Ilkley Brewery has appointed new brewer Christa Sandquist who is set to bring her American roots to the fold with a debut brew called Rye n’ Dry.

With an MSc in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University, plus two years cutting her brewing teeth at Harviestoun Brewery, Christa becomes Ilkley Brewery’s first professional brewing appointment. The 27 year old will work alongside head brewer, Chris Ives, who is entirely self-taught.

As well as running the day-to-day brewery operations, Christa, who is originally from Washington State in the US, will also be charged with creating new, experimental beers and broadening existing ranges, including the Origins line.

Christa’s first job is to develop what will become her signature brew, Rye n’ Dry. With influences from the classic American cocktail made with whiskey and dry ginger, Ilkley Brewery’s Rye n’ Dry will be brewed with a combination of rye and barley grains and will have ginger and orange added to give a dry and spicy finish. The end result will be a 5% red ale which will be part of the Origins range. As with the other beers from the range, it will be a Yorkshire take on a classic beer style, in this case a Roggenbier: a high-rye beer traditionally found in Bavaria, southern Germany.

Speaking about her new role, Christa, who now lives in Ilkley, said: “I’m excited to be taking on this new challenge and starting a new chapter in my brewing career with a brewery that is prized for doing things differently.

“I look forward to having the opportunity to put some of my new brew ideas into practice, like Rye n’ Dry, and helping Ilkley grow its award-winning offering even further.”

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