Great Newsome Brewery’s butterfly-inspired beers put the spotlight on sustainability

Great Newsome Brewery has launched its latest beer inspired by the butterflies that thrive at the East Yorkshire farm where the brewery is based.

Matthew Hodgson

‘Tortoiseshell’, a hoppy, 4.5% ABV pale ale named for one of Britain’s best-known butterflies, is on tap at 17 pubs across Hull and East Yorkshire, with availability set to increase in the coming weeks.

It is the eighth beer in Great Newsome’s Chrysalis range, which the brewery introduced in early 2022 to highlight its commitment to sustainability and raise awareness of the measures the farm has adopted to protect and encourage wildlife.

These include introducing and replanting hedgerows on field boundaries and establishing winter bird feed strips and pollinator and bumble bee strips on areas of the farm where they are most beneficial.

The farm is also improving soil health and capturing carbon by planting cover crops on land that would previously have been left bare during the winter. The cover crops help maintain nutrients in the soil and help the land infiltrate water from heavy rainfall.

Brewery director Matthew Hodgson, whose family has farmed at the Holderness site for four generations, said: “We are part of the government’s Countryside Stewardship scheme, which supports farmers to protect and enhance the environment by restoring wildlife habitats and encouraging biodiversity.

“The farm is home to a number of butterfly species that are not always found at other farms in the area and we launched our Chrysalis range of beers to celebrate these.

“At the same time, we’ve taken the opportunity with the new range to introduce some new beers that are a bit of a departure from our more traditional offering.

“We gave our brewers the chance to experiment with new ideas and come up with recipes that would offer something different for existing customers and potentially attract a new type of customer to the brewery.”

Other beers in the Chrysalis range include Painted Lady, a modern ABV porter with marshmallow; Orange Tip, a crisp and zesty pale ale with citrus; and Small Copper, a malty and bitter session ale.

Each Chrysalis beer features eye-catching, butterfly-inspired branding and, while most are currently available exclusively as cask beer in pubs, three have also been launched in cans – a first for the brewery.

Matthew said: “We’ve chosen these beers to test customer reaction to craft cans – they are more easily recyclable than glass bottles and are perfect for showcasing the contemporary design featured across the range.

“We’re very happy with how all the beers in the range have been received. As well as being good drinking, we hope they’ll help us tell the story of the brewery and our commitment to improving the environment through sustainable faming and production processes.”

Other measures Great Newsome has adopted or is trialling to reduce its environmental impact include replacing plastic tape with paper tape when packaging online orders, replacing plastic cask closures with wooden closures and replacing pump badges made from plastic for those made from a fully recyclable eco board.

To reduce the ‘food miles’ in the brewing process all the malted barley used in Great Newsome beers is sourced from Yorkshire malting plants – with some of the barley grown on Great Newsome Farm itself. Recipes for the brewery’s newest beers have been created with a greater emphasis on British hops over imported hops, further reducing the distance from field to brewery and the environmental impact of the production process.

The brewery has also reduced its electricity consumption by using steam – a much more energy-efficient method of heating liquids – for all the elements of the brewing process that require heat since January 2020. From later this month its electricity usage will be reduced further when it switches to steam washing of all casks and kegs.

For more information on Great Newsome Brewery and its beers, visit