When Carlsberg completed their takeover of Tetley’s in 1998 the writing was on the wall for the city’s famous brewery. The closure of the brewery was announced in 2008 but a year before the seeds of the future of brewing in Leeds has been sown. Out of the ashes of Tetley’s emerged Leeds Brewery setup by university friends Sam Moss and Michael Brothwell just outside the city centre on an industrial estate in Holbeck in June 2007. Back then they were the only independent brewery in the Leeds, the brewery is now the largest in the city.
Leeds Brewery launched with three regular cask beers, Leeds Best (Best Bitter, 4.3%), Leeds Pale (Pale Ale, 3.8%) and Midnight Bell (Dark Mild, 4.8%) which more than made up for the demise in quality and decreased of availability of Tetley’s. Midnight Bell remains my favourite though Leeds Pale is a solid favourite in the pubs of Leeds. In recent years the brewery has moved to cater for developing modern tastes launching keg beers such as Hellfire (American Pale Ale, 5.2%), Monsoon (IPA, 4.1%) and Gathering Storm (Dark Stout, 4.4%) though these beers still retain a complex malt character unlike a lot of modern ‘craft’ beers.
As used to be traditional for brewers Leeds Brewery have an estate of pubs. In 2008 they opened the Midnight Bell in the heart of the Holbeck Urban Village. This has since been followed by The Brewery Tap, White Swan and Crowd of Favours in Leeds city centre and the Duke of York in the centre of York. The Brewery Tap houses its own micro-brewery where Leeds Brewery brew their own lager Leodis (Continental Lager, 4.8%).
A premium dark mild. Crystal and chocolate malts combine with wonderful Willamette hops to give a full bodied, complex character to this award winning ale. The spiritual successor to Tetley’s Dark Mild.
A premium continental lager. Hallertauer Mittelfruh hops deliver in Leodis a noticeable but not overpowering hop content, whilst the traditional ‘lagering’ of the beer for up to four weeks before kegging gives it a dry, crisp, clean finish.