Leeds Tetley Brewery closure date revealed

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Tetley’s historic brewery will close its doors for the final time on June 17, the YEP can reveal.

The famous factory, in Hunslet, Leeds, started brewing in the city in 1822 but falling consumption, higher duties and regulatory pressure are being blamed for its closure.

Plans to shut the brewery were originally announced in 2008, although some of the 170 workers employed at the factory were reported to remain until mid 2011.

Chairman of the Yorkshire Society, Keith Madeley, said: “It’s the final nail in the coffin.

“It is a great shame that a major name like that, which is linked with both the city and the county, is closing.

“We’re trying to attract businesses to the area, not lose them.”

But the future of many employees still remains in the balance, as a mixture of redundancies and transfers are in negotiations.

Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central, said: “It is the loss of a company that has had a very, very long association with the city. It will be a sad day.”

Production of the company’s famous cask ale, which has been brewed in Leeds for 189 years, is set to move to Wolverhampton.

Tetley’s, which was taken over by Carlsberg in 1998, will also see its Smoothflow produced in nearby Tadcaster and its lager brewed in Northampton.

John Rowe, chair of Leeds Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said: “Well Carlsberg are very happy about their own traditions but don’t care about anybody else’s.

“It’s going to be a dark day for the city and we’ve known it was coming for a while.”

Although the Tetley’s name will live on, many locals fear that the famous taste will be lost.

Barrie Pepper, the former chairman of the British Guild of Beer Writers, said: “When a beer is brewed in a different location, it doesn’t taste the same.

“It was synonymous with Leeds, the association goes back to the mid 19th century and even times like the First World War, when Tetley’s horses even went into battle in France.”

The closure is set to be marked by Leeds CAMRA, some of whose members are travelling down to Tetley’s cask ale’s new home in Wolverhampton to take part in a wake on June 4.

A spokesman for Carlsberg UK said: “We’re only going to make a decision regarding the future of the site when we know it’s right for the area and it will be in conjunction with Leeds City Council’s plans for the site.”

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