Yorkshire brewer Rooster's returns to its Harrogate birthplace after £850,000 investment

Family-run brewer Rooster’s has completed an £850,000 investment into its new brewery and tap room in Harrogate in a move that doubles its capacity.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:00 am

The 27-year-old beer producer is now fully operational in a 20,000 sq ft facility in the town’s Hornbeam Park, having spent the last 18 months transitioning from its former base at Grimbald Park near Knaresborough.

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The state-of-the-art brewhouse is capable of producing 5,000-litre brews, which will be used to produce Rooster’s core range. Alongside this main plant is a smaller, 1,600-litre brewing plant, which will be used to produce an ongoing range of new limited-edition beers that will form part of an experimental sub-brand known as the ‘Outlaw Project’, launching later this month.

L-R: Oliver Fozard, Ian Fozard, Tom Fozard. Pic - Gerard Binks

Rooster’s is run by director Ian Fozard and his two sons, Tom and Oliver, who lead as commercial director and brewing director respectively.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Tom said: “We have set ourselves in a position where we are able to remain at the forefront of what we do. It is a huge step forward.”

Rooster’s was founded in Harrogate by experienced Yorkshire brewer, Sean Franklin, who successfully grew the business into an international award-winning firm.In 2011 he retired and sold the firm to Ian who had previously set up and run the Market Town Taverns chain of Yorkshire pubs.

Ian said: “Sean knew I had a son who was a brewer. It was an opportunity to work together with the lads.”

Rooster's Yankee pale ale

The company now employs 17 people and the move to Hornbeam Park sees the firm return to its Harrogate birthplace.

We could not contemplate moving outside of Harrogate,” said Ian.

“It is in our DNA.”

Rooster’s has formed a close partnership with another well-known Harrogate food and drink firm.

L-R: Oliver Fozard, Ian Fozard, Tom Fozard. Pic - Gerard Binks

Alongside Taylors of Harrogate, it has been brewing occasional, limited edition beers using a variety of different teas and coffees, including Londinium, a coffee porter and most recently, One Trick Pony, a sour beer infused with Taylors’ Rose Lemonade Herbal Tea.

The new brewery was designed by Oliver and features all British-made equipment sourced from UK manufacturers.

It will enable Rooster’s to almost double its production capacity immediately, with opportunities to expand and increase this further in the long term.

Oliver said the new facility, particularly the smaller brewing plant, will allow the firm to develop more niche products for what is known as the ‘uber craft beer’ market – beers which shift the landscape in terms of shaping trends.

Rooster's new Harrogate home Pic - Gerard Binks

“The kit we have invested in will allow us to push the boundaries in terms of what we do.

“On the brewing side we are looking forward to pushing ourselves creatively and offering what the top end of the market wants.”

Tom said that the new taproom, which opened in May of last year, had already begun proving a commercial success for the brewery.

“Creating a taproom and upstairs event space where people can socialise and enjoy themselves was really important to us, as we want to embed ourselves at the heart of local community life.

“On the commercial side, the tap room is a major bonus. It is proving to be quite a popular space.

“We have become a local hub for a lot of people in south Harrogate.”

The new Harrogate brewery Pic Gerard Binks
Pic Gerard Binks