Ossett Brewery invests £1.7m in Saltaire beer factory

Jamie Lawson of Ossett Brewery
Jamie Lawson of Ossett Brewery
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WHEN the philanthropist Sir Titus Salt created the handsome village of Saltaire, he made it clear that ale lovers were not welcome in his manor.

Saltaire, which was purpose-built by Sir Titus in the 19th century, is one of the finest surviving mill villages of its kind.

But the kindly but stern Sir Titus did not welcome ale houses because he feared they might take his mill employees’ minds off their work.

Now, a former tramshed in the historic village has been given a new lease of life by a brewery which aims to make craft beers available to a new generation of drinkers.

Ossett Brewery has invested £1.7m to create the Salt Beer Factory inside the Grade II tramshed in Saltaire, near Bradford.

The Salt Beer Factory, which is on the outskirts of the UNESCO World Heritage village, aims to produce beer that appeals to a wide range of tastes, while providing an interactive brewery experience.

The site will brew a large number of beers in keg, can and cask formats.

The taproom sits in the heart of the brewery, where beer-drinkers can enjoy hand-crafted Salt Beers with the brew house around them. The Salt experience includes brewery tours, a stage for live events, a DJ booth and a gift shop. A range of clothing has also been designed for Salt by the global fashion brand Luke 1977.

Jamie Lawson, the owner of Ossett Brewery, said: “The vision for Salt has been three years in the making; a concept that began with an idea to brew some beer at the back of the Hop in Saltaire (an Ossett Brewery pub) has now evolved into something much greater than we could have ever imagined.

He added: “The vision has extended beyond the brewery, as we aim to showcase the best in craft beers and gins, in a modern pub environment.”

Ossett Brewery also plans to grow the Salt Brand through two craft-centred venues, named Craft Asylum.

The first bar is set to launch in the venue formerly known as, Candlebar in Granary Wharf, Leeds, on November 16. The second Craft Asylum, at 26 East Parade, Leeds, just off Greek Street, will be opening on November 30.

A spokesman said: “Craft Asylum is a city centre concept which will showcase modern hop-forward beers from Salt and leading guest breweries, over 50 artisan gins and premium coffee.

“The two new bars will create a relaxing destination for guests to visit, while enjoying great drinks from independent producers.”

Mr Lawson said the Salt Beer Factory has been a labour of love over the last three years. He said he also hoped to roll out the Craft Asylum concept to other cities in the North, such as Manchester and Sheffield.

Ossett Brewery was founded in 1998 at the back of the Brewers Pride on Low Mill Road in Ossett, West Yorkshire.

The founder and chairman Bob Lawson started the brewery following a 30 year career brewing for Joshua Tetleys, Beverley Brothers and Kelham Island.

Many of the original beers including Excelsior and Siver King are still produced today and have gone on to win many awards. In 1998 head brewer Paul Spencer joined the business.

Today, Mr Spencer and his team brew 200 barrels a week at Ossett and a further 40 brewers barrels at its sister micro-breweries.