|The Flying Duck, Ilkley is open|
Regular readers of this blog may recall we told you back in August about Wharfedale Brewery's plans for a brew pub.
At that time Wharfedale's chief consultant Stewart Ross was brewing at Five Towns in Wakefield while the finishing touches were put on the ambitious project in Church Street, Ilkley.
Well, at 4pm today (November 14) the doors were flung open on The Flying Duck.
As usual The Bloke from Hull came up with the goods in the form of a press release from the brewery, which tells the whole story. Here it is:
After more than 30 weeks of painstaking restoration work at a cost in excess of £200,000, Wharfedale’s first BrewPub, the Flying Duck, will finally open it’s doors in Ilkley this weekend.
In late 2012, sixteen businessmen and women, all with a close connection to the town, formed two companies (Flying Duck Enterprises Ltd and Wharfedale Brewery Ltd), which acquired the lease of the former Mallard Inn (more recently The Albert) on Church Street.
The majority of the investors are past chairmen of Ilkley Round Table and founder members of the highly successful Ilkley Beer Festival.
They felt there was a niche in the market place to capitalise on the resurgence in the popularity of real ale, by producing and selling their own beer, in the kind of pub that they felt had been sadly lacking in the Ilkley area for generations.
The property is Ilkley's oldest pub building, dating back to the early 1600s. The current Grade II listed structure was built as a farmhouse in 1709 and retains many of its original features.
This provided an exact match with the investors’ plans to create a Yorkshire Dales style real ale and fine wine venue, in a setting packed with character, which could also incorporate a microbrewery.
And thus, Wharfedale's first BrewPub was born. The pub has been renamed the Flying Duck, in a nod to its most famous previous name, and the third incarnation of Wharfedale Brewery has been established.
Ilkley based, Paul Whitehead, the project’s Chief Building Contractor commented: “As a listed building, and indeed probably the oldest structure in central Ilkley, numerous unexpected challenges were faced during the build programme. Working with architects and engineers effective solutions were found to protect the building’s character whilst delivering a superb customer environment.
It’s been an absolute privilege to have been involved. I hope the investors get the returns they deserve and I am sure it will be a great success”.
The pub will serve nine rotating cask real ales (from Wharfedale and other microbreweries throughout the UK) draught ciders, continental lagers, bottled beers from around the world, an extensive range of fine wines, whiskies and spirits, soft drinks, teas and coffees.
The brewery, which predominately serves the pub and other carefully selected local hostelries, can be viewed from an impressive gallery via a decked beer garden located between the two buildings.
Jonathan Shepherd, one of the investors who lives in Ben Rhydding said: “It’s been a long time coming and we’d like to thank the public for the great interest they have shown and the support they have given in what we have tried to achieve. More importantly we’d like to thank them for being so patient.
"The work that has been undertaken is first class and a credit to everyone who has been involved. Both the pub and the brewery look absolutely fantastic. It has taken a little longer than we had hoped but I am certain that everyone will be enormously impressed and agree that it has been well worth the wait.
"We would like to think that it will be a venue for everyone; men and women, young and old, families, dogs, walkers, cyclists and so on. There are still one or two finishing touches to apply and there are bound to be a few teething problems, but we hope we have delivered an establishment that the town will be proud of."