Samuel Smith Brewery
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|Owner(s)||Humphrey Smith, Oliver Smith|
The Old Brewery in Tadcaster, Yorkshire, in the North of England, was established in 1758. Samuel Smith, a successful butcher and cattle dealer from Meanwood, Leeds, funded his son John to buy it from the Hartley family in 1847. John Smith took over the brewery forming John Smith's Brewery, before leaving it to his young nephew Samuel.
Samuel Smith inherited the Old Brewery in 1886 and re-opened it under his own name, since the John Smith's business had been moved by his uncle William to a large new premises nextdoor. Samuel Smith's remains independent.
The Old Brewery
The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was founded in 1758 and bears the name of famous local brewer Samuel Smith. It is both the oldest brewery in Yorkshire and the only surviving independent brewery in Tadcaster.
The smallest of the three modern-day Tadcaster breweries, Sam Smith's is one of the few remaining British breweries to employ the traditional Yorkshire Square system in the production of its beers.
Brewing water for ales and stouts is still drawn from the original 85 ft (26 m) well, sunk when the site was established in 1758, and the yeast used in the fermentation process is of a strain that has been used continuously since approximately 1900 - one of the oldest unchanged strains in the country.
In keeping with this rich sense of history and tradition, the brewery keeps a small team of dapple-grey Shire Horses. Far from being simply show horses, these gentle giants are among the last active dray horses in the world. They deliver beer around the town of Tadcaster five days a week.
Since discontinuing Museum Ale in the early 1990s, Sam Smiths have brewed only one cask beer, Old Brewery Bitter (OBB). This is unique in the British brewing industry, as most brewers will either produce a range of real ales or none at all.
They also produces a range of brewery-conditioned beers. All their beers, with the exception of the Old Brewery Bitter, are vegan. In addition, most of Samuel Smith's beers -- some notable exceptions being the Oatmeal Stout, Wheat Beer and Organic Cherry Fruit Beer -- are brewed solely with malt, hops, yeast and water. The bottled beers are available in some off-licences in the UK.
Samuel Smith's also sell cider. 'Organic Cider' is available in bottles while 'Cider Reserve' is sold on draught solely in the UK.
The brewery also used to produce a super strength Barley Wine called 'Strong Golden' at 10.2%. This beverage is no longer available.
Until 2006 Samuel Smith's used the brand name Ayingerbräu for its lagers and wheat beers, using the name and logo of German brewery, Brauerei Aying. The brand was best known for its 'man-in-a-box' pump for Ayingerbräu Lager, which featured a model Bavarian man in a plastic box.
Ayingerbräu Lager gained a cult following in some parts of the UK and a beer drinking challenge is held annually. In 2006, Ayingerbräu Lager reverted to Alpine Lager, its original name in the 1960s.
In late 2005, Samuel Smith's ceased production of both the Ayingerbräu D Pils and Prinz Lager brands. These have been replaced by Samuel Smith's Pure Brewed Lager.
The brewery operates over 300 pubs, which are notable for their independence: The beers are all produced by the Tadcaster brewery and no large-corporation spirits or soft-drinks are available. Prices are kept minimal by only increasing in line with alcohol duty and inflation increases. In the year 2000, Samuel Smiths began phasing out the branding from their pubs, and in November 2004 the company took the decision to ban music in its pubs, to save the Performing Rights levy.
Samuel Smith still delivers multiple-trip (re-usable) bottles in beer crates.
In 2007, the company began to sell frozen meals made by Sarah Brownridge in their pubs. Then, in 2008, all franchise pubs were switched to 'company catering'. Now, all Samuel Smiths pubs that serve food, sell Sarah Brownridge frozen food.
Further to the company phasing out brands from their pubs, all pubs now sell Samuel Smiths branded crisps. These are made by Seabrook (Bradford).
Criticism from the GMB trade union has been levied on the company for its treatment of pub managers, resulting in a number of court cases. Humphrey Smith has also pursued a number of planning application objections at the cost of Selby district council. On 5 October 2010 it was reported that the brewery was taking legal action against Cropton Brewery over the use of the Yorkshire white rose design.
On 29 January 2012, the story emerged that Humphrey Smith had closed the Junction Inn in Royton, on New Year's Eve 2011, because the landlords were dispensing too much beer into their pints. He has subsequently issued a retrospective surcharge of £10,733 for lost stock over a 12 year period.
- Protz, R: The Ale Trail, page 135. Eric Dobby Publishing, 1995.
- Oliver, Garrett. 'The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food.' New York: HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 978-0-06-000571-9. Retrieved December 10, 2011. p. 119
- "Gazetteer of operating pre-1940 breweries in England" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- "Home". Samuelsmithsbrewery.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- "VEGAN BEER & CIDER". Lists of certified vegan beers including Imperial Stout: Samuel Smith Brewery. Retrieved 12 February 2013. "Samuel Smith’s was the first brewery to register with The Vegan Society - we did so in January 1998."
- "Strag AS". Strag.no. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
- "300th Samuel Smith pub identified". Samsmiths.info. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- "Brewery drops brand logo (From York Press)". Archive.thisisyork.co.uk. 2000-10-04. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- "GMB Pub Division". Samsmiths.info. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- "A brief view of the power of Samuel Smiths Old Brewey - Tadcaster". YouTube. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- "Samuel Smith launch legal action over Cropton Brewery's white rose beer branding (From York Press)". Yorkpress.co.uk. 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- Tara Brady (2012-01-30). "Landlord threatened with sack for serving too full pints to regulars | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Oliver, Garrett. 'The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food.' New York: HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 978-0-06-000571-9. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (December 2010)|
- Samuel Smith's Brewery - Official website
- SamSmiths.info - Unofficial website
- Sam Smith's Pubs - Beer in the Evening website
- Sam Smith's Locations - Interactive map of Samuel Smith's locations
- The Sam Smith's Challenge - Interactive map of Samuel Smith's pubs in London
- The Alpine Trail website - A twice-yearly pub crawl around Samuel Smith's pubs in Soho and Fitzrovia, London
- BeerAdvocate - Brewery Profile
- RateBeer Brewery Profile