You can taste the difference in local beers

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From: Colin Waite, former Tetley public relations manager, Cautley Drive, Killinghall, Harrogate.

ALTHOUGH I spent 32 years at Tetley’s in Leeds I would never claim to be an expert on brewing but I feel sure the five head brewers I knew and their dedicated brewing teams would be more than a little impressed at the claims expressed in Simon Jenkins’ article (Yorkshire Post, May 30) that brewers at Bank’s Brewery have successfully replicated Tetley Bitter.

To be able to do this without access to the Leeds brewery’s bore hole water – which was blended with Leeds town water – and the yeast strains kept and cultivated at Leeds since the days of Joshua himself and the Leeds brewery’s famous Yorkshire Square fermenting vessels is quite an achievement.

In fact, it is a far greater achievement than Tetley brewers of the past were able to replicate when they attempted, soon after I joined the company in 1966, to brew Tetley beers to match the taste of those produced in Leeds at a sister brewery in Warrington.

But despite the Warrington brewery having the same Yorkshire Square fermenting vessels and their brewers using the Leeds strain of yeast and, as a last resort, the company transporting Leeds water over the Pennines in tankers senior management could not – as Bank’s Brewery initially found – convince licensees and their customers in Tetley’s Yorkshire heartland to accept the Lancashire brewed ale.

After a campaign to try and assure them that the two beers were exactly the same the scheme was eventually abandoned and normal service restored.

However, as someone who, during my time at Tetley’s, knew and respected Simon Jenkins’s knowledge of local pubs and their beers I feel sure his words were as well meant as the efforts of the Bank’s brewing team.

I also feel equally sure that if the positions were reversed and Tetley brewers had been asked to replicate Bank’s West Midland beers in Leeds then their dedicated customers would have been able to detect the difference.

In short, unlike the products produced by certain international lager conglomerates, traditional cask conditioned brews owe their unique taste to where they originate.

From: DS Boyes, Rodley Lane, Leeds.

THE feature on pub closures was very interesting. I am not a qualified expert like some, although after spending about 40 years patronising those places, both at lunchtime and evenings seven days a week before I learned better, I could be said to be a well-informed amateur.

Pubs, generally in former industrial areas, were part of the great capitalist conspiracy to rob the working man of his wages.

First greedy pub landlords ripped us off, followed by the Tory-supporting big brewers, but worst of all successive Governments of every persuasion charged ever higher and higher duties and/or VAT on our small pleasures of beer and cigarettes.

Today, few do physical hard work, and mainly have better things to spend their money on, eg the mortgage, the car, foreign holidays and lots of electronic gadgets: both labour-saving in the home or for entertainment.

Pubs are therefore doomed to continue closing, especially when the only people seemingly able to afford to patronise them regularly are often those on benefits.

From: Peter Hyde, Kendale View, Driffield.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Ken Brooke (Yorkshire Post, June 6) when he blames the current drink culture on the lax drink laws that allows extended hours.

It is not a matter of cost or money, but rather the opportunity to obtain alcohol just about 24/7. As he asks, just why should pensioners who like the odd glass of wine be penalised by rising prices, when it is the young beers drinkers, who become objectionable in drink?

The limitation of drinking hours would do far more to reduce the problem than raising the price of wine.

Austerity and the museum

From: Jack Kinsman, Stainton Drive, Grimsby.

THE blinkered, self-serving Eurocrats that rule the European Union must live in another world.

The EU Commission put in place drastic austerity measures for all the member states, but then voted themselves e55m to build a European museum. This unneeded luxury will cost the taxpayers e11m a year to run when it is built.

The EU Commission said: “The money will be coming from increased taxes of the member states.” Who gave the EU the authority to raise my taxes to pay for something that is not needed?

The EU are planning a new fiscal tax which is a tax on the City of London trading. Great Britain will have as much say about this tax as they had about the building of the museum. Where are the people we voted for to look after Great Britain’s interest in Europe? Where are our MEPs when the Commission introduced the aviation tax for all member states?

Just to rub salt into the wounds of the people of Great Britain and other countries suffering the effects of EU austerity, the Commission has decided to have an increase of 80 per cent in the EU entertainment budget.

These people live in another world – they definitely don’t live in the hand-to-mouth world of the average British taxpayer.