Wharfedale Brewery Brewhouse

  • 3.5 Barrel Plant + 2 Fermenters
  • Monthly capacity 1083 gallons
  • Producing 2000 pints per week
  • Overseen by Master Brewer
  • Part of Ilkley's first Brewpub
  • Brewery Tours Available
  • Rent Barrels & Buy Bottles

Wharfedale Brewery:  About Us

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All beers are made from four basic ingredients; grain, water, hops and yeast with the myriad of different beer styles coming from the use of different types and quantities of each core  ingredient.  

Grain provides the sugars on wham the yeast works to make alcohol. In order to release the sugars, the grain (in the UK this  is usually barley)  is malted . This involves the grains being steeped in water and allowed to partially germinate.  

To holt germination, the sprouting grains are then dried in hot air. The malted grain is bagged and transported to the brewery where the brewers select proportions and weights of different malts according to specific recipes. 

The malted grain, now called grist, is then mixed with Ilkley’s famous soft water  in order to release the sugars and flavours.  This part of the process is called mashing and takes place in the mash tun. 

After approximately 90 minutes the water, or "brewing liquor", is infused with the sugars from the grist and  becomes a sweet brown liquid called wort.  The spent grist is released back into the food chain for animal feed.  The wort is then run off into a large kettle, traditionally called a "copper", where it is boiled with the hops.  

Whole hops are used to add bitterness at the beginning of the process and then later to add aroma and flavour.  Different varieties of hops are sourced from around the world for different flavours. The hot wort is then transferred through a heat exchanger into the fermenting vessel where the yeast is pitched into the cooled liquid.  

The yeast works on the sugar, turning it into alcohol.  After a few days fermentation finishes and the beer is chilled to help it clear. It is then racked into casks and finings are added to clarify the beer further. Some live yeast still remains in each cask which allows the beer to undergo secondary  fermentation in the  pub, giving the beer its natural effervescence.

The beer now has the tag of ‘real ale’, and is finally ready to drink.  In Yorkshire, it is pulled using a sparkler on the hand pump in order to achieve a pint with a thick creamy head which feathers all the way down the glass. Cheers!