Brewery makes it to the finals of business contest

First published in News Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Ilkley/Otley Reporter

A thriving brewery has beaten off competition from more than 3,000 companies across Yorkshire to reach the national final of a prestigious business competition.

Ilkley Brewery will now take on 11 other firms in the final of the Newspaper Society’s Local Business Accelerators contest after impressing the judging panel with its strength of brand and quality of product.

If successful in the final, the brewery, which is just three years old, will win a year’s mentoring from TV’s Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meadon, who is selecting the winner, as well as an advertising campaign devised by a top London agency.

“We are thrilled to be selected as the region’s representative to go forward to the national final of the Local Business Accelerators programme,” said Chris Ives, one of the brewery’s directors.

Fellow director, Stewart Ross, said: “The success of the business has been very much a team effort and we would like to pay tribute to the hard work and long hours put in by everyone associated with Ilkley Brewery.”

In the regional finals, the competition judges scored each of the 12 finalists on a series of criteria including the originality of the business idea, their ability to fend off competition, their finances and future prospects, their communication skills and their positive impact upon the local community.

Having only brewed its first firkin in 2009, the company, based in Ashlands Road, Ilkley, can now brew 40,000 pints a week, thanks to the installation of a sixth fermentor which was officially unveiled by the Princess Royal earlier this month.

The brewery has also won a host of awards for its beers with seven Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) awards including a national gold for its MJ Pale, an artisan pale ale launched late last year.

To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, go to ilkleybrewery.co.uk.

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