Sixty years ago this week the 9.56pm passenger train from York arrived with a consignment of yeast that was to play a significant part in the future of Harvey’s.
A brewer’s yeast strain, combined with a source of local spring water, bestows a quality to a beer that is unique.
Harvey’s yeast began its journey in 1957. Previously we had received yeast from the British Pure Yeast Company but, when it ceased to trade, this became a problem for Harvey’s and many other UK Breweries.
Struggling to find a yeast strain that worked with our brewing process, a serendipitous encounter occurred when Anthony Jenner, Harvey’s Head Brewer at the time, was paid a social call by an analytical chemist who suggested approaching the Tadcaster Brewery Company. The yeast arrived by steam train, was duly pitched into that day’s brew and, as Anthony Jenner said, “settled down to the Sussex air”.
Harvey’s yeast has been pitched over 3000 generations and has survived two floods, 60 harvests and several varieties of Malted barley.
Watch the video, where Harvey’s current Head Brewer, Miles Jenner, takes us on a historical tour of the company and the yeast we still use to this day.