Landlord is one of the most versatile beers when it comes to food pairing. The citrussy notes are brilliant with fish and chips, and the Seville orange marmalade flavours bring out the best in duck. The depth of the beer matches up to strong, salty cheeses, like mature cheddar.
It all began in 1952 when the chairman, Philip Taylor, and other senior brewing staff decided to create a new premium beer. Philip knew a thing or two about brewing having trained at Ilkley Brewery before joining the family firm in 1923. He was very much a “hands on” brewer and laid down the principles of brewing at the Knowle Spring brewery which are still used today. The strong pale ale which emerged from the drawing board was designed to be a bottled brand to meet a growing market
The new ale was based on Taylor’s BB, a beer occasionally brewed in the 1930s to a superior bitter recipe, and was launched on to the market as “Competition Ale”. The competition was for drinkers to come up with a suitable name for the new beer. It was eventually won by the steward of the Drill Hall in Keighley who won £500 (£10,000 in today’s money) for naming it Landlord. The Landlord label was another inhouse initiative thanks to Philip’s daughter, Roberta, an art student, who devised an eye catching “jovial landlord” image to attract the attention of customers.
Bottled Landlord at once proved a success. However, it was head brewer Sidney Fairclough who presided over the brewhouse from 1954 to 1966 and who orchestrated the launch of the draft version. Work to refine the beer as a brand of true quality was then continued by his successor Allan Hey and today’s head brewer Peter Eells.
Since the 1970s Landlord has blazed a trail across the British brewing industry, winning numerous medals and prizes. Today Landlord is enjoyed by discerning beer drinkers throughout the country and remains the biggest single brewing industry award winner. It holds the unique distinction of being the only beer ever to simultaneously hold CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain and the Brewing Industry International Awards Supreme Championship Cup in 1999/2000. This was after scooping Beer of the Year awards at CAMRA’s Great British Beer festivals in consecutive years – 1982 and 1983.