SALT Brewery: Meet the man behind Leeds newest award-winning craft and cocktail bar chain
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Having been in the industry for over 20 years, owning and running his own chain of bars was a long held dream but even the man himself has been left taken aback by just how far he’s come.
Jamie told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I saw an opportunity with the emergence of craft beer to start something new in the craft arena.
"I wanted to make the brewery a retail experience so to kind of combine a bar atmosphere with a pub and that’s what led to us developing the SALT beer factory in Saltaire.
"Within the SALT beer factory there’s equal parity to brewing and retail so as you are sat having a drink you can literally reach out and touch the tanks sat their brewing.”
Opening in Oakwood this November will be SALT’s eighth tap room with bars now spread across the north with two in London.
True to the distinctive SALT brand, the venue will feature a bold and vibrant interior design and a laid back environment for guests to unwind in. Expect a warm welcome from the established local team who have been busy becoming experts in all things SALT.
Jamie said: “There’s something for everybody at SALT. Obviously we’ve got our own range of craft beers, IPAs, Pale Ale’s as well as mainstream lagers and cocktails.
"It’s a vibrant sort of upbeat decor, we don’t skimp on the decor we put a lot of effort and resource into our refurbishments. It’s got a laid back but premium feel.”
Oakwood residents will also be able to indulge in some exceptional comfort food courtesy of Big Buns, who will be taking over the SALT Oakwood kitchen.
The independent burger brand, from the same people that brought The Falafel Guys to Leeds, will be providing a delicious menu including the Big Daddy Don’ner Burger, the Clucky Blue Cheeseburger and the Planty Smash loaded fries.
Despite only running for four years, SALT recently won “UK tap room of the year” at the industry SIBA awards and got into the world finals of the SBID interior design awards.
To receive such national recognition from the industry means a lot to Jamie who still finds himself pinching himself when thinking about how far he’s come.
He said: “It’s very much beyond my wildest dreams. The idea was to have one brewery in Saltaire with an interactive tap room but then we got fortunate and got national distribution.
"That distribution has given us that platform to within a short time frame become a nationally recognised craft brand.”
Jamie and SALT have no plans to stop there though with development plans in place to launch more tap rooms across England in 2023 and enjoy a retail rollout of the product.
He added: “In the next three years I would like to be able to build our number of tap rooms to 25, 30.”