In its biggest awards haul yet, Ilkley Brewery has won five medals for four of its beers at the SIBA North East Beer Competition which took place yesterday, Wednesday 18 September, at the York Beer and Cider Festival.
Ilkley was the only brewery to take home three gold awards on the day, with one silver and one bronze medal completing the prestigious collection.
The brewery’s awards roll call includes:
- Gold for Dinner Ale in the Bottled Beers Upto 4.9% category
- Gold for The Chief in the Bottled Beers Over 5% category
- Gold for Ilkley Black in the (cask) Standard Milds category
- Silver for The Chief in the overall Champion Bottle category
- Bronze for Holy Cow in the Speciality Bottled Beers category
This is also the first time beers from Ilkley Brewery’s Origins range have been recognised in an awards line-up. Bringing home the metalware for the range is Dinner Ale, The Chief and Holy Cow.
Ilkley Brewery’s newest recruit, Christa Sandquist, attended the awards: “Having only been in post for a month, it’s astonishing to be part of such a massive awards celebration. It’s definitely an exciting time to come on board,” said Christa.
“It’s fantastic to see the brewery’s beers recognised in such a high profile setting. There was a lot of competition from some brilliant north of England breweries so being victorious in so many categories was even more of a honour.
“Personally, I am thrilled that Ilkley Black and Holy Cow did so well as these were two brews that I was responsible for making when I started here last month. They are exceptional beers and wholly worthy of the gold and bronze medals they were awarded.”
The four medal-winning beers each deliver their own distinct dose of character. Dinner Ale is a 3.3% light, crisp ale made using Australian and American hops and is the perfect accompaniment to food. The Chief is a double-hopped American IPA, made with Magnum, Columbus and Chinook hops, which packs a punch at 7%. At 3.7%, Ilkley Black is a traditional dark mild which has a blend of five malts to give a smooth, mellow profile. Finally, the bronze winner, Holy Cow, is a 4.7% cranberry milk stout which boasts a delicate balance between the sweetness of the milk and sharpness of the fruit.
Dinner Ale, The Chief and Holy Cow all feature in the brewery’s Origins line which celebrates traditional brewing methods combined innovative techniques, taking influences from some of the world’s greatest ales.
– Christa Sandquist, Ilkley Brewery’s new brewer, toasts the brewery’s record awards success.
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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.
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