Award-winning Ilkley Brewery has celebrated its fifth anniversary by unveiling its 1,000th brew.
Six thousand pints of the strong brown ale called Mash Tonne were produced by lead brewer Christa Sandquist. The first pint was pulled at an event at the Bar t’at bar in Ilkley, which was the first pub to permanently stock Ilkley Brewery beer.
Mash Tonne, a 5.5 per cent brew, which features a combination of British and American hops, was also given a London launch at the Hack & Hop pub in the City.
Chris Ives, Ilkley Brewery managing director, said: “This time five years ago I had really only just learned how to make beer so to be here celebrating our 1,000th brew alongside our fifth-year anniversary, is actually a bit hard to believe.
“We’re marking the occasion the only way we know how: by brewing a momentous beer. Christa has created an exciting and quite unusual brown ale and I think it captures where we are as a brewery perfectly.”
Since brewing its first firkin in 2009, Ilkley Brewery has clinched many commendations and awards and its beers are now sold in pubs, bars, supermarkets and restaurants across the UK and overseas.
In the last five years Ilkley Brewery has brewed five million pints of ale and more than doubled turnover year-on-year. Its workforce staff has risen from one to 14. From supplying beer locally, the company now also ships its ales across the UK and as far afield as the United States, Sweden and China.
Mr Ives added: “When we first started to brew, the microbrewery boom was just beginning to peak and I think that thirst for beer which is big on flavour and which captures people’s imaginations has been the driving force behind our strategy to make the best, most inspiring beer possible.
“We also make it our business to continually gather feedback from customers to ensure we’re tweaking and perfecting our products wherever possible. I think this willingness to involve customers in the process has helped the business evolve and improve over the years.
“We couldn’t have made it this far without the efforts of our passionate and hardworking staff, the friends and partners we have made along the way and our loyal customers. This is truly a team effort and we thank everyone for their support in reaching this milestone.”
Meanwhile, Ilkley pub-based brewer Wharfedale Brewery is launching a Yorkshire Dales ale trail this weekend.
Wharfedale, based at the Flying Duck pub, has compiled the guide which takes real ale lovers on a journey from Ben Rhydding to Hubberholme, featuring 15 pubs, most of which are accessible by the Pride Of The Dales bus services which the brewery sponsors.