By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
Samuel Smith is among the few independent breweries remaining in England. They brew at The Old Brewery at Tadcaster, Yorkshire’s oldest brewery, which was founded in 1758 when its original well was sunk. The well is still used today for drawing brewing water from 85 feet underground. The naturally conditioned draught beer is hand-pulled from oak casks. And the brewery has used the same strain of yeast since the 19th century. Samuel Smith’s ales and stouts are fermented in “stone Yorkshire squares,” made of solid slabs of slate. The brewery also keeps tradition with its team of Shire horses, among the last active dray horses in the world, delivering beer in Tadcaster. Samuel Smith also operates over 300 pubs, offering only beers produced by the Tadcaster brewery and serve no large corporation spirits or soft drinks.
Unlike many other beers made and sold in the United States, Samuel Smith’s beers are brewed solely from authentic natural ingredients. They contain no chemical additives, no raw material adjuncts, no artificial sweeteners, no colorings, and no artificial flavorings or preservatives. For example, Samuel Smith’s Pure Brewed Organic Lager includes “organic malted barley, organic hops, yeast, and water.” This gorgeous larger is golden in color, and brewed with organic malted barley, organic hops, medium-soft water, and bottom fermenting yeast. Chocoholics, such as myself, love the Organic Chocolate Stout. It is brewed with well water, roasted organic chocolate malt, and organic cocoa. The Organic Raspberry Ale is a fruity, thirst-quenching beer made with organic raspberries. It is burgundy in color and boasts an appealing structure and depth, a smooth body, and a dry finish. And the Organic Strawberry Ale is rust in color, delightfully light, and aromatic with refined notes of strawberries. Samuel Smith beers are also vegan products, registered with The Vegan Society.