Our Brewing Process

1 - Barley being soaked

Malt barley from Castleford
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Best quality English barley is soaked in water to germinate and then kiln dried to produce malt - the first stage in producing the sugars needed for fermentation.

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2 - Hops ready for brewing

A selection of dried hops ready for brewing
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Theakston beers contain only the finest quality full-leaf hops, almost all English,an essential ingredient in preserving the beer and providing aroma and dry flavours. Some more recently developed cask beers contain full-leaf hops from overseas.

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3 - Grinding malt into grist

Malt getting ground down into grist
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Selected malts are gently ground through the rollers of our ancient mill to produce grist. The Malts are carefully blended to provide the correct flavour for each type of beer.

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4 - Mashing

Grist being mashed to produce fermentable sugars
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Grist is infused (like tea) in hot liquor (water) in a large vessel called a mash tun. In this process the starch in the malt is converted into fermentable sugars.

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5 - Extracting the wort

Extracting the sugar rich wort from the mash
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When all the fermentable sugars have been converted, the mash bed is sparged with hot liquor (water) to extract the sugar rich liquid known as wort.

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6 - Transferring the wort to the copper

The sugar rich wort draining off into the copper for further brewing
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The sugar-rich wort runs from the mash tun into the Copper ready for boiling and the addition of hops.

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7 - Blended hops are added

Blended hops being added to the wort mixture
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Carefully blended hops are added to the wort in the copper- the different varieties of hops give the beers their distinctive aromas and dry (bitter) taste.

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8 - Boiling the mixture

Wort and hops being boiled to extract flavour
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The brew is boiled in the copper to concentrate and sterilise the wort, and extract the flavour from the hops. The wort is continually tested for quality, colour and strength.

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9 - Hopped wort filtering

Hopped wort filtering to remove spent hops
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The hopped wort is filtered through the hop back to remove spent hops and to help in the cooling process.

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10 - Cooling the wort

Wort being cooled in transit to the fermantation vessels
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The wort is then drawn down from the hop back vessel to the chiller where the hot liquid runs over cold water pipes, cooling it, before passing to the fermentation vessels, at a temperature at which our yeast thrives.

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11 - Fermenting the wort

Fermentation vessels being monitered
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The wort is transferred into our fermentation vessels and yeast is introduced. Fermentation lasts 3 to 4 days, converting the fermentable sugars to produce our legendary beer. After fermentation, the beer rests in the vessels for a further 3 to 4 days before transferring to storage tanks prior to racking. Traditionally, it was always said that a brew in the fermenting room was not considered complete until it had 'seen the Sabbath'!

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12 - Beer is transferred to the racking tanks

Racking tanks for beer storage
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The beer is transferred to racking tanks where it will be held and tested before racking into casks.

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13 - Quality control

Theakston Beer being quality checked by head brewer
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The final critical stage of quality control is left to the head brewer who tests for consistency, colour, strength, aroma and taste. Only then will it be passed for despatch.

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14 - Barrelling the beer

Theakston Beer being racked into barrels
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After a suitable settling period, and the head brewer's final approval, the beer is racked into barrels and finings are added to clarify the beer while it is stored. Dry hops may also be added to augment the aroma.

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15 - The final product

Theakston Beer being enjoyed in a sunny beer garden
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Our Theakston beer is distributed to pubs all over the country for you to enjoy!

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