CAMRA attacks decision to close Tetley Brewery - the largest real ale brewery in the World
'Probably the worst decision in the World for real ale drinkers'
Issued: Wednesday 5th November
Status: For immediate use
Beer consumer group, the Campaign for Real Ale has attacked the decision by Carlsberg UK to close the iconic Tetley Brewery in Leeds by 2011. CAMRA has criticised Calsberg UK for failing to promote the famous Tetley beers at a time when consumer interest in real ales is growing.
Bob Stukins, CAMRA Vice Chairman and Director of Brewery Campaigning said, "It is unclear where Carlsberg UK intends to brew the famous Tetley beers which remain household names in the UK. Brewed outside their Leeds heartland I fear they would lack the provenance which today's discerning consumers expect. While we recognise the enormous challenges facing the brewing industry at present, I think this is a shortsighted decision. Recent statistics clearly show that real ale is performing better than other beer styles in a declining market. There is an opportunity to respond to this, invest in the Tetley brands and bring them back to glory."
The Intelligent Choice report published in September by CAMRA, Cask Marque, SIBA, the IFBB and Why Handpull shows that real ale sales are moving towards growth while the overall beer market has declined by 8% in the year to May 2008*.
CAMRA is calling on the Government to overturn its decision to increase beer duty over the next four years to give struggling breweries a chance to compete. The group claims that high beer tax is driving beer drinkers out of pubs and into their armchairs as the price gap between the on and off-trade widens.
Bob Stukins said, "The Government has a responsibility to act to save British jobs in brewing and pubs and an urgent review of beer tax is required."
CAMRA is seeking a meeting with Carlsberg UK bosses to discuss a way forward for the brewery. The brewery still has its unique open square fermenters and brews various real ales including Tetley's Dark Mild, Tetley's Mild, Ansells, Best Bitter, Burton Ale and the famous Tetley Bitter.
Mr Stukins added, "We have a two year window of opportunity before the brewery gates are set to close for the last time. We will be supporting anyone who has a plan to keep the mash tuns running in this historic brewery and we'll be looking at every possible option to save the brewery. Jobs and this iconic Yorkshire Brewery should not close due to the development potential of this city site"
For further information-
CAMRA Press Office, 01727 798443
Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive, 07971 591224
Iain Loe, CAMRA Research and Information Manager, 07801 706607