Saltaire Brewery, South Island Pale
Saltaire Brewery, just outside 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 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. But it’s what the locals think that matters more in this part of the world. Fortunately, it’s one of West Yorkshire’s most popular and fastest growing breweries.
Saltaire Brewery’s most popular beer locally 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.
We asked Nick Helliwell, Sales Director at Saltaire Brewery, how this week’s beer; South Island Pale, came about. “After travelling around New Zealand, we wanted to craft a beer that reflected the landscape and terroir of the land. Nelson Sauvin was the obvious choice of hop, with its earthy, gooseberry and passionfruit notes mirroring the flavours of the famous Sauvignon Blanc wines also produced there. Our hops come specifically from Tasman Bay, and help us create a clean, refreshing beer, with cool, crisp, fruitiness. South Island Pale has been enormously popular in cask for many years, and was bottled for the first time in late 2016. We are really proud to share it with BeerBods today.”
It’s a beer at that wonderful intersection between “trad ale” and “craft”. The pleasure is all ours Nick.