craft beer brewing history

Kirkstall Brewery has saved North Brewing Co from administration by acquiring the iconic Leeds beer brand. With the commitment to maintain North’s autonomy, the two breweries, both deeply rooted in the community, ensure a strong future for Leeds’ craft beer culture.

How has Kirkstall Brewery saved North Brewing Co from administration?

Kirkstall Brewery has acquired North Brewing Co, safeguarding the iconic Leeds beer brand. Steve Holt of Kirkstall committed to maintaining North’s autonomy, ensuring its legacy continues. Both breweries remain community-focused, with North operating independently, yet with Kirkstall’s support, promising a robust future for Leeds’ craft beer culture.

A New Chapter in Leeds’ Brewing History

Leeds has long been a bastion for craft beer enthusiasts and the recent turn of events has only cemented its reputation. Amidst the gasps of uncertainty, the fates of two local giants have intertwined to write a new chapter in the city’s brewing history. Kirkstall Brewery’s acquisition of North Brewing Co, just as it teetered on the brink of administration, is not merely a business transaction—it’s the fusion of two legacies that have shaped Leeds’ beer culture.

In a move that has infused the local craft beer community with relief and optimism, Steve Holt of Kirkstall Brewery affirmed the decision to protect North’s legacy. “We’ve been friends and industry colleagues for almost 30 years, North is an iconic beer brand that had to continue,” he stated. Holt’s commitment to North’s autonomy post-acquisition promises that the brand which has become a Leeds staple will retain its essence. This is significant for a city that prides itself on its rich craft beer tapestry.

The Rise of North Brewing Co

The inception of North Brewing Co is a narrative of passion and industry foresight. Tracing back to 1997, co-founders John Gyngell and Christian Townsley embarked on their craft beer journey with the opening of North Bar on New Briggate. The bar’s success laid the groundwork for what would become one of the UK’s most cherished craft beer establishments. In 2011, Gyngell and Townsley’s vision materialized into the North Brewing Co, a venture that would see them expand from a modest industrial estate to the impressive Springwell HQ.

Their growth trajectory was marked by a substantial increase in production capacity, scaling up to 2.8 million pints annually, and an expansion of their retail footprint. With a state-of-the-art facility and a taproom that soon became a hub for beer connoisseurs, North Brewing Co’s commitment to quality and community engagement became the cornerstone of their success.

Kirkstall Brewery’s Parallel Ascent

Simultaneously, Kirkstall Brewery was carving its own path in the Leeds beer scene. With a name that echoes the area’s thousand-year brewing heritage, their journey began in tandem with North’s in 2011. Kirkstall’s range of iconic beers such as Three Swords Pale and Dissolution IPA quickly garnered them a following, illustrating Leeds’ appreciation for well-crafted ales.

Beyond brewing, Kirkstall’s contribution to the community has been marked by the revival of historic pubs like The Cardigan Arms and Kirkstall Bridge Inn. Their approach to growth has been holistic, focusing on quality, heritage, and community—a trifecta that resonates with the values held by North Brewing Co.

United Under One Roof

The unification of these two brewing powerhouses under the umbrella of Vertical Drinks Ltd T/A North is a testament to their shared values and vision for Leeds’ craft beer future. With North Brewing Co continuing to operate independently, yet bolstered by Kirkstall’s support, the synergy is poised not only to preserve the uniqueness of both brands but also to propel them forward.

The assurance from John Gyngell that all establishments, including the brewery and taproom at Springwell and the various bars across the UK, will maintain their operations is a beacon of continuity for employees and patrons alike. It is this sense of stability and commitment to legacy that underscores the importance of the rescue.

With both North Brewing Co (Buslingthorpe Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2DF) and Kirkstall Brewery (100 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS3 1HJ) standing as pillars of the craft beer community in Leeds, their alliance heralds a robust future for the city’s beer culture. It’s a collaborative spirit that mirrors the communal ethos of Leeds itself, uniting connoisseurs and casual drinkers in a collective toast to a preserved and thriving local industry.

  • Kirkstall Brewery has acquired North Brewing Co, saving it from administration and ensuring the continuation of the iconic Leeds beer brand.
  • Both breweries are deeply rooted in the community and are committed to maintaining North Brewing Co’s autonomy.
  • The acquisition is seen as a new chapter in Leeds’ brewing history, bringing together two legacies that have shaped the city’s beer culture.
  • North Brewing Co’s success story began with the opening of North Bar in 1997 and expanded to become one of the UK’s most cherished craft beer establishments.
  • Kirkstall Brewery, with its range of iconic beers and contribution to the community, shares similar values with North Brewing Co and is committed to preserving their uniqueness.

By george