Ute: Studio.Build

This weekend we launch Ute – a 7% WYIPA*

*West Yorkshire IPA

Ute is a new collaboration between North Brewing Co, esteemed design agency Studio.Build, furniture maker Plaey Workshop, and designer James Ockleford from Refold which challenges the boundaries of how beer, art and music interplay with their natural surroundings.

The project came from like minded creatives running away with an idea over a beer or two in Leeds. In the run up to the launch we wanted to share a little more about the people we have worked with, and their relationship to Ute here on our blog.
Michael C. Place is the founder of Studio.Build, an award wining creative agency with an international reputation for creating strong visual narratives. He’s also a regular at North Bar Social in Otley.
Tell us a little about your relationship with North:
We (my then girlfriend, now my wife Nicky) went to the opening of North Bar when we lived in Leeds all those years back. We also used to go to North Bar before going to Back to Basics just round the corner at Mint Club. Back then North Bar was a real breath of fresh air, something different, exciting. It was really my first real foray into the exotic world of beer. All these years later it’s still one of my favourite city centre bars. It’s an institution, one of Leeds real jewels. Long may it continue!
Tell us a little about your design influences:
My design influences are eclectic to say the least and range from architecture to modern art to nature to music to typography. I think the biggest influence is life itself and the environment we live in. So much inspiration comes from things I see as I walk around. These things feed into my work, sometimes probably unconsciously. I’ve never been a purist in terms of design, I believe that design isn’t about beauty, it isn’t about perfection. Rules are made to be broken, there is real beauty in ugliness. Happy accidents are moments of joy. I get as much joy looking at a beautifully carved piece of Yorkshire stone on an old building as I do looking at a wonderfully executed piece of graphic design. My design heroes tend to be people with real character, design needs those type of people. So yes, my design influences are varied 🙂

Ilkley photographed by Joanne Crawford

And back to beers… 3 desert island beers (you’ll have a working fridge while stranded!):
In order of strength —
  • Duvel 8.5% I’ll always have a soft spot for Duvel. It was part of my initial delve into Belgian beer. Had a lot of good nights with my old friend Duvel.
  • North Brewing Co, Megahertz 8.0% I bang on about this beer whenever I’m with Matt & James. Absolutely loved it. It came to my attention when Marcus at The Curious Hop (my local beer shop in Otley) recommended it to me. I drank it. Went back and bought more. When he ran out I found it at a bottle shop in Ilkley and bought more. So yeah, love Megahertz.
  • Buxton Brewery – Axe Edge 6.8% I really love pretty much anything Buxton do, again initially recommended to me by Marcus at The Curious Hop. It’s like an old friend, you might not see them for ages but when you do it’s great.

Ilkley photographed by Joanne Crawford

And snacks. Bar snacks are the best snacks. What’s your favourite?
Crisps. I love crisps. Obscure fact, I used to have this idea about opening a shop that sold crisps from around the world. Just crisps. It was going to be called ‘Crisp’. Top 3 crisps (in no order as that would be too hard) – Pickled Onion Monster Munch. Walkers Plain (Ready Salted for you millennials). Chicken Sensations. Honourable mentions – Spicy Knick Knacks, Salt & Vinegar Chipsticks, Wasabi Sensations, Beef Hula Hoops, Bacon Frazzles & Prawn Cocktail Skips.
[Editor’s note: This is a well rounded good answer to the most important of all these questions]
Brewery shots by Nick Maw, off site shots by Joanne Crawford