A well-loved Wakefield brew-pub is set for a new lease of life following significant investment by the Ossett Brewing Company.
Since closure in July, Ossett Brewery has been busy refurbishing the Fernandes Brewery Tap and Bierkeller in the Old Maltings, Avison Yard, Kirkgate. A former winner of Yorkshire CAMRA Pub of the Year, Fernandes is steeped in brewing history and will be relaunched on Friday 24th September from 4pm as Luis Bar – a tribute to the Portuguese immigrant Luis Fernandes who constructed the three story maltings building in the 1800s.
With several uses during the 20th century, the building became a brewery and off-licence when local couple Maureen and Dave James acquired the property in 1994 and installed a 2.5bbl brewing plant. Ossett Brewing Co purchased the building in 2007 to create a popular cask ale venue with ten hand pumps plus the Bierkeller with a wide range of authentic continental lagers.
Under a new management team, Luis Bar will remain a cask lover’s paradise with Fernandes and Ossett ales to the fore while also offering selected craft beers and cocktails on tap. Former Ossett telesales manager, Liz Hughes will run the new look venue alongside Howard Hughes and Gerald Wood, local businessmen who have supplied the brewery with artwork and signage for years. They are the first licensee’s to enter into tenancy with Ossett Brewing Co. Howard and Gerald will also take over the brewing of the highly regarded Fernandes ales.
Jamie Lawson, Co-owner of Ossett Brewing Company says: “Fernandes is a much acclaimed brew-pub in the heart of Wakefield. However, a substantial refurbishment was needed to ensure it could continue to welcome its very loyal customers while also attracting new supporters in today’s very vibrant and challenging pub scene.
“Consequently we decided to make this key investment in a major uplift and makeover for the venue, while maintaining its highly valued ambience and character. It is a ground-breaking step for our pub estate, we are very pleased to welcome aboard the new management team under our first ever tenancy agreement. All three have a long association with us and will play an important role in an exciting future for this much-loved venue under its new identity as Luis Bar.”
Joint licensee Liz Hughes said: “After working with Ossett Brewing Co for nearly 20 years in various roles, I am delighted to be carrying on a relationship in this exciting new role alongside Howard and Gerald, who also both know the company very well. We are very much looking forward to working with Ossett and tackling the challenges ahead to take the new Luis Bar forward as a top-class pub venue for the town.”