Mr Foley's for their 'Meet the Brewer night' which featured Ilkley Brewery.
When I arrived it seemed to me a bit like a mini twissup! Bloggers included: Rob from Hopzine, Leigh from the Good stuff, Neil from Eating Isn't Cheating and Nick from the Beer Prole. Fellow beer tweeters included 'broadfordbrewer', 'grovebri' and good old 'misterfrosty'. (give em a follow for groovy beer know how!) A special shout out should go to Dean from Foley's who provided excellent service all night. It was great to finally put some faces to names, there was a lot of beer knowledge in one place at once, which was super! (It wasn't difficult to find conversation ammo!) Leeds is definitely the place to be for the beer scene these days! Beer geeks aside, the night was all about Ilkley's Chris Ives & Stewart Ross and them sharing their passion with us.
Their Mary Jane is the flagship beer they produce, a light ale with a nice citrus flavour, and the definition of 'session ale'. Ilkley Black is their dark mild, a full on flavour but light mild, lots of burnt malt flavour mixed in with Bramling Cross hoppy-ness. Ilkley pale is one of my favourites, a bigger version of Mary Jane, which didn't last long in my glass. Black Summit is their "work in progress" beer. The name comes from the Summit hops used, but they have not got it as dark as they want just yet, but when they do it will be a great black IPA!
They also did a raffle for some Ilkley goodies; the deal was, buy a pint of Ilkley, get a ticket! I grabbed a ticket, and didn't have the highest hopes but, come calling out time, my number came up! I now have a very nice new work shirt :)
After the event we all had some more great beers and I managed to grab a quick chat with Chris. I asked if they were going to expand on their bottling range. They said they like to keep the cask to bottle ratio about 80:20 but they were looking to put Ilkley Pale and maybe a couple of specials in bottle soon :) Good news! I think I even remember them saying Ilkley Pale should be in bottles by the end of the week! (Beer Ritz stocks all the range of bottled Ilkley - they never do quite last long on our shelves!)
A very good night! It reminded me of past nights out with beer boys and I'm definitely try harder to get to more of these sort of things. Thanks again to the Ilkley team for a great night, and once again, it was really nice to get to meet all the beer geeks outside of the shop with a pint for once.