Founded by Joshua Tetley in 1822, the Tetley name represents one of Leeds’ oldest brewing dynasties and has been synonymous with the city for over 200 years.
Consequently the brewery site has important social and industrial significance and the brewery and its people have contributed greatly to the rich history of the city.
In 1822, Joshua Tetley leased a brewery in Salem Place, Hunslet for £400. Joshua Tetley and Son was created in 1839 when Joshua made his son, Francis William a partner. Construction of a new brewery began in 1852 and by 1860 Tetley was the largest brewery in the North of England. By 1875, annual beer production had reached 171,500 barrels.
In 1931, the art deco Tetley headquarters building was erected. In 1954 Sheffield’s Gilmour Brewery was acquired, along with 500 tied houses. Tetley’s position as Leeds’ largest brewer was confirmed in April 1960 when it announced a takeover of Leeds’ Melbourne Brewery.
In 1961 Tetley merged with Ind Coope of Burton upon Trent and Ansells of Birmingham to form Allied Breweries, then the world’s largest brewing conglomerate. At its height in the 1960s, the Leeds Brewery employed a thousand people. The brewery became the world’s largest producer of cask ale during the 1980s. In 1998 Tetley was taken over by the Carlsberg Group.
The Leeds Brewery was closed in 2011, and demolished in 2012, with production contracted out by Carlsberg to breweries in Wolverhampton, Tadcaster and Hartlepool. Tetley retains its links to Leeds through sponsorship of its two main rugby teams Leeds Rhinos and Leeds Carnegie, and through The Tetley, which will open in late 2013.
The headquarters building is now the home to contemporary art and learning and represents an exciting mix of the old and the new – where heritage is preserved yet reinterpreted, helping us make sense of our histories whilst signposting potential futures for this historic site, the city of Leeds and its public. The refurbishment of the building is supported by Carlsberg UK who have worked with Chetwoods Architects and Arup to redevelop the headquarters into a fit-for-purpose, publicly accessible building.