A Brew-Up in a Brewery
A Social Event for Jigsaw Tree Group Male Carers
In April (2018) Carers Leeds distributed funding from Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group to independent carers groups across the city. We were successful in our bid and used the funding to arrange three separate events for the parent-carers in our group. The first was an evening get together for adults. The second was an afternoon tea and this was the final event.
Over the Easter Weekend, we arranged a social event for some of the dads/male carers of the group with the intent of creating some social bonds over a few beers. Whilst caring for someone can be very rewarding, it can also lead to social isolation and loneliness. The Jigsaw Tree Support Group is not as well attended by dads and male carers – this event planned to get them out and meet up.
With the sun out, what better way to do this than with an organised trip to three breweries in York. Brewtown Tours collected the group in the morning from Garforth and set off for the first of the three planned stops; Yorkshire Heart Brewery. Nun Monkton might just be the prettiest village in North Yorkshire: the vineyard and brewery are situated in 10 acres of fantastic views of vines, surrounded by lush countryside. With a core range of seven beers, plus at least two specials every month, the brewery produces quality cask ales using water from Yorkshire Heart’s own natural spring. The group got a very personal tour of the brewery and the process of brewing in all it stages.
The ‘Rhubarbeer’ was reported to be the highlight of this brewery by one of the group – dark in colour with delicious fruity rhubarb flavours. We love living near the Rhubarb triangle!
On to the next stop – York Brewery. Since they opened their doors in May 1996, York Brewery have been passionately producing fine handcrafted real ales to the highest possible standards. Located just inside the city walls on Toft Green; a mere stones throw from the historic royal entrance to the city Micklegate Bar. The brewery site was built in the late 16th century, and most notably was the birthplace of Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803-82), the inventor of the Hansom Cab. The brewery houses a 20-barrel brew plant, with six traditional open top fermenters and 5 conditioning tanks. A gallery above the brew house, along with a viewing panel into the fermenting room have been located to offer visitors a fantastic viewing platform whilst on one of their guided brewery tours. After the 45 minute tour of the brewery the group had the opportunity to indulge in a number of ales from their permanent and temporary selections.
The ‘Otherside IPA’ was a winner for many in the group – An International Brewing Awards 2017 Silver category award winner, Otherside IPA is a Maris Otter pacific pale ale packed full of antipodean promise. With four of the best New Zealand grown hops to provide a feast for the taste buds. A host of tropical fruit notes against a background of citrus and pine from dry hopping with Motueka.
To wrap the day up, the group headed to the amazing Brew York Beer Hall. The brewery consists of a 20 hl Brewhouse and over 260 HL in Fermenting and Conditioning capacity. This gives them the ability to produce a core range and the flexibility to produce the more ‘out there’ seasonal and one-off beers that really excites all their visitors. The brewery is located within York’s historic city walls, a 15 minute walk from the station. A very unique Taproom with riverside beer garden has been constructed right alongside the Brewhouse to showcase the beers at their freshest.
The Tonkoko Milk Stout (pictured) was the winner for a few of the group. An award winning milk stout, described as bounty in a glass. Huge coconut and chocolate flavours with a Tonka and Vanilla finish. Really creamy and easy drinking.
The group all expressed how much they enjoyed the day. Mark Stredwick (from Brewtown Tours) made the day very special, his knowledge and passion for craft ale was evident, as was his ability to put the group (all strangers at the start of the day) at ease and get everyone chatting. This was a thoroughly fantastic day getting to know each other & building relationships.
The Jigsaw Tree has now been awarded the dubitable acolade of an “Organising a brew-up in a brewery” from the participants and has, more importantly, introduced a group of people to each other resulting in new friendships! The group has made a promise to now meet up once a month, to catch up, develop friendships and support each other, with more Dads/male carers also promising to come along and join them.
The funding assistance for these activities was an amazing gesture, one that has put many carers in the same room across three different events and helped develop friendships, social bonds and a support network. The results are priceless.
A huge thank you to Leeds City Council, the NHS Leeds Commissioning Group and Carers Leeds.
Helen – The Jigsaw Tree
If you run a carers group in Leeds, there is still funding available.