• Holidays & short breaks in the UK's most beautiful forests

The beer lover’s guide to Yorkshire

Yorkshire is famous for its beers the world over. Here we take a little trip to God’s own county to explore the roots of this worldwide reputation.

They’re here for the beer

Yorkshire does seem to be rather fashionable at the moment. It’s been singled out by the Lonely Planet guides and the New York Times recently as a must-visit destination. So why have seasoned travel experts with the world at their feet suddenly discovered Yorkshire?

Well, putting aside its stunning natural beauty; the rugged coastlines, striking harbour towns and the hauntingly beautiful moorlands. Putting aside even the unrivalled charm of its county capital York, something else is catching attention, something that every Yorkshireman– and many of its women – have been rightly proud of for centuries: the beer.

Brewing in Yorkshire has a long and distinguished heritage and Yorkshire beers have won more than their fair share of awards. Following a craft brewing renaissance over the last decade or so, there are now well over 100 breweries in Yorkshire, busy producing everything from good honest Yorkshire bitter to pale ales, blonde ales, stouts and porters.

Follow the Yorkshire Ale Trail

Brewing credentials established, there is no better starting point for your ale investigations than the Yorkshire Delicious Ale Trail. Covering 30 pubs across the entire county it introduces the ale enthusiast and the part time pint-supper alike, to the richness and variety of Yorkshire’s brewing heritage.

Stay with Forest Holidays at Cropton or Keldy cabins to tick off No. 7: The Anvil Inn at Sawdon, No. 10: the Inn at Hawnby and No. 19: The Crown at nearby Hutton-Le-Hole. All are traditional pubs offering an enticing selection of hand-pulled Yorkshire ales.

Yorkshire pub

Visit a Yorkshire brewery

A trip to one of the many breweries in Yorkshire is an education. The brewing process itself is the perfect science lesson. And as brewing is so intricately woven into the fabric of Yorkshire’s -indeed Britain’s – history, you catch a fascinating glimpse of life across the centuries. And then of course, you have to sample the beers….

Visit the Black Sheep Brewery at Masham, famously set up over 20 years ago by Paul Theakston of the Theakston brewing dynasty after the family business was swallowed up by a brewing giant of the time. Today it has a thriving visitor centre and a range of highly drinkable ales including its signature Black Sheep ale.

If a trip to York is on the cards, the York Brewery, located just inside the city walls next to the historic Micklegate, is very welcoming to visitors and has a number of guided tours each day.

A must-visit micro-brewery is the award-winning Cropton Brewery. They supply our Cropton and Keldy locations with a range of ales which you can work through as part of your own in-cabin ale trail! And to savour the memories, take a Cropton Ales gift pack home too.

Try these ales for a true taste of Yorkshire

Time to get supping. Here’s a selection of our favourite Yorkshire ales to give you a flavour of this fine county’s brewing prowess:

1. Timothy Taylor Landlord (4.3% ABV) – reputedly Madonna’s favourite beer, Landlord is one of the best known Yorkshire ales and is a full bodied, well-balanced strong pale ale

2. Frothingham Best (4.3% ABV) – this complex best bitter is brewed with Crystal malts and English Pilgrim Hops. It saw off worldwide competition in 2013 to win Gold in in the World Beer Awards.

3. Treacle Stout (5.0% ABV) – from Osset Brewery in West Yorkshire. A rich and robust stout with intense depth coming from the addition of dark treacle.

4. Wold Gold (4.8%) – another award winner, this seasonal blonde beer from the fabulous Wold Top brewery, gained a coveted 3 stars in the 2013 UK Great Taste awards.

5. Monksman’s Slaughter (6% ABV) –a powerful brew from the aforementioned Cropton Brewery; a real favourite of ours as it’s brewed just down the road from our Yorkshire forest cabin locations.

Cropton cabins

There is never a bad time to head for Yorkshire, and there is always time to savour a pint. But now that the New York Times has told its readers: "Yorkshire is becoming a big destination for beer lovers", it’s time to combine the two– after all, you want to get there before the Americans arrive! Book one of our forest Cabins at beautiful Cropton or Keldy and start planning your personal Yorkshire Beer Festival today.

And while you’re there…..mine’s a pint.