Archive for category North East

Brewery saddles up for the ‘Le Tour’ with yellow jersey commission

As the Grand Départ draws ever closer, Ilkley Brewery is setting its wheels in motion for the world’s greatest cycle race by commissioning its very own yellow cycling jerseys.

Ilkley Brewery’s sales director, Richard Shelton (left), and managing director, Chris Ives, both keen road cyclists, kick

Ilkley Brewery’s sales director, Richard Shelton (left), and managing director, Chris Ives, both keen road cyclists, kick

The jerseys, made by Ilkley-based cycling jersey manufacturer, Spirit Cycling, display the Ilkley Brewery brand and serve to commemorate the start of the 2014 Tour de France which will fly through Yorkshire this July.

Richard Shelton, director at Ilkley Brewery, said: “Both Chris and I are lifelong cycling fans, as well as members of Ilkley Cycling Club, so the arrival of the Grand Départ in Yorkshire this summer is something we are looking forward to with great anticipation.

“We wanted to kick off the Grand Départ build-up with the release of our very own cycling jerseys to show our support for this global event which will race through Ilkley, and within metres of the brewery, this summer.

“The jerseys are the first of many Tour celebrations we have planned. Over the coming weeks, we will announce further involvement in local events and reveal how the thousands of Grand Départ spectators, destined for the Wharfe Valley, can enjoy world class cycling with award-winning Yorkshire ale.”

The jerseys, which come in a range of sizes for men and women, are available to buy direct from the Ilkley Brewery website – – and are priced at £49.50.

To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, visit: or follow Ilkley Brewery on Twitter@Ilkleybrewery and Facebook

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Saltaire Brewery collaboration with Northern Monk Brewing Co

From tomorrow, Saltaire Brewery and Northern Monk Brew Co are officially launching a new Smoked Porter 6% ABV – this is the second collaboration of 2014 that Saltaire has undertaken.

“Collaborations with other craft breweries such as Northern Monk are quite new to us.” said Tony Gartland, Saltaire’s Managing Director. “Our first was with Dark Star Brewing Co, from Sussex, this is only our second. Working with other brewers enables the fusion of ideas, talent and approaches, with the end result being the creation of unique and exciting beers for drinkers. The beer we created with Dark Star has already collected two awards at CAMRA festivals. We have high hopes Smoked Porter will be as well received.”

Both Northern Monk and Saltaire are located amongst the industrial smoke stacks of West Yorkshire and it’s this industrial back drop that was the inspiration for this dark, rich smoked Porter. Saltaire brewed the Porter to a recipe created by the combined talents of each brewer – the rich smoked flavours result from the use of specially selected German smoked malts.

Of the collaboration, Russell Bisset of Northern Monk says, “As a new brewery it’s great to see what the Saltaire team have achieved over the last few years, having grown up in the area they’ve been a real inspiration for me. Once we have settled in our new brewery we hope to work with them again. Having the opportunity to develop and brew Smoked Porter has been a really rewarding experience. The resulting beer is one we can all be proud of!”

Smoked Porter will be available in cask from Saltaire and in kegs from Northern Monk. Both breweries will have stocks of the bottled Smoked Porter. It will be officially launched at The Sparrow Bier Café in Bradford on Thursday 10 April from 7.30pm.
Both breweries can be contacted for more information about the availability of the Smoked Porter.

Wendy Carthew
Tel: 01274 594959

Russell Bisset
Tel: 07595 586 195

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A Royale Knees Up – Brewery Horses Birthday Bash

Flyer from day event of Horses Birthday Bash

Robinsons Brewery are preparing to throw a special birthday party for their Shire Horses Royale and Trooper.

The event, which takes place on Friday 18th April, has been affectionally called ‘A Royale Knees Up’ and celebrates Trooper’s 13th and Royale’s 9th Birthday.

Shire Horses Trooper and Royale

Shire Horses Trooper and Royale

“We’re very proud of our boys” said Head Horseperson, Helen Preece. “We attend around 70 events a year at various shows, fairs and carnivals across the country. The Shires really work hard and they’ve always had quite the fan following so we are expecting a big turnout!”

The day, which is open to families, includes free admission to Robinsons Visitors Centre with the opportunity to greet and groom the horses, competitions, Q&A sessions and will even feature a plaiting demo for the birthday boys.

Trooper and Royale, who are a popular sight around Stockport town centre, make up two of the few remaining Shires in the British brewing industry. These gentle giants – each weighing around one ton and 18 hands tall – are the latest in a long line of horses that have served the Cheshire family brewer for over 100 years.

