Yorkshire Brewer Toasts 'Pubs Oscar' Acclaim
West Yorkshire’s award winning Ossett Brewing Company is celebrating an industry ‘Oscar’ for the success of its pub estate.
The 16-year-old brewer was crowned Best Microbrewery Pub Company at the highly prestigious national Publican Awards 2013. Judges praised the successful mix of community and music pubs all focussed on cask-conditioned ale.
Ossett’s 19 pubs are located across the region in Calderdale, Huddersfield, and Knaresborough as well as the home Wakefield area. The estate has grown rapidly since the first pub –The Black Bull in Liversedge – opened in 2003. It now includes brew pubs The Fernades Brewery Tap, Wakefield, the Rat, Huddersfield, and the Riverhead in Marsden. There are also The Hop venues – live music themed pubs located in Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield.
The awards’ tough judging process included undercover pub visits and rigorous interviews with judges – including city analysts, industry consultants, business journalists and pub guide editors.
Judges applauded how the pubs and brewery cross contribute to each other and the vision and understanding of what makes a great pub experience – ‘showing that a genuine love of pubs beats any corporate cookie cutter approach’. They praised the guest ale policy and were impressed with the synergy between cask ale and live music in The Hop venues – ‘unthinkable five years ago to imagine cask ale as the default drink of choice in venues focused around live gigs’. *
Toasting the acclaim (see photograph) Mike Inman, Ossett’s joint managing director, said: “We are delighted to pick up the award for Best Microbrewing Pub Company. This is like a Pub Oscar. It is the highest recognition from our industry peers and colleagues for our successful formula of cask ale led community and music pubs – all enjoying success despite the economic climate when many pubs are closing.
“While we are a small company, we have a very talented group of staff and this award – more than any other – is a recognition of everyone’s hard work, from those at the brewery to all those working at our 19 pubs.”
Ossett’s award was among just 18 presented by TV star Rob Brydon at a glittering ceremony in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
The Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s group editor Rob Willock said: “In these challenging trading times it is fantastic to see our award winners continuing to grow their businesses and bring innovations to their customers.”