Beer and pub column

TAKE five of the region’s best breweries. Throw their brewers together. Mix up the ideas. And what happens?

Well, we're about to find out...

In just under a fortnight, York drinkers will get their first chance to try one of the most exciting Yorkshire collaboration brews yet.

Brew York, the new brewery in Walmgate in York, is hosting a festival showcasing five breweries. And to mark the event, they have all teamed up to brew a one-off beer.

Two weeks ago, after a brainstorming session to decide their plan, Lee Grabham and Wayne Smith from Brew York were joined by Marco Karjalainen from Brass Castle, James Broad from Bad Seed, Tony Rogers from Half Moon and Steve Crump from Ghost.

Together, they have created Foss Force Five, which they describe as a Thai pale ale. It’s infused with mango, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, and has an ABV of five per cent.

Wayne said: "We met a few weeks back and bounced ideas around, and everyone put a little contribution into it. The first time it will be available will be at our festival."

Steve from Ghost said: "I've done collaborations with previous breweries but this is my first with Ghost. I'm looking forward to trying it, and to the festival."

And Tony from Half Moon added: "Everyone gets something out of working with each other. We all do things a little differently - I'm the first to admit you would not normally find me throwing lemongrass or lime leaves into a brew. But I always enjoy the collaborations and it was a brilliant day."

What the beer actually tastes like remains to be seen. They do say too many cooks spoil the broth, but let’s hope the same isn’t true of brewers and beer.

Either way, Foss Force Five will be just one of the beers to look out for at the three-day festival, which runs from 5pm to 11pm next Thursday, and from noon to 11pm on the Friday and Saturday.

All five breweries who contributed to the beer will also have their own bars at the festival, meaning around 30 beers in total on sale. There will also be live music and stalls from a range of street-food vendors, including Parm Star, Smokin' Blues, Street Cleaver and Donut Kitchen.

The whole festival is one of the showcase events of the York: City of Ale celebration, which runs from next Saturday through to Sunday, July 17.

The eight-day programme includes events around York and the region, in a bid to promote the local areas pubs and breweries.

The detailed programme is still being formulated, but details of times will be available over the coming week at

On the opening Saturday, there are open days at Helmsley Brewery, Brass Castle Brewery in Malton and Treboom Brewery at Shipton by Beningbrough. And that day and the next day, there’s a beers, love and blues festival at The Woolpack in Fawcett Street.

The Postern Gate in Piccadilly is hosting an IPA festival from the Monday to the Friday, and The Three Tuns in Coppergate and Blue Boar in Castlegate are running a loyalty scheme all week: buy seven pints over the course of the week and get an eighth free.

On the Wednesday evening, there is a new beer launch night at The Falcon tap in Micklegate and a “meet the brewer” evening with Rudgate at The Shambles Tavern.

And on the Thursday evening, July 14, there is a mouthwatering beer and food matching night at The Star Inn The City beside Lendal Bridge, where 14 dishes will be paired with seven beers from BAD Co at Dishforth.

Tickets for that one are £30. Phone 01423 324 005 or email