New Year, New Brewery!

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Published in December 2018

2018 has been an incredibly exciting year for Rooster’s. We’ve spent the past twelve months celebrating the brewery’s 25th Anniversary, which has been focussed around the Collaboration Project we launched this time last year, supported by the 72-page magazine we put together to share our story with those who might not be aware of the pioneering work Sean Franklin carried out all those years ago. If you’ve yet to read it, we’ve got a digital copy on our website you can access by clicking here.

It doesn’t seem like two minutes ago that we were joined by Stu from Magic Rock to kick the project off with the brew day for Northern Powerhouse – the first of 17 collabs we’ve brewed and released across 2018. The last in the series – a cryo-hopped, juicy IPA brewed with Fourpure called Over & Out – was recently released in both cask and keg, so should be available at some of the leading pubs and bars up and down the country over the next few weeks.

As well as being an incredibly fun project for us, we’ve also picked up some new skills and developed some new ideas along the way and we would like to thank every one of the breweries that got involved and supported our birthday celebrations – Cheers!

Whilst there isn’t a 26th Anniversary Collaboration Project in the pipeline, we’ll be bringing you more collaborative treats (albeit on a more sporadic basis) in 2019 and beyond.

2018 has also proven to be a great year for us on the awards front too. Somewhat fittingly, twenty-five years since it was first brewed, Yankee was named Product of the Year at the Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards. We were pleased to have found out we’d not only been nominated, but shortlisted for the award a couple of weeks before the awards ceremony took place. Imagine our delight when we only went and won it!

Baby-Faced Assassin (sliver) and 24/7 (bronze) came away with medals at the 2018 SIBA National Beer Competition, having both won gold in their category at regional level in 2017. The 2018 SIBA North East Competition took place in August this year with B-FA winning ‘best in show’ in its category, which means it will once again go forward to the National Competition in 2019. Highway 51 came away with gold at this year’s York CAMRA Beer Festival too.

Away from beer, we also won gold at the British Guild of Beer Writers annual awards event for the Anniversary magazine a couple of weeks ago, which was a great way to round off the Project as a whole 

Looking ahead, 2019 promises to be a special year.  Last week we got the keys to a new (to us) building in Harrogate. Based in the Hornbeam Park area of Harrogate, a short walk from the train station of the same name, we’re relocating the brewery back to the where it all began in 1993. It became apparent to us a couple of years ago that we’d outgrown our current premises. We’ve spent the time since exploring our options and we’re delighted to have secured a site that will give us the space we need to run the business in a more practical way than our current site allows. To say we’re excited by this move would be an understatement!

Away from the additional storage space the new building will give us, we’ll also be opening an onsite taproom, complete with a space for private functions and will, for the first time ever, be in a position to offer regular brewery tours. In addition to a brand new 30BBL brew plant, we’ll be installing a pilot plant that’ll allow us to brew a wider range of styles of beer. And, as if this isn’t exciting enough, the additional space we’ll have will give us the opportunity to develop a barrel-aging programme.

Harrogate isn’t exactly known for industry, but as a company with its roots in the area and with the majority of our employees based close by, we were determined to bide our time in order to find the right location, as close as possible to our current site in Knaresborough. The building we’ll be moving into next year has certainly been worth the wait and scratches multiple itches in one fell swoop.

The support that the numerous pubs and bars local to the brewery have given us over the years is incredibly important to us. When looking at the somewhat limited options that presented themselves to us over the past 18 months, we remained mindful not to set up shop in a location that could potentially see us become competition. Of the on-trade outlets in Harrogate where you can regularly find Rooster’s on the bar, the nearest is around a two-mile walk / drive from Hornbeam Park, so we’re confident we’ve achieved this.

The aim is to have the taproom open in the spring, with the brewing side of things being fully operational early in summer.

We’ll be sharing more info via our social media feeds as things progress in the New Year. In the meantime, we’d like to thank customers and drinkers alike for your support over the past twelve months.

Cheers!