Historic Leeds brewery to close
as global brands decline
Carlsberg has announced the closure of the historic Tetley brewery in Leeds and has already ripped out the famous "Yorkshire Square" fermenters -- action that suggests the cask version of Tetley Bitter could disappear. While Carlsberg blames difficult market conditions, rising costs of raw materials and the swingeing duty increase in this year's Budget, the writing has been on the wall for the Leeds brewery ever since the Danish group renamed itself simply Carlsberg instead of Carlsberg-Tetley.
Tetley had to move from its city centre site in Leeds, which the local council needs for student accommodation. The plans were to move to a greenfield site outside the city but that will not now happen. The keg version of Tetley will move to the Carlsberg lager factory in Northampton. If the cask version survives -- and the brand gets no support from the parent group -- it will have to find a new home, possibly the Burtonwood brewery near Warrington, which makes only contract beers, mainly for Scottish & Newcastle.
The Leeds brewery currently also brews Tetley Mild, Ansells Bitter and Burton Ale. The future of all these beers is now in doubt. The brewery is due to close in 2011, with the loss of 170 jobs. But the fact that the historic fermenters have already been thrown out suggests the site will be run down long before that date.