Ilkley increases brewing capacity to meet demand

In response to increasing demand for its award-winning cask ales, Ilkley Brewery has invested in a new cask filling machine that will enable it to increase its brewing capacity by 33% – equating to 160 brewers’ barrels or 46,000 pints a week. Later this summer, the brewery will also acquire a new 40-barrel fermenter which will boost real ale production even more.

Since its launch only four years ago, Ilkley Brewery has won acclaim for its cask beers — namely its flagship Mary Jane and others like Ilkley Black and Lotus IPA. Demand for these beers has increased dramatically over the last 12 months so the brewery is having to step up production to meet this increase at its Ashlands Road brewhouse in Ilkley.

Chris Ives, managing director, said:

“It’s encouraging to see that interest in and demand for real ale is not wavering. Campaigns by groups like CAMRA continue to put the spotlight on the benefits of making and drinking cask ale and we’re 100% behind this.

“Our beers continue to be hand made from start to finish and this passion and dedication, I believe, can be tasted in every drop of our cask ale. In order to keep up with demand yet keep quality and flavour our top priority, we have made this investment in new equipment and hope it will enable us to continue growing.”

Chris Ives, managing director

Neil Walker, national CAMRA spokesman, supports Ilkley Brewery’s commitment to real ale. He said:

“Having lived in Leeds for a number of years, I can certainly understand the increase in demand from real ale drinkers for Ilkley Brewery’s cask beer. Real ale is increasing in popularity year on year and it is fantastic to see Ilkley making a financial investment in the future of this fantastic British drink.”
Neil Walker, national CAMRA spokesman

Ilkley Brewery’s top cask ale sellers now include Mary Jane, Joshua Jane and more unusual cask ales, including its sought-after rhubarb saison, Siberia. With the new cask filling machine and fermenter, the brewery hopes to be able to upscale production of its other popular ales too while at the same time continuing to develop new and innovative real ales for the ever-thirsty real ale drinker.