Helen continued: “It should be an excellent day for the whole family. We’ve got lots of surprises in store and our Visitors Centre is the perfect venue! We hope everyone will come down and give our boys a birthday they’ll never forget.”

The celebration starts at midday till 4pm at the Apsley Street venue in Stockport. Over 18’s can continue the celebration into the evening with a rare evening tour of the brewery together with a choice of a meal and three samples of the beer for £14.00.

For more information contact the Visitors Centre on 0161 612 4100 or email: To keep up-to-date with all upcoming events please visit:

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Leeds Brewery wins at Publican Awards

Congratulations to Leeds Brewery, who won the Best Microbrewing Pub Company at the Publican Awards 2014, announced earlier this week.

John Bishop; SIBA chief executive Julian Grocock and Leeds Brewery managing director Sam Moss

This Award, run in association with SIBA, is designed to reward ‘a pub company that combines a successful microbrewing business with operating quality beer-focused pubs.’ Judges looked for evidence of how effectively the brewing and pub businesses complement each other.

Leeds Brewery is, according to judges, “a business with everything: the beers are good, the pubs are brilliantly designed and great to be in, the food is of a very high standard.” They continued, “Leeds Brewery manages to combine the best of youthful vigour and a wisdom you’d expect in a much older company. Each pub feels like a Leeds Brewery pub, and yet is its own place at the same time. Each manager is empowered to develop the pub offering, and their passion is obvious.”

They also praised the brewery for working closely with the local council to select non-pub sites to turn into pubs. Choosing the right site can be instrumental in turning around depressed areas in Leeds.
Leeds Brewery was one of three SIBA members shortlisted for the Best Microbrewing Pub Company Award this year. The other two finalists, Sonnet 43 Brew House and Brewhouse & Kitchen, were cited by judges as “very likely future winners of this award.”

SIBA chief executive Julian Grocock said, “This category is a challenging one as it demands excellence in brewing and retailing – two very different skills that aren’t always found within one small organisation. It is evident that Leeds Brewery is managing to combine both to build a flourishing business and are worthy winners of this award, which SIBA is delighted to support.”

Grocock presented the Award to Leeds Brewery managing director Sam Moss at the Publican Awards ceremony in London, which was compered by comedian John Bishop

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Ilkley Brewery and Charles Faram reveal new British Hop

A brand new British hop named Olicana, which was grown by Charles Faram & Co Hop Merchants, and test brewed by Ilkley Brewery, has been unveiled.

The Herefordshire-grown hop was revealed at the 2014 SIBA BeerX conference in Sheffield last week where thousands of brewers, licensees, hop growers, maltsters and craft beer fans gathered for this annual celebration of British beer.

The Olicana seed was originally sewn in 2009 and in 2013, after three years of agronomic assessment, Charles Faram and Ilkley Brewery teamed up to exclusively harvest and brew with this new hop, then, simply named 1391. Ilkley Brewery will brew exclusively with Olicana this season but it is hoped the hop will go into full scale production in 2015.

“Working with Charles Faram brings a fantastic opportunity to brew with a completely new hop that has wonderful citrus characteristics and challenges the convention that you need to source hops from the New World to brew hop-forward beers,” said Chris Ives, managing director of Ilkley Brewery.

“British breweries have been importing aromatic hops from countries like America and Australia for many years now but the knock-on effect is that British hop growers have taken a back seat. Creating different and exciting hops like Olicana, and growing them here in the UK, is vital for the British hop industry to stay alive,” added Chris.

Paul Corbett, managing director of Charles Faram and Co. Hop Merchants, continued: “We are delighted to have had the help and support of Ilkley Brewery with this, one of the first varieties from our new hop breeding programme. It gives us an excellent first-hand opportunity to assess the brewing potential of this new hop and we hope that it is well received.”

About Olicana

The name Olicana was chosen in honour of the Yorkshire spa town of Ilkley where the five year old brewery is based: Olicana being the name of the Roman fort from which the town grew.

The Olicana hop is a daughter of the US variety, Cascade, and an English male from the Charles Faram hop development programme. It boasts mango, grapefruit and passion fruit qualities. Charles Faram is working closely with their growers to get more Olicana plants propagated and planted this year. The new breeding programme has been established to compliment the great work that Peter Darby is doing at Wye Hops Ltd, giving a two-pronged attack to the search for more highly aromatic British hops.

