WHen someone asks you if you’d like a beer tasting session, it’s rude to say no (unless religion, custom or health reasons suggest otherwise obviously!)
When that tasting is going to be in the former Tetley’s brewery, with the beer’s brand ambassador giving you tasting notes, it would be nothing short of foolish to say no.
And so this week I found myself at what remains of the former Tetley’s brewery, walking for the first time underneath that famous iron archway. The panelled boardroom remains as it was (anyone can wander in and take a look), not a piece of wood loose on the parquet floor, the leather seats polished to their ox-blood red best and the familiar stern face of Joshua Tetley looming over it all from a modest portrait on the wall.
Tetley’s is of course a name synonymous with our city for 200 years. At one time there was more beer brewed by Tetley’s than anywhere else.
It’s always been important to Leeds people that the beer should be brewed in Leeds – anywhere else it would just not taste the same. Tetley’s was a taste I grew up with so it was with some pleasure, and a little trepidation, that I took my first sip of Tetley’s No 3 – the first beer to be brewed in the city under the famous name since 2011.
It’s a best bitter made to the instructions held in the archives since 1868.
It was delicious, as was the food which accompanied it.
The yeast is the same strain of yeast, the brewing overseen by a man who worked at the Hunslet Road factory for decades, and the water is definitely our own Leeds H2O.
It may be starting out small, but so did Joshua Tetley. This could be the start of a resurgence of brewing Tetley’s in Leeds. And we can all say “cheers” to that.