Three Cheers for Beer!
In September 2012, CAMRA reported that there were 1009 breweries in Britain, the highest number for over 70 years.
The South Pennines has seen its fair share of breweries spring up, thanks to a combination of a plentiful supply of water, the availability of former mill buildings and an industrial landscape criss-crossed with pack horse trails and ancient trading routes. Brewing is in our roots.
One of the few sectors to weather the recession, the growth in the brewing industry is thought to be due in part to the last government's decision to halve the rate of duty paid by smaller producers combined with significant numbers of businessmen taking up brewing following unemployment and redundancy.
The discerning public (that's you!) are also a fundamental factor in the increased number of brewing establishments. Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide said, "People are looking for taste, flavour and character. Small brewers are using interesting malts and hops from abroad."
Look no further than the beers listed on these pages for some perfect examples.
Breweries in the South Pennines
As well as the long-established names like Timothy Taylor and Moorhouses, the South Pennines has dozens of smaller beer producers, from micro-breweries in the backroom of a pub, to well-equipped operations producing significant amounts of ale.
New entries are added on a regular basis, but here are just a few we've included:
Barearts Brewery; Bridestones Brewing; Bridgehouse Brewery; Cuerden Brewing; Empire Brewing; Greenfield Brewery; Halifax Steam Brewery; Haworth Steam Brewery; Ilkley Brewery; Linfit Brewery; Little Valley Brewery; Magic Rock Brewing Company; Mallinsons Brewing Company; Milltown Brewery; Naylors; Oates Brewery; Old Spot Brewery; Owenshaw Mill Brewery; Riverhead Brewery; Saddleworth Brewery; Salamander Brewing Company; Saltaire Brewery; Slightly Foxed Brewery; and a vineyard: Holmfirth Vineyard (we couldn't leave that out, could we?)
Phew! And if that's not enough for you, Also Round Here there's Golcar Brewery; Old Bear Brewery; Pennine Brewery; Rossendale Brewery; Pictish Brewery; Phoenix Brewery; Worsthorne Brewery; Ramsbottom Brewery; WharfeBank Brewery; Reedley Hallows Brewery; Summer Wine Brewery; Hand Drawn Monkey Brewery; Elland Brewery; Millstone Brewery and Copper Dragon Brewery. Oh, and a cider producer: Pure North.
You get the picture?