Leeds Tetley bitter ‘import’ gets the thumbs up

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A beer expert says a replica of Tetley’s Leeds brewing process has been established in Wolverhampton and is producing bitter as good as anything that came out of the famed Hunslet brewery.

He said any reports of Yorkshire landlords deserting the brand because of plummeting quality were “tosh”.

And he said the Wolverhampton brewery was not only producing perfect Tetley bitter, but also Tetley’s bottled ales and other brews.

Barrie Pepper is the Leeds-based author of 16 books on pubs, beer and brewing and is acknowleged as one of Europe’s leading industry experts. He was a founder member of Leeds branch of the Campaign for Real Ale in the 1970s and sat on the goup’s national executive. Along with tens of thousands of beer-lovers he bemoaned the closure of Tetley’s brewery by Danish firm Carslberg in Leeds after more than 200 years in the city.

But with fellow Leeds beer writer Sam Parker he followed up the brewery’s departure from the city with a visit to its new operation in Wolverhampton.

And he came away massively impressed.

Tetley’s is now based at Marston’s brewery – producers of popular Marston’s Pedigree.

He said: “They have done a magnificent job. They’ve set up a Tetley’s fermenting room and have tried to replicate the Tetley brewing process as far as possible using exactly the same recipe.”

One aspect of the process missing is Tetley’s famous “Yorkshire Squares” fermenting vessels, with slate beds and sides.

“But they have their own fermenting vessels just for Tetley’s, they use the same procedures for mashing,” he said. “Tetley’s had Yorkshire squares, and they have tried to replicate the process with Tetley’s system of ‘rousing’ which they used – stirring up the head during fermenting.”

Mr Pepper, who was accompanied on his visit by another Leeds beer writer, Sam Parker from Cross Gates, said: “They didn’t hold anything back. We were able to see whatever we wanted. I cannot fault them at all.”