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Free beer on tap?

Paul Clarke goes taste testing with Leeds Brewery and issues a call to arms to the city's real ale drinkers

Written by . Published on May 19th 2011.

Free beer on tap?

FREE beer may be the holy grail for ale drinkers but now it could become a reality thanks to Leeds Brewery.

As part of Leeds Brewery’s Goodbye Tetley’s Festival, it has produced three new beers for ale lovers to vote on and name.

Brewery director Sam Moss told Confidential the more people who register to name the winning beer, the cheaper your first pint will be.

“All three ales will be in our four pubs so beer lovers can pop in to sample each one before they vote at the bar and the winner will be brewed for our beer festival, which kicks off on June 10th.

“We’re looking for a commercially viable name, so the more people to register to suggest a name, the cheaper the first pint becomes until, hopefully, it's free.”

You can sample the beers at the Brewery Tap, PIN, the Midnight Bell and the Garden Gate in Hunslet, but to get a free pint you must register at www.goodbyetetleys.co.uk.

Confidential got a sneak preview of all three dry-hopped ales, where a handful of dry hops are added into the brewing process.

Sandinleedsbrrwery 039.JPGBeer A has First Gold added, which gives it an impressive aroma, nice colour and a decent aftertaste; Beer B was very hoppy due to the Apollo hops, which made it a bit more citrusy than the others with a nice zing to it; Beer C is a lighter, less hoppy beer, using North Down hops, which was best for colour but a little bland for my taste.

Not that I want to influence the voting, but Beer B won hands down for me, with just the right kick to it and a really distinctive aftertaste.

But just to make sure Beer B was best Confidential felt obliged to keep supping, and Sam was keen to stress the beer festival was meant as a respectful tribute to the historic Tetley’s brewery, which finally closes its doors next month.

“We are very mindful that about 170 people are losing their jobs, but we really wanted to mark the historic, economic and social impact Tetley’s had on Leeds over the last 189 years," he said.

“We’re having our own beers on as well as 10 or 12 guest ales and as many Tetley’s ales as we can find. There’ll be food and music all day but as an added incentive to come down, £2 from every ticket sold to the festival will go the Leeds Children’s Charity which is the city’s oldest charity, which somehow seems fitting.”

Sandinleedsbrrwery 057.JPGAs we staggered off into the night the uber-enthusiastic Sam remains bullish about their future as Leeds' biggest brewer.

“It’s tough, but ale sales are going up against the trend because the industry is catching up with people’s tastes, as they want to know what they are drinking is natural and free of artificial preservatives.”

Sadly, one rather drunken name suggestion from one drinker of 'Massive Twat' was very firmly rejected by the brewery. Spoilsports.

* The Goodbye Tetley’s Festival runs at the Midnight Bell, 101 Water Lane, LS11 5QN from June 10-12.

Don’t forget you can sample the beers at the Brewery Tap, PIN, the Midnight Bell and the Garden gate in Hunslet, but did I mention to get the free pint you need to register at www.goodbyetetleys.co.uk.

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