The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was established in 1758. Samuel Smith's is a small, independent brewery, brewing at the oldest brewery in Yorkshire.
The original well at the Old Brewery, sunk in 1758, is still in use. The brewing water for the ales and stouts is drawn from 85 feet underground. The malt mixes with hard well water in copper mash-tuns. Fuggles and Goldings, the old fashioned varieties of hops that over the centuries have given the best British ales distinctive flavour are added later and boiled in 'coppers'.
Samuel Smith still ferments ale and stout in traditional Yorkshire stone 'squares' - roofed fermenting vessels made of solid blocks of slate. The yeast is of a strain that has been used at the Old Brewery continuously since the beginning of the last century, one of the oldest unchanged strains in the country, still as healthy and as active as ever frothing up into rich creamy heads.
The brewery cooper makes and repairs all the wooden casks used for the brewery's naturally conditioned 'Old Brewery Bitter'. Barrels, kilderkins and firkins are the traditional names used for the different sizes of casks, repaired with tools that have their names like 'patsy', 'chive' and 'adze'. Grey shire horses weighing more than a ton each are kept in the stables at the Old Brewery making occasional deliveries of beer to a couple of pubs in the town.