Craft brewery and bar Amity Brew to open in Leeds's Sunny Bank Mills

A new craft brewery is to open its doors Leeds’s Sunny Bank Mills.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 4:26 pm

Amity Brew Co is signing a 10 year lease at the historic former mill complex in Farsley, following an injection of £50,000 from the Business Enterprise Fund and raising £25,000 from family.

The 2,500 sq ft brewery and bar, due to open in autumn 2020, will be situated at Sunny Bank Mills’ Festoon Rooms with a paved outdoor beer garden.

Co-founder and director Russ Clarke has worked for BrewDog, North Brewing Co and Beer Hawk.

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Amity Brew - Neash Photo

He said: “We are inspired by the US model of a brewpub, making limited batch beer on-site and getting it into the hands of the community fresh and fast.”

Due to C-19, Russ moved the launch forward so that he can start to build a community locally.

Business Enterprise Fund’s Start Up Loans Manager, Julie Micklethwaite, said: “We are proud to have a legacy of supporting Yorkshire breweries over the years including Leeds Brewery and Northern Monk. The Amity Brew Co plan of maximising ecommerce to gain loyalty and brand recognition is a great model in the post-Covid world. We’re delighted to support new businesses get off the ground in this challenging economy.”

Using cuckoo brewing - a practice where brewery’s hire out their kit - Head Brewer Greig Swanson, formerly of Top 100 breweries Buxton Brewery and BrewDog, has created a core range of beers including a “helles” lager, an extra special bitter and an American pale ale, all named after Farsley landmarks.

Russ Clarke - photo Neash photo

Keen to work with local suppliers where possible, Amity Brew Co has appointed the interiors team behind Sarto, Headingley Stadium and the Masons Gin School and Distillery, Wetherby-based Design Tonic to design and fit the brewpub. The industrial yet green space will have social distancing is at the heart of the design including no seats at the bar, a one way system, maximising outdoor space and ensuring the tables and chairs that can be moved easily.

Mr Clarke added: “Launching a business post covid-19 really adds the pressure on but we’ve been heartened to see how the local community has rallied together and we feel the brewpub is exactly what the community will embrace at this time.

"We are adaptable and nimble enough to make sure that our plans can quickly change according to any government restrictions that might be passed in the future as we all adapt to the world with C-19.”

Russ Clarke - Neash photo