YORK Brewery has moved some production of two of its flagship ales to Stockport, as it struggles to keep up with high demand for its beer.
The company, based in Toft Green, has outsourced production of some batches of its Minster Ale and Guzzler beers to Robinson's Brewery, across the Pennines, though a "contract brewing" arrangement.
The brewery said the deal only covered bottled beers, and said the ales still met their specifications.
York Brewery in Toft Green
Neil Arden, brand manager for the brewery, said: “Wherever possible we try to ensure that all our beer is brewed on site, only ever allowing this to affect our bottled Minster and bottled Guzzler and it will always be clearly stated on the bottle when this is the case.
“I’d like to make it clear that our cask ales, and all other bottles, have and will always be proudly brewed in this fair city.
“In an ideal world we’d love be able to expand alongside demand, brewing everything in York, but in today’s volatile economic climate and with the space limitations of our current site this is not always possible.
“In order to secure a bright future for York Brewery ensuring that we’ll be contributing to the local economy for another 20 years, sometimes contract brewing is a necessary evil.”
Minster Ale and Guzzler are two of York Brewery's popular bottled beers. Above: The text that appears on some bottles
Mr Arden said the difference in the final product was minimal. He said many other breweries also used contract brewing arrangements, but said new regulations introduced in December 2014 meant breweries with a name linked to a specific place, such as York Brewery, had to state on the label if the beer was not made there.
Christopher Tregellis, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale in York said: “Contract brewing is indeed a fact of life and whilst I wish that all York Brewery products are produced locally our priority is to ensure that all its cask ale remains a York product, as other brewing moves away from Yorkshire have had unfortunate results.”