Come on people, get involved!! We want to hear from you! Don’t think you’ve got anything worth writing home about? Write brewery about it then – we won’t judge, we’ll still love you! Don’t be afraid, get stuck in! Maybe you just follow us on Twitter (#IlkleyBrewery) and quietly keep an eye on what’s occurring. And that’s great, but come on now, surely you have an opinion, a voice, an argument?! You might not agree with something I say? You might think what I say is the most amazing thing to happen since hops were first added to beer in the 9th Century? More likely you may have a question about our beers or where you can get them? Whatever you have to say, let it be said!
So, in order to coax you out of the cocoon of quiet observation and into the noisy world of opinion, I thought we could have a debate. The burning question now of course is… what to debate?! Well, we’ve made a lot of Ilkley Best this week, so I thought we could kick things off with a question dear to all of our hearts: What is the “best” Ilkley Brewery Beer. There. I’ve gone and asked the question. What’s the answer then? You tell me! To help you make an informed decision, I will tell you a little bit about each beer, and what goes into making it. Step 2 is the fun bit – active research. After all, we can’t expect you to make an important decision like this without first undertaking a thorough period of taste testing. If you’re not sure where you can sample a particular ale near to where you live, let me know your location and I’ll point you in the right direction (did you spot my sneaky extra attempt to get you to get in touch?!).
Mary Jane. Perhaps our most well known beer, and the first award-winning member of our stable, Mary Jane is a floral and hoppy pale ale. We use Amarillo hops from America, which are responsible for the citrus burst you get, and we add quite a lot of them late on, which is why MJ has such a distinctive hoppy aroma.
Ilkley Best. A classic Best Bitter. We let this one ferment a bit longer than the others, at a higher temperature, and the result is a slightly stronger, chestnut ale
Ilkley Gold. Cascade hops, famous for their bitterness, are balanced by the sublime hybrid Celeia hops from Slovenia. One of our weaker strength beers, the Gold has developed a cult following due to its subtle flavours and sessionableness (is that a word? It is now!).
Ilkley Pale. Another pale ale? Yes! This time though, we’ve sourced the wonderfully crisp Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand. You can almost taste the mountain-y freshness!
Ilkley Black. Like your beers a bit darker, but not in the mood for chewing it? Well then you’ll love our dark mild. Rather than going the whole hog with roasted malt, we blend no fewer than five different malts to achieve the perfect profile.
Stout Mary. Like your beers dark and chewy? Come on over and wrap your lips around this! Our oatmeal stout is a force to be reckoned with, utilising American Galena hops for bittering, and homegrown Bramling Cross. Creamy, rich, satisfying.
Lotus IPA. The thoroughbred of the stable. Do. Not. Mess. With. The. Lotus. Coming in at 5.6%, this classic IPA combines Cascade and Summit hops, and we brew at a much higher density to achieve the lustrous colour and strength.
Righto, now it’s your turn. Remember, it’s important to take a proper scientific approach when considering joining a serious debate such as this, so go forth and drink beer. Only then will you be able to make a fully informed decision. A decision that could affect the rest of your beer-drinking life! Well, maybe that’s a bit strong, but you never know… what do you think?!!