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13th September 2012


Ilkley Brewery's Dinner Ale.jpg

In honour of its turn of the century predecessors, Ilkley Brewery has delved into the Ilkley Brewery and Aerated Water Company’s archives to recreate a popular Victorian Pale Ale known as a Dinner Ale.

The award-winning Yorkshire brewery has given the 130 year old recipe a modern slant by using Australian and American hops to create a very light, crisp 3.3% beer designed as the perfect accompaniment to food. Ilkley Brewery’s Dinner Ale will be the latest addition to its Origins range which celebrates some of the world’s greatest beers.

Luke Raven from Ilkley Brewery said: “During Victorian times, wine started to be associated with wealth and beer was found on the tables of working families. Dinner Ales were the affordable option and in contrast to the heavy milds and porters of the time, were generally light and crisp so as to be easy-drinking with food. We were intrigued that this style seemed to have died out and were keen to reintroduce it, particularly as matching beer with food is one of our passions. We have scoured the archives and used our brewing experience to create our version of a Victorian classic.”

Ilkley Brewery’s Dinner Ale is available in cask and bottles. The beer is currently being served in the following outlets:

–       The Crescent Inn, Ilkley

–       15 Market Town Taverns across Yorkshire

–       York Tap

–       Sheffield Tap

–       Whitelocks, Leeds

–       Sparrow Bier Café, Bradford

–       Mr Foleys, Leeds

–       Friends of Ham, Leeds

–       Dock Street Market, Leeds

–       Common, Manchester

–       12 pubs in the Antic group across London


To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, visit: or to read the brewery’s blog, go to:



Images attached (high resolution versions available on request):

–       Ilkley Brewery’s Dinner Ale


Media contact:

For further media information, please contact Katy Barraclough, Conway PR, on 07813 094945 / 01943 430257 or email


About Ilkley Brewery

The Ilkley Brewery Co. Ltd. was founded in January 2009 by Chris Ives and Stewart Ross.


The idea behind the brewery came from a desire to re-establish brewing in the spa town of Ilkley following the closure of the original Ilkley Brewery and Aerated Water Company in 1920 which was taken over by Hammond’s Bradford Brewery Co. in 1923. With an initial investment of £70,000, Chris and Stewart bought an eight barrel brew plant in spring 2009 and moved into their first premises at Lencia Trading Estate, East Parade, Ilkley where they had the capacity to brew 4,600 pints a week.


In May 2009, The Ilkley Brewery made its first brew, Olicana Gold, and secured its first two permanent pumps. In late spring 2009, Ilkley Best and Ilkley Original joined the re-named Ilkley Gold in the company’s stable of beers and these were quickly followed by the famous Mary Jane.


Autumn 2009 saw bottles of Ilkley Best go on sale in Yorkshire Asda stores.


A string of awards followed with a gold medal for Mary Jane at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) northern region competition in November 2009 with it taking bronze nationally in February 2010.


In February 2010, Ilkley Black was launched at the Bradford Beer Festival where it won gold for best mild. Further gold medals for Mary Jane were won at Ilkley, Horsforth, Guiseley and Leyburn beer festivals.


In April 2010, Richard Shelton joined the company as a director alongside Chris and Stewart.


Spring 2010 saw bottles of Mary Jane and Ilkley Best go on sale in Booths supermarkets and later in the year, Mary Jane and Ilkley Black also joined Ilkley Best on sale in Asda stores.


The summer of 2010 saw Mary Jane go on sale at the House of Commons’ Strangers Bar.


Stout Mary, an oatmeal stout, was launched in autumn 2010.


Ilkley Pale, Ilkley Black and Lotus IPA all scooped bronze medals at the SIBA northern region competition in November 2010.


In January 2011, Chris, Stewart and Richard secured a debt and equity package from Glentrool Capital Partners LLP, who also provide corporate support to help grow the company. This enabled Ilkley Brewery to move from its premises on East Parade to a new 2,600 square foot brewery on Ashlands Road, Ilkley. A new 20 barrel brewing plant was installed allowing the brewery to produce 23,000 pints a week.


In October 2011, a new 30 barrel fermenter was acquired, tasking production to over 32,000 pints a week. At the same time, Stout Mary scooped a silver medal at the SIBA northern region competition 2011.


In November 2011, a range of three craft keg beers were launched called MJ Artisan Ales: MJ Pale, MJ Summit and MJ Fortis. MJ Pale won a national gold medal in the SIBA Craft Beer in Keg contest in February 2012. The craft-kegged beers now command over 50 permanent pumps.


April 2012 saw the launch of the Origins range, showcasing the best in beer styles and brewing. Medina and Siberia were both collaboration brews with renowned beer writers, and The Chief has since followed, to much critical acclaim. Siberia was selected for the Great British Beer Festival 2012.


In June 2012, Ilkley Brewery was crowned the nation’s most promising company, winning the Government backed Local Business Accelerators campaign.


As of August 2012, bottles of Mary Jane, Ilkley Best, Ilkley Black and Ilkley Pale are available in Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Booths supermarkets across the north of England, as well as being stocked by Harvey Nichols stores and restaurants nationally.


In September 2012 both Mary Jane and Lotus IPA were awarded two gold stars each by the Guild of Fine Food, in the annual Great Taste Awards.






Katy Barraclough MCIPR

Conway PR


M: 07813 094945

T: 01943 430257

Twitter: @conwaypr


6 Ash Grove


West Yorkshire

LS29 8EP