Last night, I went along to the opening night of the new Bradford Brewery. Once it’s fully up-and-running, it’ll be the first brewery in Bradford city centre since the last one closed in the 1950s.
Whilst the brewing equipment is still being assembled, the Bradford Brewery’s brewpub, The Brewfactory, opened yesterday. As well as various beers and ales from other local (and not so local) breweries, there is the first of the Bradford Brewery’s own beers available to purchase, called The Origin. It’s an IPA – smooth with a slightly spicy after-taste, although overall I found it a little bland. It’s being brewed at the Baildon Brewery for now until the on-site equipment is up and running, which should be within a couple of weeks.
The brewery is located in a small former factory building on the corner of Westgate and Rawson Road, behind the Oastler Centre, with the pub occupying most of the ground floor. As a factory, moisture meters were built there to measure moisture in wool (to discourage dampening the wool to increase its weight), and its industrial past is reflected in the decor. It’s a bit sparse at the moment, but then the place has only just opened after all.
The Bradford Brewery is just around the corner from North Parade, home to Bradford’s independent quarter and an increasing number of bars. I wrote about the Record Café last year, which joined The Sparrow and Al’s Dime Bar on the same street. The Brewhouse is another bar due to open there shortly.
Good quality new bars are always welcome in Bradford and hopefully a sign that the trend for pub closures might be easing, at least in certain areas. The Brewfactory certainly has a great selection, with eight handpulls for cask beer, several more keg pumps and a variety of canned beers. It’s aiming towards the top end of the market – the only mainstream beer available on tap was Amstel with most of the rest coming from independent microbreweries.
Whilst The Brewfactory will be the home of the Bradford Brewery’s beers, the brewery has ambitious plans for production once its equipment is commissioned – with the aim to produce over 10,000 pints per week. So hopefully their beers will be widely available across the region, and maybe even further beyond. And conveniently, they’ve been able to start production (albeit offsite) just in time for next week’s Bradford Beer Festival in Saltaire.
I wish the team behind the Bradford Brewery the best of luck – their plans have been in the pipeline for a long time, and it’s great to see them finally coming to fruition. It was busy when we visited last night and I hope that it remains so.