Kirkstall Brewery leases historic building with plans to revive its Yorkshire beer landmark status

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The Tetley building will reopen in May 2024. Credit: Kirkstall Brewery
The Tetley building will reopen in May 2024. Credit: Kirkstall Brewery

Related tags Beverages

Yorkshire beer maker Kirkstall Brewery has taken on the lease of The Tetley, the historic former headquarters of Tetley’s Brewery.

Kirkstall hopes to renew the building’s status as a “landmark of Yorkshire beer culture” ​by operating it primarily as a bar, restaurant and events space, with a view to bring together a selection of local beer so that guests can see and taste the best of brewing in Leeds.

Tetley’s Brewery became the largest producer of cask ale in the world during the 1980s but was closed in 2011.

Built in the Art Deco style in 1931, The Tetley building sits at the heart of mixed-use district Aire Park. It operated as a contemporary art gallery from 2013 until 2023, but has been out of use since that lease ended.

However, the site will reopen in May 2024, featuring beers from brands including Kirkstall, Leeds Brewery and North, which Kirkstall founder Steve Holt rescued from administration in January​.

“It’s a tremendous privilege to bring Leeds’s most iconic brewery building into the Kirkstall fold,”​ said Holt.

“As a brewery that pays a great deal of respect to the history of brewing in the city, we believe we are the ideal custodians for the next chapter of this legendary building.

“It really is the crown jewel of brewing history in Leeds, and we are deeply grateful for the opportunity to make it a landmark of Yorkshire beer culture once again.”

Aire Park and The Tetley are owned by Vastint UK, with the developer’s head of portfolio Michael Cronin stating that the building will form the “centre piece”​ of the district once Kirkstall moves in.

“Last year we outlined our ambitions to safeguard this iconic building for the next 100 years and have now submitted our plans to the council,” ​continued Cronin.

“Since we became custodians of the building, it was always our intention to keep it open until the restoration work got underway to bring this fantastic building up to 21st century standards.

“So, we’re thrilled to be welcoming Kirkstall Brewery to Aire Park and to be bringing one of the current generations of Leeds and Yorkshire breweries to a site which has played such a pivotal role in the history of beer making in the region.”

In other news, Pilgrim’s Food Masters looks set to make up to 260 members of staff redundant due to the proposed closure of a manufacturing site in West London.

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