Beer created in tribute to Ilkley community stalwart

Ilkley Gazette: Geoffrey Vere MBE Geoffrey Vere MBE

Ilkley’s newest brewery is to pay tribute to a community stalwart who died last year.

Wharfedale Brewery, housed at the back of the Flying Duck pub in Church Street, is to launch a tribute ale at Ilkley Beer Festival in celebration of the life of Geoffrey Vere MBE; one of the town’s most community focused figures.

As well as developing the Ilkley Good Neighbours Scheme and designing the Clarke Foley Centre, Mr Vere was the longest serving member of Ilkley & District Round Table where he was Honorary Life President until his death in May 2013 aged 88.

It was during his charity raising career that he became firm friends with many of the brewery’s shareholders, who are also past chairmen of Round Table and founder members of the beer festival.

The beer, described as a premium, golden pale ale is to be called Sir Geoff – the nickname given to the fund raising stalwart by current and past Table members.

Brewery spokesman Stewart Ross said: “Sir Geoff played an influential role on so many of our lives and we wanted to create something befitting of the enormous dedication and contribution he gave to the people of Ilkley and the town generally.

“Just like our dear friend, the beer typifies Yorkshire – well balanced and packed full of character!”

Stewart added: “Geoffrey was president of Round Table when I was chairman in 2008 and played a leading role in getting the first Ilkley Beer Festival off the ground.”

Alongside Sir Geoff the brewery’s flagship ales Wharfedale Blonde, Best and Black will be available at the Kings Hall beer festival and the Flying Duck next weekend.

The 2014 Ilkley Beer Festival takes place on February 7 and 8, in the King’s Hall, Ilkley.

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