Isaac Poad | Q&A

Isaac Poad | Q&A
Originally Posted on Oct 12, 2018

Are you curious to know about the people behind the beers you buy? Or perhaps you want to know what inspires brewers to brew and beer bloggers to blog? Our “Q&A” posts are a light hearted way of getting to know people working in, and connected to, the beer and alcohol industry.
The latest in our Q&A series is with Isaac Poad Brewing. Isaac Poad are brewers and one of the oldest, independent barley merchants in the country.  They have been in business for over 150 years, starting around the time Victoria was Queen and the American Civil War was in full swing.



Who are you/what do you do?   Hi there, my name is Chris Dearnley and I am the Brewery Manager for Isaac Poad Brewing.

What was the inspiration for starting the brewery?   We are one of York’s oldest family run businesses founded in 1863 as Grain Traders & Barley Merchants. We therefore deal daily in the core ingredients required to make beer! Our local traceability and provenance is second to none making a brand of beer a natural progression. We sell the farmer the seed who grows the crop, we then buy it back at harvest and either trade to market or brew beer with it.

Where do you see, or hope to see, the brewery in 5 years’ time?   With every day we grow as does our market share. Through focusing on building relationships with businesses like Beers of Europe we aim to increase our geographical coverage and increase our range of products. We constantly strive to improve our established core range and offer specials depending on the season / event of focus. We have just done a new deal for the next three years to continue our sponsorship of The York City Knights Rugby League Club and with them having just achieved promotion it is an exciting relationship.

Are there any other breweries which have influenced Isaac Poad?   As many do, we look to our competitors for many reasons and this is healthy. Few have such a rich history as us though and especially in York where tourists flock for the city’s history this serves us well. I have to mention Tony formerly of York Brewery, he helped us enormously and I am very grateful to him for his advice and insight.



The craft beer movement seems to be going from strength to strength. Why do you think brewing been such a great success in recent years?   It’s hard to say what brings certain things back into fashion. I think increased creativity draws in a wider demographic. Creativity is a catalyst for intrigue and that is a great way to entice people into trying your products.

What do you see as the latest beer styles to look out for in the coming year?   Gluten Free and low ABV beers are growing rapidly so this is an area we are looking to exploit.

Many breweries are experimenting with adding unusual flavours to their beers. Are there any you think work well together and are there any you would like to try?  Cloudwater Brew Co create some wonderful flavour profiles, I am a fan of what they do. I do however have many of their beers still to try so they will be on my Christmas list. Personally, I love a Mocha, our Chocolate & Coffee Piccadilly Porter has just been shortlisted for the “Deliciously Yorkshire” taste award so fingers crossed for a great result there!

Looking ahead, what new stuff can we expect from you?   I am sure we will do another festive Christmas Special in cask but before that we will be at the “York Christmas Market” from November 15th to December 23rd. Our stand will be there every day offering our beer & gin for the ideal gift.

What is the best part of your job?   The customers! Business becoming friendship tells you when you are doing it right.

What was your first drink and where were you when you had it?   Not a fond memory! 14 years old at a friend’s house with a litre of cheap vodka. Makes me feel ill just thinking about it!

If you have to pick (we know, tough choice!) which would be your top three beers in the whole world?   That is like asking me to give you my top three films! Impossible. There are too many. A cop out I know but one day I might fancy something complex and the next a quality session ale will hit the spot.

You are stuck on a desert island, what three things are you taking with you?   A compass, a cook book and a medical kit.

Thanks to Chris for chatting to us.

Browse and purchase the range of Isaac Poad beers here.