I think it was the Sunday Independent who once described Airedale as 'the Loire Valley of beer brewing'. There certainly are some respectable er, chateaux in the area; There's the mighty Taylor's of course, as well as Goose Eye, Naylor's and Old Bear, all in or around Keighley. Further up the Dale there's the reborn Litton, the mysterious Dark Horse and Copper Dragon - who are doing really well or are about to implode, depending on who tells the tale. Back toward Bradford, there's Saltaire and Salamander. Further still, there's the Leeds Brewery which will be flying the beer banner for that great city when Tetley hits the road. A cricket ball chuck from Airedale is Harrogate, where you'll find Daleside. The list goes on and on. Breweries everywhere.
These brewers are about to get some extra competition in the shape of Bridgehouse. This is the realisation of Keighley man Grahame Reynoldson's childhood dream of brewing his own cask ales. This will be a 10-barrel plant, working out of Pitt Street in the town, not far from the original site of the Taylor brewery. Pitt street is also current home to Old Bear until they move to a bigger site later this year.
The five core beers will be: Diken Gold at 3.6% - "a golden/straw coloured ale"; 3.8% Best Bitter - "traditional style, well balanced"; A 4% "dry and malty" Buffers Bitter; 4.4% Barnstormer - a "chestnut coloured, well balanced"; 5% Headshunt Stout - "rich, intensely flavoured". Expect to see these on sale at the Boltmakers, The Brown Cow and probably the Cricketer's in Keighley town centre. Hopefully some of these will make it South. Bridgehouse are having an offical launch event on 28th of March, from 2:30 until 4. Admission is £6, with a pound donated to the Sue Ryder charity.
More info here. As Fuggled pointed out recently, a lot of microbreweries have shockingly bad websites, so it's good to see that Bridgehouse aren't following that trend.