Multi-award winning West Yorkshire brew house, Ilkley Brewery, triumphed last night (Thursday 27 November) at Insider’s inaugural Made in Yorkshire Awards by winning the Food and Drink Manufacturer of the Year category, sponsored by R & B Group.
Held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, this was the first Insider Made in Yorkshire Awards which recognises the best and most innovative manufacturers from across the region. 170 business leaders gathered to celebrate a strong year for Yorkshire manufacturers, all of whom were praised by Insider Media’s managing director, Marlen Roberts for their “hard work, creativity and excellence”.
The Food and Drink Manufacturer of the Year award is for the food and drink company deemed by the judges to be the most impressive, taking in to account innovation, commercial success and business development, along with use of Yorkshire products where appropriate.
Richard Abbott, editor of Yorkshire Business Insider, which organised the awards, said: “Manufacturing will be at the heart of our region’s economic recovery, and our winners prove that innovation, export and quality products that are ‘made in Yorkshire’ are in demand. Ilkley Brewery was a popular and well-deserving winner of our inaugural Food and Drink Manufacturer award.”
Speaking about the brewery’s win, Chris Ives, Ilkley Brewery’s managing director, said: “It is an enormous privilege to have achieved this level of recognition at the very first Made in Yorkshire Awards.
“We are immensely proud of our Yorkshire heritage: it’s something we continue to celebrate in our beers, through our brand and in our day-to-day operations. To be able to share this with customers who stretch from Teesside to Tennessee, is really quite amazing and I hope we are able to continue this level of growth for many years to come.”
The Made in Yorkshire winners will now be included in the short list for Insider’s national Made in the UK manufacturing awards dinner where they will compete against other UK manufacturers for the coveted national title.
The Made in the UK dinner will be held during the International Festival for Business in Liverpool on 21 July 2014 at the International Conference Centre on the Liverpool Waterfront.
– The Ilkley Brewery team celebrate their latest award win: (Standing L-R): Jonny Moore, Christa Sandquist, Luke Raven, Gareth Hughes, Chris Fletcher, Adam Scroggins and Alexa Jennings. (Sitting L-R): Richard Shelton, Chris Ives and Nick Smith.
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Notes to editors:
The Ilkley Brewery Co. Ltd. was founded in January 2009 and commenced brewing in May 2009. The now famous Mary Jane , the brewery’s flagship session beer was first brewed in August 2009 and won its first award in September of the same year.
A string of awards has followed with most of the beers now brewed by the brewery winning medals at beer competitions up and down the country.
In January 2011, Ilkley Brewery 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 initially produce 23,000 pints a week.
In October 2011, a new 30 barrel fermenter was acquired, taking production to over 32,000 pints a week. In March 2012, production capacity expanded again to close to 40,000 pints a week.
In January 2012, Ilkley Brewery was crowned one of Yorkshire’s most promising companies in the Government-backed Local Business Accelerators campaign, going onto win the national prize in August 2012 for being one of the country’s fastest growing and successful businesses.
April 2012 saw the launch of the Origins range, showcasing the best in beer styles and brewing. Medina and Siberia were the first collaboration brews with renowned beer writers, and The Chief, Victorian Pale Dinner Ale, Wit Marie, Green Goddess, and Holy Cow have since followed to much critical acclaim.
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 many restaurants nationally.
Additional SIBA medals for Ilkley Black and Lotus IPA were awarded in October 2012 (Bronze and Silver respectively).
November 2012 saw the first export sales to leave the UK.
In June 2013 the brewery won the London Craft Beer Battle with its new creation MaryJane IPA.