To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, visit: or follow Ilkley Brewery on Twitter @Ilkleybrewery and Facebook

For more information on Charles Faram, visit

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Michelin starred food meets Ilkley Craft Beer

The Michelin-starred Box Tree restaurant has teamed up with neighbouring Ilkley Brewery and renowned beer sommALEier, Melissa Cole, to host a beer and food-matched dinner on Wednesday, March 26.

Box Tree:  Britain in Bloom

Box Tree: Britain in Bloom

This will be Ilkley Brewery’s second collaboration with the Michelin-starred restaurant; a move which demonstrates its ongoing engagement with, and commitment to, food and beer pairing.

Box Tree head chef, Lawrence Yates, has worked closely with Melissa to create a mouthwatering five-course menu matched to Ilkley’s award-winning range of beers.

Speaking about the collaboration, Chris Ives, Ilkley Brewery’s head brewer and managing director, said: “The Box Tree has a long-standing and highly respected reputation across the region, and indeed among culinary greats, so to have the opportunity to pair our craft beer with such exquisite food, really affirms our belief that good beer is a wonderful fine dining accompaniment.”

Melissa added: “It’s the second time I’ve worked with Lawrence and Ilkley on a beer and food matching event and for me, it’s as exciting as it gets when I can collaborate with someone who not only embraces but understands how the nuances of great beer can not only complement but, in some cases, elevate what are already exceptional dishes.”

Left to right - Chris Ives, Luke Raven and Richard Shelton from Ilkley Brewery

Left to right - Chris Ives, Luke Raven and Richard Shelton from Ilkley Brewery

Lawrence Yates, head chef at the Box Tree, commented: “It’s great to be working with Chris from Ilkley Brewery and Melissa Cole again. I have always found it exciting working on new flavour matchings that enhance the flavour of the food.”

Tickets for the event are priced at £60 per person and are available to buy in person from the Box Tree in Ilkley or by calling the restaurant on 01943 608484.

The menu

Diners will enjoy the following five course dinner at the Box Tree:

•Joshua Jane with red pepper dip, blue cheese dip

•The Chief with prawn and hot smoked salmon ravioli, tomato essence

•Ilkley Black with rump of lamb, crispy pomme pureé, ratatouille

•Siberia with spiced vanilla rice pudding, rhubarb compote

•The Mayan with beetroot and goats cheese, horseradish ice cream


To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, visit: or follow Ilkley Brewery on Twitter @Ilkleybrewery and Facebook

For further information on the Box Tree, visit or follow on Twitter @BoxTreeIlkley

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Simon Rimmer Hosts Man Vs Food: Round 2 At Robinsons Brewery

Following a gruelling first round, TV Chef and restaurateur Simon Rimmer returns to Robinsons Brewery on Friday 7th March to host an ample second serving of Man vs. Food.

This belly busting event, inspired by the hit US series ‘Man V Food’, pits 50 competitors against each other in a race against time to consume an offensively huge dish.

Perfectly timed for Great British Pie Week, Simon Rimmer and Robinsons Development chef Christian Whittleworth have upped the ante for Round Two. The previous 30 minute time limit has been devilishly cut in half leaving only 15 minutes to defeat the best that the Great North Pie Company has to offer; a mouth-watering selection of pies designed to stretch your stomach and taste buds to the limit.

“We’ve devised a menu that will push our competitors to the absolute limit” said Simon. “In Round One we saw seven competitors walk away with the win; but I would be highly surprised if anyone can overcome the colossal challenge we have in store. Something tells me this next round will truly separate the men from the boys! It’s a great excuse to celebrate the Great British Pie during British Pie week.”

Man vs Food Round one photo

The challenge will consist of four different pies: a giant Great Northern meat pie, a luscious Lancashire cheese and onion, a fiery chilli-tom-carne pie made with Robinsons legendary Old Tom Ale and a delicious chicken and ale pie made with another Robinsons favourite: Dizzy Blonde. Food combatants will also have to contend with a punishing pint of mash potato and a pint of peas.

On completion of the gargantuan challenge, the successful elite will get their meal for free; complete with a unique, money can’t buy, winners t-shirt. The fastest to clean their plate will also win their own height in beer.

The event takes place on Friday 7th March 2014 at Robinsons Visitors Centre in Stockport. Tickets are available from £10 per person with competitor and spectator places available. Spectators can scoff a regular sized version of the challenge menu for no extra cost (and with no time limit).

To book tickets call 0161 612 4100 or email

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North East Microbrewery is announced as Finalist in National Pub Industry Awards

Sonnet 43 Brew House has been announced as a finalist in the Best Microbrewing Pub Company category of The Publican Awards, with the winner to be announced at the award ceremony in London next month.

