Theakston's was founded in 1827 at the Black Bull pub and expanded here, to Paradise Fields in 1875. Theakston's was owned by Scottish & Newcastle between 1987-2003 and some of the beers were brewed elsewhere, now the brewery is independent once more all the beers are brewed in Masham.
Masham is surprising in that it is home to to large breweries, as the town is quite isolated, to reach here by public transport is a bit difficult but is possible, there is a two-hourly daytime bus service running from Ripon (it's a City!) to Richmond. Ripon is served by an excellent bus service from Leeds and Harrogate, buses run every 20 minutes during the day and hourly at night, free WiFi on the very comfortable buses as well!
The brewery itself is rather difficult to photograph from the outside, not being on a main road but almost hidden down a lane in this flat market town, no hills to have a strategic view here.
The unmistakable Victorian Tower Brewery
Below: the former maltings of the brewery
The visitor centre is named after the original pub that Robert Theakston had started brewing in, back in 1827 and the Paradise Fields that the brewery moved to 1875
The visitor centre features a bar and a shop selling plenty of Theakston's breweriana, though, unfortunately no book on the history of the brewery.
Above: The brewery yard from the visitor centre
Below:the malt on the ground floor of the brewery, waiting to be hoisted to the top of the tower brewery
Above and below: the grist mill at the top of the brewery
Back on the ground floor this fine vessel is the hopback
Below: the open square fermenters, although two at the end appear to be covered
Below: racking room
Final stop off was the cooperage, house in the old blacksmiths shop next to the stables.
Then back to the Black Bull in Paradise for the beers
Overall an enjoyable visit to a brewery, although it's rare for me not to enjoy them! It's not often I visit an almost unchanged Victorian Tower Brewery, the heat and the steam
A bit let down by the knowledge of the staff, then again this was an ordinary visit, I often find the general pr staff unable to answer my questions! The only other fault is that in the extensive shop that sells everything from branded shirt to branded cake, there is no book on the history of this brewery.
The next post will be of the other brewery in Masham, Black Sheep.