Chris Smith and Shawn Horbury have had quite a time getting this place on its feet; three years ago they bought this huge, sprawling 18th century former malthouse and spent 18 months on arefit. You might recognise the handsome exterior; it’s on a quiet side street featured in Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley.
Then there was the small matter of making the beer to sell – hopefully to customers. Smith has previous; he ran the Black Horse Brewery in Luddendenfoot 20 years ago.Horbury has learned quickly and together they’re brewing ‘White Hog’, an easy-drinking ‘session’ beer, ‘Old Schnozzler’, a dark porter and a flavoursome bitter ‘Six to Eight Weeks’ so named because it was the phrase they came up with when folk asked them when they were opening, though It took slightly longer.
It’s a huge space and a massive wood stove belts out heat and the handsome copper and stainless steel brewing vats are proudly on display behind glass. On one of the cleaned-up exposed stone walls is a big board with the beer offer and the ABV – they have around five guests rotating as well as their own offer, including ale from local breweries.
When I called by on a Sunday afternoon the place was buzzing, full of all sorts of folk – families, couples and groups of mates. If you fancy sampling the delightfully pale and subtly floral White Hog you’ll have to make your way here – you can’t find their beers anywhere else at the moment.
• Hogshead Brew House, Stanley Street , Sowerby Bridge, HX6 2AH.
DRINKS SELECTION 5/5