Brewer Paul Briscoe (right) with Bob Brook, of Otley Pub Club, sampling a Chippend’Ale


The West Yorkshire market town of Otley has launched a special edition Chippend’Ale beer to celebrate the 300th anniversary of its most famous son, renowned furniture maker Thomas Chippendale.

The special edition beer, created by local artisan brewer Paul Briscoe, will be on sale at selected pubs throughout the town over the course of the year, as well as during the month-long Celebrating Chippendale, Otley’s Famous Son festival, that commemorates the birth of Thomas Chippendale in the summer of 1718.

ChippendalePaul has used a combination of Bramling Cross and Styrian Golding hops to produce a beer in the style of an old-fashioned bitter, with a colour reminiscent of the dark wood Chippendale used in some of his most famous pieces of work.

The beer made its debut in two test batches in March, with one cask at Otley’s Old Cock pub that sold out within 36 hours of launch, and two more at the Bradford Beer Festival.

In addition to these limited edition casks, the beer will be produced in greater quantities in association with Harrogate-based Daleside Brewery.

The first batch of 500ml bottles of Chippend’Ale goes on sale in select historic houses with a Thomas Chippendale link, and artisan beer shops, from this month. The Daleside beer, produced in collaboration between Paul Briscoe and the company’s head brewer, Craig Witty, is described as “copper coloured with a pronounced hop finish”. It will also be produced in wooden casks for wider distribution at real ale pubs outside of Otley.

Paul Briscoe said: “As a proud resident of Otley, I was delighted to be offered the chance to produce a beer in honour of the town’s most famous son. I wanted to create a beer that looked like an aged, polished wood — a traditional old-fashioned bitter, rather than a modern American-style pale ale — as it felt much more appropriate for a beer in honour of the country’s greatest furniture maker.”

‘Ales of disctinction’

Mike Berriman, of Daleside Brewery, added: “At Daleside Brewery, we pride ourselves in producing ales of distinction, and being selected as a partner to produce a celebratory ale for Thomas Chippendale certainly fulfils that promise. We have worked closely with Paul Briscoe to ensure the two beers are as closely aligned as possible. We are sure people will enjoy our beers, whether in an historic pub in Otley or the comfort of their own home.”

Bob Brook, of Otley Pub Club, said: “We are delighted with Paul’s creation and the wider production offered by Daleside Brewery. We created the Celebrating Chippendale programme to cater to all tastes, and we’re particularly excited that one of the items will now delight those with an interest in real ales.”

Thomas Chippendale was born in Otley in the summer of 1718 and christened in Otley Parish Church on June 5 of the same year. While little is known of his early life, it is thought he may have attended the town’s grammar school, which is now the Stew and Oyster pub — one of those selected to stock the casks produced by Paul Briscoe.

The creation of both beers is part of the wider celebration of events in Otley that take place during June and throughout the year.