Amity Brew Co.: Beer & Friendship In South Yorkshire

A week or two ago I bumped into the Amity Brew gang at the Nottingham Craft Beer Festival.
We got chatting and while I tried some of the beer that they had on offer I decided it would be interesting to get to know more about them, and more importantly, to tell you all about them.
A couple of weeks later we had a bit of a chat.

Hi there, please introduce yourselves.

Hi! We’re Amity Brew Co, a small brewpub based in NW Leeds. We stand for community, friendship and good beer.

How did Amity come into being?
I’ve worked in the beer industry for a decade now, gaining experience at BrewDog, North Brewing Co and Beer Hawk, and dreamt of using the USA brewpub model to open Amity.
I met Rich when I worked at Beer Hawk, and both of us had a mutual appreciation of great beer – we originally wanted to open a high-end bottle shop, but clearly the idea wasn’t scary enough for us!

We originally didn’t have our own location, so were contract brewing with friends all over the North of England, and launched online on 1st July 2020 – right in the middle of the pandemic! We sold out our first batches within 48 hours, and then started moving towards signing our lease, brewing more beer, and getting our brewpub built, going live finally in December 2020. It was a pretty challenging time over 2021, but with restrictions gradually lifting, our local audience has continued to support us, and now we’re so busy with the taproom on a weekly basis and other bars and pubs are looking to stock us – we’re running out of beer!

Why Amity as a name, is it purely for its meaning?
Absolutely – Amity is an old Gaelic term meaning friendship and community – it’s something that is very close to us, especially being based in one of the strongest independent-led business communities in Farsley, Leeds. The whole team are friends that we’ve met along our careers and beery journeys so it just felt the right fit for us – no Jaws references intended we promise!

Where are you based and what kit do you use?
We’re based in NW Leeds – Farsley, and we brew with a 10 HL (1000 Litre) kit, and 4 in-house fermenters which we’re expanding with 2 more in a few weeks time!
Can we eat at your Brewpub?
We don’t have a kitchen on site, but we do a full “take your pick” Menu of local independent food places who deliver into Amity, that way we’re giving choice and convenience!
We have an incredible authentic Texas smoked BBQ place based in the same mill as us, so we’ve got a good partnership going.
Where has the idea for the can designs come from, and do they have any particular significance?
We put together a pretty hefty design document after we settled on a name, lots of touch points of brewery design we were a fan of (Fort Point Brew Co, Modern Times, Other Half, St Mars of the Desert, Caravelle to list a few!), and then things that we wanted to incorporate into the design, a sense of friendliness, but something striking. We were very influenced by Web 2.0 where things look bold and standout by actually having a bigger blank space around key elements. We wanted to ensure everything a potential customer or drinker needed to know was right there front and centre, the brewery name, the style and the ABV – something A LOT of breweries make very difficult to find due to their – sometimes – style over substance approach.
And finally, what are you plans for the future?
We’ve new tanks arriving this month, but already know we’ll be at full capacity within a month or so of them being installed, so really it’s about how we grow next. We’ve worked with other amazing breweries in the past to brew bigger batches of our core beers, and that might plug the gaps for a while, but it’s likely we’ll start thinking about a second site before long – but keeping the same ethos and feel to how Amity is right now – we don’t want a clinical industrial warehouse just churning out beer, it has to be a community project and something that everyone can enjoy.
So, after all the chat, what is the beer like?
Well now…

Sunnybank (6%) is an American style Pale Ale, and West Coast all the way.
None of that cloudy New England, East Coast fug, this is crisp and clean, sharp and bright.
The malting is all sticky caramel coated doughnuts, runny honey and Belgian waffles, warm and sweet and inviting, it sits right at the heart of the beer, while the hopping slashes through the chewy body with resinous pine, fresh green herbal leaves, hazel, mandarin and lemon zest.
This is an absolute delight if a beer.

 

Amity IPA (5.7%) was originally supposed to be an evolving beer, but once they got to this recipe they liked it so much they decided to keep this as their house IPA.
I can completely see why.
Brewed with a Kveik yeast, I was immediately hit with thick and pulpy peach flavours and just a little hint of something sexily earthy and dirty.
The hops – Nelson, Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic – blend the pithy gooseberry skin and green herbal leaves of New Zealand with the sharp lemon tang and pinewood resin of the USA, while the malting is soft and smooth, all toffee coated biscuits and toasted white bread crusts.
I’m the finish the beer is bitter and dry but maintains a subtle round fruitiness that had me reaching for another swig.

Spring (6%) is a Maibock that pours a lovely rich amber and smells of lightly spiced strawberries and apricots.
The malting is all smooth and creamy caramel and freshly baked biscuits, and along with crunchy cereal bars and brown sugar, it creates a solid backbone for the beer.
The hopping gives you what you would want from this beer style, with sharp herbal foliage and a dusting of peppery spices, all of which is pushed along by a boozy alcohol warmth.

 

I love a well made lager and Festoon (4.6%), Amity’s Helles, is very good indeed.
A soft bread dough aroma leads you down into a long creamy rich tea biscuit, honey and fresh doughnut malt body, while the hops – Mittlefruh, Perle and Mandarina – slap you about the chops with tangerine skins and green garden herbs, dewy hedgerow and hazel leaves.
The beer ends with a long crisp clean finish.
Super.

 

 

Waterpistol (4.6%) is billed as a Juicy Pale Ale, and with its hefty hit of Australasian hops, that’s exactly what you get.
Massive slaps of fresh herbal greenery, pithy gooseberry skins, kiwi fruit, white grapes and mustard seeds, if it weren’t for the beautifully balanced malt body with its warm runny caramel and cinnamon toast richness, the hops might become too much.
But as Waterpistol keeps everything on balance allowing for a sessionable beer with a super happy kick.

 

The first thing that jumped into my head when I took a sip of Top 5 Soups (5.4%) was, “ooh, strawberry and melon,” and that’s a good enough place to start with this beer that has been brewed in collaboration with Attic of Birmingham (who, it happens, I am doing an article on soon).
This is a Double Dry Hopped NZ IPA, a cloudy beer with lots of the aforementioned melon and strawberry, along with freshly picked herbal leaves, apricots, and lots of lime zest.
The yeast adds a little peachy warmth, while the malting is a creamy smooth blend of rich Tea biscuits and runny honey, adding a sweet Lena’s to the body of the beer while taking the edge off what otherwise would be an overly sharp bitter finish.

For more info visit Amity Brew Co.

About Simon Williams

Founder of CAMRGB. Member of The British Guild Of Beer Writers. Leftist bigmouth. Old and grumpy.
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