AN OTLEY nanobrewery has launched a series of sessions to give lonely people the chance to chat.

Shadow Brewing will be holding its first Tap Room Talk on Wednesday, January 19 at its premises at 98 Boroughgate in Otley.

Owner of the brewery Ian Shutt said: "When we set up in late Summer 2021, something we were really keen on was using the space we have to benefit the community. We’ve loved the number of people who have been comfortable coming in for a drink on their own and hearing their stories.

"We did some research and discovered that 45 per cent of adults in England sometimes to often feel lonely, which is about 25 million people. Also in June 2021 around 21 per cent of adults reported experiencing some form of depression, that’s a huge part of the population and if I’m honest it’s probably included me at times, so we decided we’d try to do something to help.

"The idea is that if you want to go for a drink but perhaps don’t have anyone to go with you can come and have a chat with us, or if you want to have a rant about something or just need a change of scene, we’ll be here to listen.”

The idea is inspired by the work of Andy’s Man Club and their ‘It’s OK to talk’ slogan and has developed from speaking to various people and organisations who have some experience in the area. “We’re really flexible about the concept depending how people want it to evolve” said Ian. “It might be that it becomes a bit more professional and other organisations are invited to come along to offer specific support, or it could just be a safe space for people who want somewhere to have an informal chat, either way, if you think you’ll benefit please do come along.”

It’s hoped that other breweries might also take up the scheme.

“We’ve chosen a name that hopefully explains what it’s all about but can also be adopted by other pubs and tap rooms, and we’ll gladly help anyone else who thinks their community could benefit” added Ian.

The sessions will be split into men on Wednesday, January 19 and women on Wednesday, January 26, both starting at 8pm and running until 10pm. It is hoped they will become a regular occurrence. Contact the brewery on or via their social media with questions.