The brewery is housed in a 200-year-old Laithe; a Yorkshire term, derived from Old Norse, for a barn or agricultural building. It was used for storing hay and sheltering cattle until it was converted.
Along with improvements to the building, a 150-foot borehole was drilled to tap in to the excellent brewing quality water below. In addition, and uniquely, a reed bed was constructed to deal with the brewery waste in an environmentally friendly manner.
Originally called Wharfedale Brewery, the site was opened by the Duke of Kent KG on the 3rd December 2003. Unfortunately brewing ceased in 2007 and the brewery closed.
In 2007 the brewery was bought by the present owners Richard and Carole Eyton-Jones. Richard graduated from Heriot Watt University with a Masters Degree in Brewing and began his career at Goose Eye Brewery in Keighley, Yorkshire. He went on to brew at Old Mill Brewery in Snaithe, St Peter’s Brewery & the Old Cannon Brewery, both in Suffolk. Carole started out as a Whitbread manager, is a qualified licensee and has enjoyed many years in hospitality and retail management.
2008 saw the first pint of Hetton Pale Ale launched from Dark Horse using new equipment and a greater capacity that now allows up to 15,000 pints of beer a week to be produced.