We'll drink to that...
It may be uncertain times for business at the moment, but there are plenty of success stories out there to balance out the closures.
One such to come along of late is Ilkley Brewery’s ten-year anniversary, which has seen it grow from proper garage home brew to a thriving Yorkshire business, with 12.3 million pints under its belt.
A look back at the figures makes for extremely positive reading, with its beer popping up in thirteen countries (including the East Coast of Russia - some 8,000 miles away), and a back catalogue of 186 different beers. And during that time, they’ve “racked up” in excess of 100 awards both in the UK and worldwide. Not bad going.
Despite Yorkshire being one of the country’s most diverse and successful beer markets, Ilkley has thrived without forgetting its roots. If you’ve been to a few pubs in the area, you’ll no doubt have seen their flagship beer, Mary Jane, on a fair few taps. And, as the song suggests, you may have even courted her once or twice – in beer form, of course.
Other excellent beers to come out of the brewery in recent times include a fantastic collaboration with the Harewood Food and Drink Project – the simply-titled Autumn (hoppy golden pale), which uses hops from the estate and offers further proof that Ilkley are champions of local enterprise.
And with the brewery firmly focused on the future, perhaps it’s only fitting that one of their upcoming releases is a “hoptimistic pale” called Hope. Here’s to the next ten years – cheers Ilkley!