At Wold Top Brewery their vision is simple; they want to make great tasting beer, using home grown, and sustainably sourced ingredients for the rest of Yorkshire and the world to enjoy! Paul Andrews visited the brewery and spoke to Kate Balchin to find out more.
As Kate explains, “As a brewery we turn 20 next year and a lot has happened since we founded the business. Our family has farmed 600 acres high on the Yorkshire Wolds for generations and our aim is to continue to do so!”
“Sustainability is key, we want to work in balance with nature so we grow trees and hedges to offset the carbon footprint, we plant areas for birds and wildlife, we consider the bees that are essential for the pollination of the crops and we use crop rotations to keep the soil in good heart. We also use renewable energy from our own wind turbines and have our own water supply from natural chalk aquifers under the farmland,” she continues.
“The farm is where I grew up and this part of the world is special. Creating the brewery to make use of the crops that we grow and continue our philosophy of home grown ingredients was a simple step for us to make and Alex (my husband and co-founder of the business) and I have put a lot of time into perfecting the plan and developing the business too. One of our biggest challenges is not talking about business all of the time because it is something that we are so passionate about,” Kate continues.
The business has grown quickly and the family continue to invest in their products and it shows. “We have won many awards for our beers over the years and are proud of our range of all year round and special edition cask, keg and bottled beers that include Wold Top Bitter, gluten free beer Against the Grain and best selling favourite Scarborough Fair IPA,” adds Kate. “We are proud of what we have achieved to date and want to be valued and for people to continue to respect and value the products that we make.”
As a family business Wold Top is very much values based, focused on creating and maintaining a conscious brand.
“We set out to build a sustainable business and to ensure that we were considerate in our planning, development and execution,” explains Kate. “We live, work and play in a wonderful area of Yorkshire and want to maintain this balance for future generations. Hence growing our own barley in the most sustainable way we can, sourcing our power from the wind and drawing our water from underground aquifers deep in the chalk.”
As a company they also balance their impact on a broader spectrum too. They employ local people who contribute back into the local economy and they support other local businesses, venues and events as much as we can.
Clearly, beer is at the heart of what this young family business is all about. “We want every pint of Wold Top to be enjoyed as much as the previous one, so we balance our malts and hops to give flavours, aromas and tastes that can be enjoyed time after time, pint after pint. It is a great business to work in and we are proud of all that we have achieved to date,” adds Kate, “but we also have plenty of plans for the future too. We plan to introduce more products and to continue to sell our beers to businesses that share our values and culture, that are aligned with our thinking and respect our products for their provenance too.”
All businesses depend on their people and Wold Top have a committed team to help the dream flourish.
“Our team are fantastic and really understand what Wold Top is all about. They understand our values as a family and our purpose and they are integral to the achievement of our vision for the business too,” continues Kate.
“Hospitality is building back after the pandemic and what has been a difficult couple of years and we have plans to grow too. We may be a small business but have big ambitions, a real passion and determination to succeed and a plan to continue to build a sustainable family business that cares about what it does and how it does it. We are looking to the next 20 years and beyond with the intention of creating something truly sustainable that may well pass on to future generations too,” concludes Kate.
Give and take. Perfectly Balanced. On top of the Wold. Wold Top!