The owner of a popular real-ale pub is spreading his wings with plans to make goat cheese and brew beer high above Keighley.
Marcus Lund has run Fanny’s Alehouse in Saltaire for 17 years, and initially hoped to create a mini dairy in its cellars.
But after exhaustive courses on cheese-making, hygiene and hazard analysis he has now applied to Bradford planners to build a milking parlour with dairy and start a micro-brewery on his smallholding on the outskirts of Riddlesden.
Mr Lund said: “There will be a new barn with a fully automated goat-milking parlour at one end, and then a separate dairy for cheese-making at the other.
“Initially, I plan to bring in some 60 goats, probably Alpines as they are good milkers.
“Having done everything the council wants in order to make cheese at Fanny’s, it’s more practical to have somewhere purpose-built. I have plenty of space up here for my own herd, and this way I will be producing the cheese with milk from my own goats and be responsible for the whole process from the very start. I want to do it all myself – that’s the real fun of it.”
Mr Lund learned about livestock on his grandfather’s farm.
He added: “The aim is to make a hard goat cheese, rather like Manchego, which is, of course, made with ewes’ milk.
“Hopefully, planning will take a couple of months and then the building will have to be done. So we may be able to start making cheese in six months or so, and then build up a rolling process for continuous sales.”
Mr Lund explained he would be making 8kg truckles, which would then have to mature for six months.
“My idea is to simply sell it to wholesalers to cut down on logistics. We’re not talking huge amounts of cheese, but there will be some to sell on to local traders.
“Fanny’s will also have a cheese fridge for people to buy from, and I’ll also be doing cheese platters for drinkers.
His planned micro-brewery would be installed in existing farm buildings.
“I want to make a light blonde beer and a dark version to sell on draught at the Alehouse,” he said. “It should be great – what could be better than beer and cheese!”