Saltaire Brewery was the first place we visited, and whilst it took a bit of finding, it was well worth the effort. The brewery is situated not far from the centre of Shipley; a small town to the north of Bradford, which has now been absorbed by its larger neighbour to form a continuous urban conurbation.
The brewery is named after the nearby model village of Saltaire, a development planned and built in the mid 19th Century, by Sir Titus Salt, who was one of the leading industrialists associated with the woollen industry in Yorkshire.
on the slums of Bradford, as they were provided with wash-houses and bath-houses with tap water. The village also included a hospital, an institute for recreation and education, a library, a reading room, a concert hall, a billiard room, a science laboratory and a gymnasium.
In addition the village had a school for the children of the workers, almshouses, allotments, a park and a boathouse. The name Saltaire is a combination of the founder's surname and the name of the nearby river – the River Aire. The village has survived remarkably complete, and in 2001, Saltaire was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The buildings belonging to the model village are individually listed.
Strangely enough, the converted mill buildings do not house the Saltaire Brewery, which instead is situated a short distance away on a former industrial site, close to the Leeds & Liverpool canal.
In August this year, the brewery carried out a major re-branding exercise and at the same time launched a new range of beers, with the aim of “bridging the gap between cask and craft”. The revamped range includes a session IPA, a citrus pale ale, a black IPA and an Australian and New Zealand pale ale. The recipes have a focus on flavour with hop forward, unfiltered and easy drinking beers, which are available in 33cl bottles and kegs.
My wife and son sat themselves down at one of the tables, whilst I grabbed us some drinks. I opted for the cask Citra and ordered the same beer for Matt. He was impressed as to how good the beer was, as was I; the only trouble was I was driving so had to limit myself to just the one beer.
So much like the brewery bars I visited, whilst over in the United States, it pays to have a guaranteed outlet for your beers, where you can showcase them to the world whilst encouraging people to buy them. I would certainly be a regular customer, if I lived in the area.
After re-fuelling, we failed to find the town’s most famous brewery – Timothy Taylor’s, although the previous day we drove past the Cross Roads Inn, on our way to Haworth. The latter was displaying the livery of the Copper Dragon Brewery; a concern which has had several changes of ownership and also moved site a number of times. The brewery is currently based in Keighley.
Instead we took a drive out towards the town of Skipton, known as the “Gateway to the Dales”. On the way, we called in at the Naylor’s Brewery and Beer Emporium, at Cross Hills. I will write a brief piece about this enterprising establishment next time, so for the time being, it’s bye for now.
Footnote: Saltaire are in the process of re-vamping their website, so for this reason I haven't included any links to the brewery site. It is worth bearing in mind that Saltaire beers can often be found in bottled form, in major supermarkets, and are well worth seeking out.