The Yorkshire Wolds is an area of outstanding natural beauty that lies between the low, flat Vale of York and a section of dramatic North Sea coast that stretches from Bridlington to Filey. The area has recently been brought to prominence by world-renowned Yorkshire artist David Hockney – though those who live and work amongst this gentle rolling landscapes have been quietly singing their praises for years.
Hidden away you’ll find large historic country houses, quiet villages and hamlets, and industrious farms where traditional agricultural practices have kept pace with modern developments over the years – and developed a few new ones along the way.
Nowhere more so than at Hunmanby Grange near Wold Newton, just a few miles from Filey. The Mellor family has been farming 600 acres of land on the high Wolds for generations and in 2003 began to diversify – with a modest vision of producing the best real ale in Yorkshire.
Today, Tom and Gill Mellor oversee a micro-brewing operation that has gone from strength to strength: from brewing their first ale in an old barn to now producing a range of award-winning beers under the label ‘Wold Top’.
Their regular beers include Wold Top Bitter, Wold Gold, Anglers’ Reward, Headland Red and Wold Top Against the Grain (a gluten-free beer). And if that wasn’t enough, they also brew an eclectic mix of special edition cask beers throughout the year – Dawn o’ Time, Marmalade Porter, Spring Fling, Big Sky Bitter, Falling Stone, Hello Velo, Golden Summer, St Clement’s Saison and Worts ‘n’ Ale.
A trip to this vibrant craft brewery is featured on one of Yorkshire Food Finder bespoke culinary trails, ‘On Top of the Wold’, and so we asked Sue Nelson, who founded Yorkshire Food Finder with her husband Aidan, how they came to be working with the Mellors.
“We were alerted to Wold Top,” recalls Sue, “by James Mackenzie of the Michelin starred Pipe & Glass Inn in South Dalton. He suggested we contact Tom and Gill Mellor to see if they would be interested in joining our ‘food trail’ concept. They were only too delighted to get involved. The passion of the Mellors is infectious both for the brewery and for Yorkshire, the Wolds in particular”.
And when asked what is so special about Wold Top when Yorkshire is home to more than 100 craft breweries, Sue’s answer is simple:
“Where else do you find a brewery on a farm on which they grow their own malting barley and use water from their own bore hole? What could be more ‘local than that?”
Taste the results, and you will understand why real ale from the Wolds is now in demand not only across the UK but as far away as the Falkland Islands...