Darkland Brewery brings craft ale to Halifax

Jonny Mountain and Gav Riach, with the Good Beer Guide 2020, in the Pallet Bar, at Darkland Brewery, Ladyship Mills Business Park, Halifax.
Jonny Mountain and Gav Riach, with the Good Beer Guide 2020, in the Pallet Bar, at Darkland Brewery, Ladyship Mills Business Park, Halifax.

The future looks hop-ful for the local micro-brewery

Husband and wife team Gav and Laura Riach are bringing delicious local beers to the people of Halifax.

Based in Ladyship Business Park in Boothtown, the micro-brewery opened in February of 2018. Gav has made home brewed beer for over ten years in a 1/2 brewing system in a cabin at his home.

Laura, who works for the cancer support charity Maggie’s, persuaded Gav to take the plunge and turn his passion for home brewing into a business.

“I encouraged him to follow his dream. Everyday I meet people of all ages living with incurable cancer and life really is far too short to not follow your passion.

“Our friend Jonny Mountain invested in the business within a few months of Gav taking the company on. We call him the ‘not so silent partner’,” said Laura.

As well as running the brewery and bar, Gav works full time as an electrical engineer: “It’s not easy working full time and brewing but making beer that’s enjoyed by many is very rewarding.”

Gav prides himself on the quality of his ales and a typical ale takes between ten to fourteen days to be ready to drink.

The brewery has a core beer range of five beers, as well as three seasonal special brews. Gav has been a vegetarian for over twenty-five years and ensures that all of the Darklands ales are contain no animal products.

“A brew day takes up a full day from mashing the grain and getting the wort, which is the precursor to beer, into the fermentor where the yeast is left to do its job and make the beer,” said Gav.

As well as brewing ales, they have opened a brewery tap, known as the Pallet Bar, next to the brewery, where they serve small batches of their beers. The bar has three kegs and six hand pulls and has proved to be popular amongst local beer enthusiasts.

The micro-brewery also had a pop up bar inside the Borough Market as part of the Totally Locally scheme - a national project that takes a grass root approach to encourage consumers to buy from smaller local businesses in a bid to save the high street.

In the future, they hope to take on staff at the brewery, increase bottling capacity and online sales and start selling their beer in cans.