Not totally random, as it is yet another brewery whose beers I've drunk. In its final days when it was owned by Whitbread. There's a story behind that. When I arrived in Leeds in 1975, Whitbread had discontinued cask beer from all its Northern breweries except Castle Eden. So I basically completely ignored their pubs. Not that there were a huge number in Leeds, strangely enough. Around 1980, they re-introduced cask beer in the form of BYB Bitter. Then I started paying attention to their pubs. Frustratingly, the brewery closed a few years later, in January 1983.
It was a mystery to me why Whitbread kept open the Kirkstall Brewery and closed the Bentley's Brewery in Woodlesford on the other side of Leeds. The Woodlesford brewery was right next to the railway line and with much more room around it than the cramped Kirkstall site. I guess it must have been less modern. Ironically the cask beer Whitbread brewed in Kirkstall bore the Bentley's name (BYB = Bentley's Yorkshire Breweries).
When they got back into cask, Kirkstall put out a few other experimental brews. I can remember drinking cask Dark Mild in one of their Leeds pubs with Henry and Sandra (not sure why I mention this, as you have no idea who these people are) in 1982.
There's another reason why this isn't a random brewery. You can see it in the table below: an AK. Kirkstall is the furthest north I've found one being brewed. Now isn't that fascinating?
|Kirkstall Brewery beers in 1885|
|Date||Year||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||Pitch temp||max. fermentation temp||length of fermentation (days)|
|10th Sep||1885||PA||Pale Ale||1060.9||9.87||3.31||2||2||58º||º|
|10th Sep||1885||AK||Pale Ale||1049.9||12.42||2.01||3.25||2.5||58º||º|
|11th Sep||1885||BA||Pale Ale||1055.4||10.00||2.33||2||2||58º||º|
|15th Sep||1885||KKK||Stock Ale||1069.3||10.00||2.97||2.5||58º||º|
|Kirkstall Brewery brewing records.|
Other than that, there's nothing very special about their beers. Just the usual combination of Mild Ale, Pale Ale, Strong Ale and Stout.