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Monkey business! We take a look behind the scenes at the Hand Drawn Monkey brewery in Lindley

Spiced beers, road trips to Barcelona and Jephers the Monkey

Fancy a tandoori-spiced beer? Or a mango, chili and lime pale ale? How about a cherry bakewell porter?

It’s real ale, but not as you know it at Hand Drawn Monkey in Lindley.

The brewery, which opened in October 2012, pushes the boundaries of craft ale, experimenting with brewing techniques and drawing inspiration from food to create interesting new ales.

Director Rob Allen, 33, sold his house to invest in the brewery and its accompanying bar in Wood Street in the town centre.

After learning the ropes during his time running the Rat and Ratchet pub, which contains the Rat Brewery, Rob took the plunge to begin brewing his own ales, determined to make his mark on the Huddersfield real ale scene.

The three-man team at the Plover Road brewery (formerly occupied by Lockwood brewers Mallinsons) includes Rob, brewer Graham Rothery and their ‘science guy’ Dr Sam Moss — a chemist who turned down a six-figure salary working in the pharmaceutical industry to help the brewery become more experimental and ambitious.

Rob’s father Roger, now retired, also helps maintain the brewery, which produces 4,000 litres of beer a week.

“We brew as many ales as we can, I’m one of those people who’s never sat still,” he said. “We make one or two entirely new brews each week, we’re constantly changing.

“I was a chef for around five years. Instead of pairing food and beer, if those flavours work well, why not make a brew with them?”

From jerk seasoning to curry spices, Hand Drawn Monkey’s unusual flavours have made an impact — with the brewery scooping four awards at its first beer festival outing at Huddersfield CAMRA’s Oktoberfest.

Its craft ales are distributed across the UK, as well as internationally, with ales sent to beer festivals in Canada, New York and Barcelona.

For the Barcelona festival last March, Rob and the team insulated the work van and loaded it with casks to drive 1,200 miles to the event, praying it their ales arrived in once piece!

Its ales are also on tap at the Hand Drawn Monkey bar, with plans to begin bottling beer in the near future.

The brewery’s unusual name came from Rob’s former film production company — along with the brewery’s mascot, Jephers the Monkey.

Hand Drawn Monkey Brewing Co's mascot - Jephers the Monkey
Hand Drawn Monkey Brewing Co's mascot - Jephers the Monkey

“I love monkeys,” Rob said. “So far we’ve got Jephers and Lord Jephers, there’s also a third monkey I haven’t named yet.”

For Hand Drawn Monkey, craft ale creation is all about experimentation.

“We try and do things that haven’t been done before,” Rob said. “Hopefully this year we’re going to have a sort of first — it’s going to be totally new thing in terms of how the beer gets to your glass from the bar.”

Watch this real ale space.


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