This is the first in an occasional series on West Yorkshire breweries which hopes to showcase the variety of beers available in the area and the variety of breweries brewing them, from the large to the small and hopefully give clues on where to find the beers.
I have chosen to start with Ossett Brewery, which has risen from its small beginnings in 1998 to become one of the largest breweries in the region.
No only does Ossett brew beers but it owns 14 of its own pubs, and controls 2 more of the local breweries in Riverhead and Fernandes.
Many of its beers are light and hoppy, of various strengths, and most are not hard to find for the enthusiastic drinker. In Huddersfield, there are generally 4 on the bar at The Rat & Ratchet, (Pale Gold, Silver King, and Excelsior are regulars, plus one seasonal or special). In Halifax, the core range appears at the Three Pigeons; in Dewsbury, the Shepherds Boy also provides a basic range, and there are 3 of their own pubs in Ossett providing their beers. They also travel far and wide in the free trade, either through direct deliveries or brewery swaps so they are not uncommon throughout the country.
Their forte does seem to be the lighter hoppy beers but they can also turn their hand to making darker brews, and their 'Treacle Stout' is much sought after. It even appeared in bottles at Christmas for the fireside drinker. Other specials, have included 'Ossett Light Ale' which for a 3.6% beer is full of flavour, and very moreish, and their 'Real Ale Revolution' series, which includes their 'IPA' are also very good but a little stronger.
If you are a lover of this style of beers then Ossett could be well worth searching out.