The barrels start rolling out from a new micro-brewery

New micro brewery OMB Owenshaw Mill Brewery, Sowerby Bridge.'Managing director John Drake (left) and head brewer Les Measures.
New micro brewery OMB Owenshaw Mill Brewery, Sowerby Bridge.'Managing director John Drake (left) and head brewer Les Measures.
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BEER drinkers are raising their pints to welcome a new micro-brewery set up in Sowerby Bridge.

Business partners John Drake, 60, and Les Measures, 57, are currently producing Katy’s Blonde and Duck Hop at OMB –Owenshaw Mill Brewery, Old Cawsey.

“I used to get my leg pulled when I was younger,” said Les, who unfortunately has not the best name for someone linked to the pub trade – Les(s) Measures.

But he has experience as a brewer in Huddersfield and when his friend John wound down his light engineering workshop the two men joined forces to brew beer on the premises.

Katy’s Blonde at 3.6% ABV is a full-bodied session beer and Duck Hop at 4.1% ABV is a modern pale bitter.

Both brews have returned good feedback since being introduced into a handful of Huddersfield pubs this month and will soon be launched in Calderdale.

The brewing kit was bought from Ilkley Brewery, which has expanded and the eight-barrel plant has capacity to produce 4,000 pints weekly.

Les is optimistic for the future, despite the gloom surrounding pubs.

“Good pubs don’t close down and the free house has a living,” he said.

“A lot of the pubs closing down belong to pub groups which we could not get into anyway.”

John said he had always had an interest in brewing and when the opportunity came along he went for it.

“We are surrounded by pubs and are hopeful for the future.”

With the early batch of customers already returning for more supplies the two men believe they have the recipe to succeed.

“It’s dedication and an interest in the product,” said Les.

l Scottish pubs this week started a campaign to allow smoking in bars again, provided non-smokers are not explosed to second-hand smoke.