In response to ever-growing demand for its award-winning cask ales, Ilkley Brewery has invested in a new cask filling machine and will soon be increasing its brewing capacity by an additional 33 per cent 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 further.

Since its launch four years ago, Ilkley Brewery has won acclaim for its cask beers – namely its flagship Mary Jane and other award winners including Ilkley Black and Lotus IPA – but interest in these beers has reached a new high. Cask ale orders from pubs, retailers and distributors across Yorkshire and the UK, have increased by dramatically in the last 12 months so the brewery is meeting demand by stepping up production at its Ashlands Road brew house in Ilkley.

Chris Ives, managing director, commented: “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 per cent behind this.

“Our beers continue to be handmade 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.”

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

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.

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