A FARM where pheasants were once reared for game shooting has given its name to a new brewery and restaurant.
The micro brewery is housed in what was once part of a threshing barn on the 200-acre farm.
Pheasantry Brewery is run by Mark Easterbrook who worked in the food manufacturing industry for 20 years before deciding to go it alone.
He lives alongside the brewery on the outskirts of East Markham with his wife Mary, a chartered accountant who also helps with the business, and their three children.
Mark, 46, said: “My wife’s family are farmers and bought this land. It used to have a brewery on it before for the personal use of the family who owned it.”
“The group of farm buildings was listed so we had to do something with them because we couldn’t just knock them down, even though they were derelict.”
Mark and family moved to the farm about four years ago and first of all set about making the main house habitable as their family home.
As Mark pointed out, it looks much grander than a common or garden farm house, which suggests the original occupants were quite well-to-do.
The name J Kirk is etched into the brickwork of one building alongside the date 1815.
The pheasantry, where the birds were bred, is now a cottage, which has also been renovated.
Although they had no previous experience of brewing or of running a restaurant, they decided to take a leap of faith and go for it.
“We know a Michelin-starred chef who gave us advice on everything like recruitment, kitchen design, crockery and cutlery, as well as the menus.”
“We also got good advice on the brewery from people in the business.”
The equipment came from Advanced Brewing UK at Misterton. Mark brews four times a week, which equates to some 2,880 pints of beer.
He was advised to brew at least one session beer, because that’s what people drink in volume, and that is the 3.8 per cent best bitter called simply BB.
He also brews a four per cent pale ale, called PA, and will soon be brewing a dark ale which will be a bit stronger.
As well as serving the beers in the restaurant, he also supplies to other local pubs.
Visitors can book a tour of the brewery which is approached through what was once a threshing barn, complete with some of the original herringbone brick floor.
Tours last half an hour and cost £5 per adult, which includes a free pint.
Mark uses traditional methods to brew, from malted barley, hops, water and yeast.
Hop poles are positioned around the car park and the brewery can be viewed from the main entrance.
Malting barley is grown on the farm and sold to Fawcetts in Castleford, where Mark also buys from.
The restaurant has been designed sympathetically by architects in keeping with its orignal use as farm buildings. Large windows give open views across the gardens and farmland beyond.
Although it is upmarket, children are welcome and it’s a place where people can pop in for a drink and a light bite, as well as a more substantial meal.
“We wanted to create a place where people feel comfortable enough to come in on their own,” said Mark.