These national annual awards recognise achievement within the pub industry with 18 categories covering all aspects of running pub establishments, from small operations to very large pub companies. The criteria for Best Microbrewing Pub Company award is brewing less than 10,000 barrels a year with at least one quality, beer-focused pub.

This is an incredible achievement for the brewery, based at Coxhoe County Durham, having only been trading since late 2012. In that time Sonnet 43, which was named after the well-known verse by Elizabeth Barratt Browning, who was born and raised at nearby Coxhoe Hall, have made serious progress. Their beers have sold in more than 300 outlets across the North East & North Yorkshire and won Great Taste Awards and they have also opened three brewery taps – The Lambton Worm, Chester le Street, The White Lead, Hebburn and The Clarence Villa, Coxhoe – which serve the Sonnet 43 beers, as well as a range of complimentary British style food using locally sourced ingredients. And they aren’t slowing down, with plans for 2014 including expanding the brewing capacity and launching more tap venues.

The rigorous judging for the awards consisted of 3 stages, first being the paper application and the second, site visits. In their case, these were carried out by renowned beer writer, Pete Brown, who explored the achievements highlighted in their entry. This was followed by mystery visits to further assess the application with the final stage involving the brewery’s owner, Mark Hird, being interviewed by a judging panel of industry experts.

Last year’s winner was Ossett Brewery, based in West Yorkshire, which is a far larger, more-established operation with over 20 pubs and producing around 4 times the amount of beer. This year, Sonnet 43 is up against well-known, Leeds Brewery, and Brew House & Kitchen, based at the South Coast.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 25 March at London’s prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel. Liverpudlian comedy, John Bishop, will be hosting and Keith Lemon, of Celebrity Juice fame, will be appearing to presenting an award on behalf of alcopop brand Hooch, whose advertising campaigns he is currently the face of.

Mark Hird commented “I’m thrilled to be a finalist for a national accolade of this kind; Sonnet 43 still being a relatively new business this in itself is an achievement. I also think it demonstrates that our format of great tasting, award winning craft ales with fresh, local food really works and has serious potential.”

Asked about whether he thought they’d win he said “We’re up against 2 other strong contenders. I think we’ve shown the judges that we’re passionate about great beer and what is really different about us so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

For more information, photographs or interviews, call 0191 3779561 or email

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Jane’s Gruit Brew Is Just What The Doctor Ordered

Jane Peyton forages for heather on Ilkley Moor

Taking inspiration from a medieval beer recipe, Ilkley Brewery and beer sommelier, Jane Peyton, author of the book Beer o’ Clock, have collaborated to create a limited edition Gruit beer named Doctor’s Orders.

A distinctly herbaceous 5.0% ale with rich chocolate notes, Doctor’s Orders is brewed with rosemary, yarrow, sage, bog myrtle, heather flowers and heather foraged from Ilkley Moor. Similar combinations of herbs, known as Gruit mixtures, were used in medieval times for bittering and flavouring and were also believed to have wide-reaching health benefits at the time.

Hops were first recorded in England circa 1362, when they were imported from the Low Countries, so before then, English brewers used herbs to add bitterness to ale.

“I’ve wanted to make a medieval ale for quite some time now and, knowing Ilkley Brewery’s interest in brewing out of the ordinary beers, I knew I’d found the perfect Gruit brew partner,” said Jane.

“Many of the herbs used in a Gruit beer are believed to be beneficial which is a phenomenon that I’m intrigued by. It is said that bog myrtle can improve poor memory; yarrow and sage have antiseptic properties; rosemary can enhance mental function and heather is used to help many ailments including digestive and sleep disorders.

“As beer is a superfood packed with nutrition, when consumed in moderation, it has proven health benefits. With these added herbs and flowers, Doctor’s Orders should be a real tonic!”*

As well as traditional herbs, Doctor’s Orders features six malts including Maris Otter (extra pale), oats (6%), crystal, chocolate, brown and smoked. While medieval Gruit beers would not have contained hops, Doctor’s Orders does use a small amount of Fuggles hops for preservative purposes.

Luke Raven, sales and marketing manager at Ilkley Brewery, added: “Jane’s extensive knowledge of beer history and culture never ceases to amaze us so it was great to tap into her expertise and create Doctor’s Orders.

“The beer is delicious. The fragrant mixture of Gruit herbs and heather from Ilkley Moor really packs a punch and yet it’s a beer you could happily enjoy with a Sunday roast or a hearty piece of pheasant.”

To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, visit: or follow Ilkley Brewery on Twitter @Ilkleybrewery and Facebook

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