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29th July 2015


alf Full Beer Co, based in West Yorkshire, is delighted to announce the acquisition of multi-award-winning Ilkley Brewery for an undisclosed sum. The purchase marks the first phase for Half Full Beer Co, with the launch of a separate, new brewery amongst their future plans. The buyout of Ilkley Brewery will see immediate investment on the existing site in the small Yorkshire town. There will be expansion in production facilities, upgrades to brewing kit, and the creation of new jobs.


Ilkley Brewery was founded in 2009 by a group of local beer enthusiasts, and started life in a humble site in the centre of town, producing cask ales for the local community. The brewery soon started to win awards for its well-balanced beers, and demand outgrew capacity. Local investment in 2011 saw production move to a larger site, and over the following 4 years, production capacity rose to over 45,000 pints per week. There was a complete rebrand during 2012, and the beer was distributed nationally and internationally, from Brighton to Edinburgh, and from America to China.


In Head Brewer Christa Sandquist, the brewery boasts one of the most talented and exciting young brewers in the industry, and the business has built an exceptional reputation for producing a varied and distinctive range of beers, many of which have won plaudits and awards around the world. Christa has been responsible for improving standards and consistency over the past 18 months, during which time the brewery’s awards tally has doubled, including most recently another Gold medal for The Mayan at the SIBA regional keg competition, within the last week.


Half Full Beer Co was formed by former Ilkley Brewery manager Luke Raven, who with the support of a team of excited and energetic investors, has spearheaded this project. Of the acquisition he said


“With the quality of their beers recognised, and demand high, the opportunity to continue to be a part of the Ilkley Brewery story was not one to be passed up. I formed Half Full Beer Co with an open remit to engage in the beer industry as a whole, and with a vision to develop a portfolio of brands. We are energized and focused on providing fresh impetus to continue building the Ilkley brand as an integral part of this portfolio.


“Our optimistic, open and community-based approached perfectly suits Ilkley Brewery, and as a local resident myself, this is a very proud day. I am delighted that Richard Shelton is remaining as a shareholder and Director, and can be confident that under his sustained stewardship, the business can continue to flourish.”


The brewery has been operating at full capacity for some time, unable to accept extra business despite demand from its 600-strong customer base. The new investment will allow production to double within 2 years.


At a time where interest in British brewing has never been higher, Ilkley beers will be available to more pubs, bars, restaurants and shops across the UK than ever before. Core brews Mary and Joshua Jane have recently launched in Marks and Spencer’s, supplementing the Ilkley presence in Morrisons, Sainsburys and Asda and with further listings imminent. Ilkley beers will also be representing Yorkshire at the forthcoming CAMRA Great British Beer Festival.


Speaking of the future plans, Managing Director Richard Shelton says


“This marks the start of yet another exciting chapter in the brewery’s history. Having already grown at an exceptional rate, I believe that this new partnership and the investment that comes with it will enable us to raise our ambitions and maximize our potential. I am supported by a strong and dynamic team, who have been fundamental in building Ilkley Brewery’s reputation, and will continue to play an important role in our future growth. We have flourished in the last year, growing the brewery to be in the top 15% of Independent British breweries by production. We can now move forward together with a target to be in the top 5% within the next two years.”


The investment in company infrastructure, including the creation of more jobs will be immediate, and orders have already been placed for brewing kit to increase production. Half Full Beer Co intends to give Ilkley Brewery the tools it requires to realise its potential, and compete in the vibrant and competitive arena that is the British beer industry.


For more details or specific enquiries, please contact Luke Raven via  and watch for further announcements via the Ilkley Brewery website and on social media platforms.                @ilkleybrewery               @lukeraven


Notes to the Editor

  • The Brewery was founded in January 2009.
  • In September that year, the brewery’s now famous brand, Mary Jane, won a SIBA Gold medal.
  • Moved to a new brewery site in 2011, following new investment allowing production to rise from 6,000 pints per week to 23,000.
  • Sold over 1.6 million pints in 2014, with 2 million projected for 2015 with Half Full’s investment.
  • Direct Delivery to over 600 pubs, bars, restaurants and shops across Yorkshire and Lancashire, with wholesale distribution nationwide.
  • Permanent listings in top London bars and restaurants, including Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa.
  • Exported to over 10 countries, including USA, China, Sweden and across Europe.
  • Bottled range now stocked Marks & Spencers, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Co-op and Booths supermarkets, as well as Harvey Nichols.
  • Awards for Ilkley Brewery beers have been won every year since inception, including 3 Gold Stars from the Guild of Fine Foods in 2014 for Siberia (one of only 153 products from 10,000 to do so).
  • The Brewery was recognised as one of the fastest growing companies in the UK in 2012, winning the Government-backed National Local Business Accelerator scheme.
  • Annual Turnover in excess of £1.6million in 2014 (average 30% year-on-year growth over past 3 years).
  • Large Social Media presence: over 17,000 followers on Twitter.
  • The Brewery benefited from a complete rebrand in 2012.
  • Brewed 40 unique beers in 2014.
  • Invited to represent the 50 Top Breweries in the World, at London Beer Carnival 2015.