Saltaire Brewery, Saltaire Pride
Saltaire Brewery, on the outskirts of Bradford, takes its name from the World Heritage Site where Sir Titus Salt built his textile empire on the River Aire. The mill on the brewery's logo and pump clips pay homage to the area’s past glory days. Fitting for an area renowned for its industrial heritage, the brewery lives in a former generating hall which used to provide electricity for the Bradford trams.
Former lawyer Tony Gartland and chemist Derek Todd, launched their first beer at the wonderful Saltaire Beer Festival (http://www.saltairefestival.co.uk/) (put it in your diaries) back in 2005. The problem was the brewery wasn’t ready yet. So they rented a brewery in Derbyshire and somehow got the beer out. They’ve been flat out ever since.
They’re doing their bit for brewing in the region too. They run an excellent beer club (not one of these airy-fairy internet ones) that opens the brewery up to the public every month, allowing them behind the scenes, hearing first hand from the brewers and sampling their fine wares before the rest of us can get our dirty little mitts on them. They also support the Northern Craft Brewers and Leeds Homebrew Group, offering them advice and providing a base for their meetings.
The brewery has gone on to gain national and international recognition, scooping up awards from all over the globe like they’re going out of fashion. Perhaps more importantly, it’s one of the area's most popular and fast growing breweries. That accolade matters more in this part of the world.
Saltaire’s most popular beer is Saltaire Blonde, but they’ve become more widely known for their specials, including a few with strange twists. Elderberry Blonde and Blackberry Cascade are worth a try, whilst Hazelnut Coffee Porter and Triple Chocoholic aren’t bad if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
It’s Saltaire’s take on a more traditional beer style that we’re big fans of though. This week’s beer, Saltaire Pride, a classic English low ABV bitter is unapologetically simple and traditional, but executed to perfection. A nutty, biscuity, malt dominated aroma is a bit mis-leading because it’s the Challenger (UK), Bramling Cross (UK) and Cascade (USA) hops that go to work on the tastebuds, adding hints of grass and spice with just enough bitterness to make you quickly go back for another sip. It’s balanced, refreshing and beautifully simple.
It’s the kind of beer that you’d interrupt a good dog walk for on a Spring day. It’s not particularly challenging, but there is a time and place for everything, especially a well made English pale bitter.