by a holiday in Japan when he spotted a shelf full of beers from across the world and realised that none of them were from Britain. It set him thinking: ‘I could do that.’
From then on he was on a mission. He learned the science of brewing on a Brewlab start-up course in Sunderland then travelled to the US attending beer exhibitions and trade shows, learning from brewing experts, including the renowned Sierra Nevada Brewery in California, all the while scouting out possible sites in Yorkshire for a small brewery.
He knew Helmsley from motorbike trips, and the buzzing market town, well placed for the moorland and the coast, Kyle reckoned, was just the location for his emerging brewery and in 2014 he signed the lease on the compact premises in Bridge Street in the heart of town.
Kyle’s five Helmsley ales are made with Yorkshire malts from Castleford in South Yorkshire and a mix of hops from England, Slovenia, USA, Australia and New Zealand which he says make his brews so distinctive.
Yorkshire Legend is a traditional bitter; the hoppy H!PA is a cross between an English ale and an American IPA, what Kyle calls a hybrid ale. He makes two golden ales, Howardian Gold and Helmsley Honey, which uses the celebrated local honey from the North York Moors and finally Striding the Riding, a pale ale, with which for every sale a donation goes towards the upkeep of the Cleveland Way. In turn it is the official brew of the Cleveland Way National Trail and the perfect refreshment after a good, long walk.