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New pub openings are always exciting, and Ilkley is about to get not only a new watering hole, but a new brewpub to boot. A group of local beer enthusiasts – a couple of whom have been involved with Ilkley Beer Festival for a number of years -are currently refurbishing The Albert Inn on Church St. It’ll be reopening as The Flying Duck, a nod to its original title of The Mallard Inn.
The 2.5 barrel brewplant will be housed in the buildings behind the pub, and fermenting vessels from Oban Ales have been shipped down to Yorkshire. The team will be producing a range of beers for the pub under the banner of Wharfedale Brewery.
Hopefully they’ll be able to restore some glory to the pub; the Grade II listed building is one of Ilkley’s oldest properties, having been built in 1709 as a farmhouse and is mentioned in Sir Nikolaus Pevsner’s “Buildings of England” chronicles for its architectural importance, according to their press release.
Spokesman Jonathan Shepherd outlines the style of The Flying Duck; the emphasis will be on home-made and guest Real Ales and a pub for the community. ‘When looking for a premises, we were advised that the lease on the Albert was available – which with its 300 year history – provides an exact match with our plans to provide a Yorkshire Dales style real ale and fine wine venue in a setting packed with character which we hope the community will be proud of”.
The pub is being renovated as we speak; I’ve seen some of the plans and it looks lovely, to be honest – the Albert has not been*particularly*worth visiting in recent years. I’ll be keeping a keen eye on this one – brewpubs don’t pop up often – and you can keep up to date with them on their Twitter account.*
BrewDog Leeds opened this week, and yet again proved that being a ‘chain’ doesn’t have to be all bad as long as you stay true to your original vision. Another, less-heralded chain of pubs won a fantastic award this week; and in typical Ossett fashion, to little fanfare.
Winning The Best Microbrewery Pub Company at The Publican awards is massively deserved. Ossett’s pub estate – from the simple ale-focused likes of The Rat (Huddersfield) and The Riverhead (Marsden) to the music-and-beer niche The Hop (Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield), they do things right. Great beer in great settings, and if you’re a fan of live music, then The Hops are a godsend.
It’s great to see Ossett getting recognition like this; underrated somewhat as a brewer, let’s hope that this award throws a bit more of the spotlight their way.