Friday, 11 November 2011

Breaking News - Read All About It!!!!

Happy November Everyone! Sorry it’s been such a long time, but we’ve been so busy making beer, developing new beers, welcoming old friends (not to name drop, but I will…) and winning awards, that I just haven’t been able to find the time to pause for breathe let alone write this blog. Well, I thought that on this day when we all pause for thought, and remember those who have, and who continue to serve their country, now might be a good opportunity to pause and to also look back over the last month here at Ilkley Brewery.

As the evenings darken, and fog descends (particularly heavy down by the Wharfe this year!), this is generally a time for winding down and hibernation preparation. Not on our watch, it’s all about new developments in this brewhous: The Craft-Ale Revolution Continues! And who better to endorse this revolution than the father of the locally-produced crusade himself, everyone’s favourite neighbourly chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Hugh had previously sampled our beers in 2010 when he was the headline act at the Ilkley Literature Festival, and when he returned this year, he was quick to ask for one of our brews, and had an Ilkley Pale by his side throughout his book signing after his fantastic talk. Few people have done as much as the esteemed Mr F-W for championing local produce, and we want to build on that message, and help establish Yorkshire as the foremost producer of quality food and drink in the UK!

To that end, we felt that we should spread the Ilkley Brewery love a little wider, and make a beer for the York folk in Yorkshire! “Pivo” means “Beer” in Czech, and “Pivovar” are fast becoming synonymous with quality beer in this country, after their flyaway success of the Euston Tap and the Sheffield Tap, the York Tap is to open on the 15th November at York Train Station, with no less than 25 handpumps. To honour this welcome addition to the Yorkshire fold, and to build upon our early forays into York through the lovely folk at The Slip Inn and Volunteer Arms, we thought we would invite the chaps from Pivovar over to the brewery to brew a special beer for York Tap. Using some fantastic and aromatic Australian hops that have been making waves Up Over as well as Down Under, namely Galaxy, Summer and Stella, we worked with Jamie Hawksworth and Yan Pilkington to create a fabulously hoppy, straw-coloured golden ale, at 4.2%. Tap 3 Northern Clout was born, and we decided to keep it neighbourly and add some Kiwi hops to the party by dry-hopping a few casks. Having sampled the brew all along the way, and seen it get better and better, I can’t wait until Tuesday and to raising a glass of Tap 3 “pivo” to celebrate the opening.

Time to pause again, take a sip of beer, and continue, for there is more to tell, so much more…

We are now the proud owners of a shiny new 30 Brewers Barrel Moeschle DPV, meaning that not only are we hopefully (!) able to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for our beers, but in the future we’ll have the capability to try new and exciting things… watch this space…

I suppose I should tell you about the sip of beer I just had! Ho ho ho, it’s Maaaary Christmas!!! The brewhous has been a veritable assault on the senses, as we’ve been mixing up a spicy fruity storm for our seasonal ale – a golden Christmas Ale (4.7%), Mary Christmas (do you see what we’ve done?!) has wonderful orangey notes and an aromatic nose to whisk you away to a winter wonderland. Well it wouldn’t be the season of cheer without something extra special to “Cheers”!

 There is also a particularly exciting bit of news that I would like to share with you… as the brewery gets ready to launch a whole new brand… piqued your interest? To whet your appetite and your whistle, come and see us at North Bar next Wednesday (16th November) from 7.30pm, where all will be revealed… The Craft Ale Revolution Continues…

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