Ron Crabtree of the Linfit Brewery and Sair Inn accepts the award from Paul Laxton (Chairman, Huddersfield CAMRA)
Ron Crabtree, co-founder and director of the former West Riding Brewery, bought the Sair Inn in 1982. It had originally been a 19th century brewpub called the New Inn where Eli Dyson, the landlord, once brewed. Eager to carry on the tradition of brewing, Ron’s first task was to set up a brewery at the back of the Sair in the adjoining outhouse. By August of that year, Ron had assembled a 1 barrel brewplant fashioned from redundant industrial plastic barrels. Test brews followed and in January 1983, the first commercial brew was produced.
The new beer was promptly named “Old Eli” after old Eli Dyson, “Eli o’ t’Sair”, former Victorian landlord and brewer. This was a dark, full-bodied, strong 5% abv beer, being more bitter than other beers of a comparable strength. It was an instant success selling at 60p a pint!
In August 2012, Huddersfield CAMRA presented Ron with a special award for 30 years of Brewing at the Linfit Brewery.