The publication’s panel blind tasted 13 ales from breweries across 11 British counties with Ilkley Black Ale flying the flag for Yorkshire!
The winning beer (3.7 per cent) names four malts and two hop varieties on the bottle and makes great play of the soft, Dales water. One judge commented on the beer: “Incredibly spicy – an oriental bazaar”.
The Ilkley Brewing Company, which was set up in 2009 by two enthusiasts from the commercial property sector, Chris Ives and Stewart Ross, invested &70,000 in their first eight barrel brewing plant at Lencia Trading Estate on East Parade in Ilkley. The pair, who previously worked in commercial property, had no brewing experience so went on a three day brewing course to learn the ropes. Twenty-one months later, in December 2010, the brewery reported a growth of more than 500%. Now, with increased capacity at its new premises on Ashlands Road and contracts agreed with major wholesalers to supply its beers across the country, the brewery projects a turnover of &750,000 with pre-tax profits in excess of &100,000 by December 2011.
Since opening their first eight barrel brewing plant at Lencia Trading Estate in spring 2009, Chris and Stewart have worked to perfect their range of ales which can now be enjoyed at over 200 pubs in Yorkshire. Its popular Mary Jane, Ilkley Best and Ilkley Black beers are also sold in Asda and Booths supermarkets as well as independent off-licences across the region – so why not give it a try for yourself.