“Policy of improvements
Our licensed properties have been maintained in good repair during the year and we are always endeavouring to improve as far as we can both the service offered to the public and also the comforts and accommodation provided for the tenants who manage them so well for us. During the past year we opened two new public houses, one in Leeds and one near Barnsley, giving up licences in the case of one them taken from other houses which have been closed. In the coming year we hope to start building one or two more houses on new housing estates.
I do not wish to prophesy as to the future, but I can tell you that since September 30 sales have been well maintained and it is to say that owing to the fall in the price of barley there will be some reduction in the cost of malt. At the same time I must confess that I was too sanguine last year when I forecast that our new drum maltings should be fully employed in the spring of 1955. They will be in partial production during next year but probably not in full operation until October, 1955.
In conclusion I should like to pay tribute to the work done by all the men and women employed by the group The results achieved are due to a large extent the devoted services rendered by them. I am sure that all stockholders will wish to Join me in saying "thank you.”
I now beg to move that the statement of accounts for the year ended September 30. 1954, as audited, together with the directors’ report, be and are hereby approved and adopted and I will ask Mr M. H. Tetley to second this motion. The Report and Accounts were then unanimously adopted, the dividend approved as proposed by the directors and the formal business duly transacted, the proceedings ending with a vote of thanks to the chairman for presiding.”
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 03 January 1955, page 3.
Tetley had an impressive tied house estate, at least in Leeds. Lots of high-quality late Victorian and Edwardian pubs. The Garden Gate, The Adelphi, The Cardigan Arms and the Rising Sun. the latter being one of the top-notch houses they acquired when the bought rival Leeds brewery Melbourne. They were noted for having spectacular pubs.
Trading in licences – usually more than one – to be able to build a new pub was common practice. Small, old-fashioned pubs in districts where a brewery owned many were usually the ones sacrificed. Pubs on new housing estates were an attractive proposition because there was usually limited competition.
While a fall in the barley – and hence malt – price would have been welcome, it wouldn’t really have had much of an impact on Tetley’s costs, as the price of raw materials were only a small part of their overall costs, which were dominated by the beer tax.
I’ll end with analyses of a few of Tetley’s beers:
|Tetley beers 1949 - 1960|
|Year||Beer||Style||Price per pint d||package||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||colour|
|1949||Dark Ale||Brown Ale||13||bottled||1029.8||1003.4||3.44||88.59%||48|
|1950||Family Ale||Brown Ale||15.5||bottled||1030.1||1003.4||3.48||88.70%||52|
|1952||Family Ale||Brown Ale||15||bottled||1035.5||1009||3.44||74.65%||54|
|1952||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||16||draught||1036.3||20|
|1953||Pale Ale||Pale Ale||16||draught||1037.3||20|
|1954||Family Ale||Brown Ale||24||bottled||1035.1||1007.2||3.62||79.49%||57|
|1959||Bitter Ale||Pale Ale||21||bottled||1039||1006.1||4.11||84.36%||23|
|Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002|
It’s a bit dull, as there are only really two beers in the table. Family Ale was the name for the bottled version of their Dark Mild. Which, as you can see, wasn’t very dark. The specs look very similar to the Tetley’s Mild and Bitter I drank in the 1970’s.