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31st March 2020

Yorkshire Wolds companies join forces to create unique beer

L-R: Sisters Jenni Ashwood from Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery and Kate Balchin from Wold Top Brewery Jenni Ashwood and Kate Balchin

Sibling businesses from the Yorkshire coast have collaborated to launch Yorkshire’s first barrel-aged beer.

The teams at Wold Top Brewery and sister company Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery have launched Swell, a limited edition dark beer that has been matured for 11 months in casks that held spirit at Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky distillery.

“Swell has been brewed specifically for barrel-aging, the recipe developed to hold the flavours from the casks without being overwhelmed. It’s rich, fruity and full of flavour. With an ABV of 12%, it’s a beer to be savoured,” said Wold Top’s Brewery Manager, Alex Balchin.

“When in the cask, the beer picks up flavours from the spirit that’s been in there before, as well as some of the ‘woody’ flavours from the cask itself.

In our case, we’re using ex maturing malt casks which had also held bourbon and sherry and wine, so this means the beer is picking up lots of the whisky and wood flavours, making it taste really different.

“By spending 11 months in the wooden casks – most barrel-aged beers spend at least 6 months in casks – a really rounded flavour is achieved.”

Limited to 6,000 330ml bottles, Swell is available online at and from independent local retailers including Sewell on the go convenience stores whilst stocks last.

Swell is the first in the Ebb and Flow series of barrel-aged beers from Wold Top Brewery. Future releases will explore different styles of beer, matured in different whisky cask types, all coming from the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery.

Wold Top Brewery was founded by in 2003 and is located on the Mellor family farm at Hunmanby Grange near Filey. The team use home grown barley and water from the farm’s borehole to produce a range of cask, keg and bottled beers that are available throughout Yorkshire and nationwide.

Home of Filey Bay single malt whisky, Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery is a collaboration between farmer and brewer, Tom Mellor from Wold Top Brewery and business partner, David Thompson. Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky distillery is a true field to bottle setup, with barley grown on, and water sourced from, the Wold Top farm at Hunmanby Grange.


For more information or to arrange an interview with Alex or Kate Balchin, please contact Tracey Baty at three60 marketing on

Direct line: 01430 871360

Mobile: 07971 961574

E mail: traceybaty@three60


Notes to editors

  • Swell spent 11 months in a combination of casks from the Spirit of Yorkshire, each of which had previously held maturing spirit from the distillery, including a PX (Pedro Ximenez) cask which is extremely rare in the world of barrel-ageing, as well as an STR cask (red wine cask which has been shaved, toasted and re-charred to enhance flavour and maturation). The bourbon casks were all from Distillery Projects 003, which won a Liquid Gold (95/100) award from Jim Murray in his 2020 Whisky Bible, unprecedented for a not-quite-whisky.
  • For more information about Wold Top Brewery, please visit
  • For more information about Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery, please visit
  • Follow the link to buy Swell