Taylor's Tales

Our cartoons were lovingly illustrated by Ed McLachlan (Punch, Private Eye, The Spectator, The Oldie, Saga and a host of newspapers, magazines, books, greetings cards, calendars and films) and Rob Murray (Private Eye, The Spectator, The Sunday Times, Reader's Digest, The Oldie, The Week, Prospect, Viz and History Today) and tell the story of our brewery in a slightly different way...

When a Yorkshireman finds a source  of pure spring water, he doesn’t bottle it. He builds a brewery on it.

When a Yorkshireman finds a source of pure spring water, he doesn’t bottle it. He builds a brewery on it.

In 1863 Timothy Taylor was given the opportunity to buy land over a natural aquifer spring. He did what any good Yorkshireman would, and immediately started work building a brewery. Ever since, The Knowle Spring has been the source of the unique spring water we use to brew our beers. Filtered through layers of black rock and limestone, it is said to taste like melted snow. It’s a very pure and consistent water, one of the reasons we are able to brew beer of such reliable quality and taste.
After that first sip you might agree. 

Fuggles farmer foils attack of the killer wilt.

Fuggles farmer foils attack of the killer wilt.

In our eyes, farmer Tom Spilsbury is a hero worthy of immortalising as a statue. Over the past few decades, the killer wilt fungus has decimated acres of English Fuggles hops  –  an ingredient crucial to the Taylor’s taste. Thankfully, Tom agreed to plant two new yards of Fuggles, specifically for us, in soil elevated above local rivers. This protects our hops from any wilt attacks spreading from land upstream. So we can keep brewing with the Fuggles that give Landlord its inimitable flavour. Here’s to Tom Spilsbury, hops hero, beer legend.

As our farmers know all too well:  no pain, no grain.

As our farmers know all too well: no pain, no grain.

They say nothing worth having comes easy. Unfortunately for our farmers that’s true of the barley we use to brew our beers. We use a classic variety called Golden Promise, grown to our own unique specification. The biscuity, golden malt it produces is the perfect partner to our natural spring water, and is vital to Landlord’s depth and delicate balance of flavour. It’s also a type of barley that’s notoriously hard to grow, and our exacting specification makes it even more difficult. Which makes it a costly ingredient and a real challenge even for experienced farmers. Luckily we can offer some liquid therapy.

Turns out getting pulled over by the police isn’t always bad news.

Turns out getting pulled over by the police isn’t always bad news.

It started as a day much like any other for our delivery driver. But later that morning, as he was carefully navigating the A64 with a precious cargo of Landlord casks, the flashing blue lights of the North Yorkshire constabulary appeared in his mirror. He pulled over, fretting about why the police were stopping him. But rather than issue a ticket, the officer wanted to order a delivery of Landlord to the police social club. Is it the combination of the finest ingredients and our traditional brewing methods that means some drinkers go that little bit further for that arresting taste of Taylor’s?

What does a pigeon from Yorkshire know about good beer?

What does a pigeon from Yorkshire know about good beer?

The answer goes back to Allan Hey, our head brewer from 1966 to 1995. Allan used to count out exactly 100 grains of barley malt on top of a cask left out in the brewery yard, to see how many of the grains the pigeons would leave uneaten. It was his proven way to see how good the batch was. Another twenty years on, the way we brew our beer hasn’t changed. We still only use the finest Golden Promise barley, a variety normally reserved for malt whiskies. It’s a costly ingredient and difficult to grow, but we think it’s worth it. The proof is in that first sip.

The taming  of the kilderkin.

The taming of the kilderkin.

It may not appear hostile. But the Taylor’s cask is well known amongst landlords for its tendency to erupt and drench the unsuspecting if not handled correctly. We still brew our beer the traditional way, which means it undergoes a vigorous secondary fermentation in the cask. This extra conditioning results in a cleaner and crisper beer. But it also means that our casks demand extra time and care. So when you see Landlord in a pub, you know you’re in the presence of a landlord who has tamed the beast to bring you that Taylor’s Taste. Please thank them for their endeavours.

Is this the most cultured  yeast in Yorkshire?

Is this the most cultured yeast in Yorkshire?

Taylor’s yeast is a unique strain that we began using over 40 years ago and has regenerated over 2,000 times. It has adapted to the specific conditions of our brewery and we look after it carefully to maintain its consistency. When we fill our casks we don’t extract the yeast, which allows it to undergo a secondary fermentation in the cask. This gives Taylor’s beer extra conditioning, flavour and life. So when you sup a pint of Landlord you can thank our cultured yeast for that clean, crisp flavour and attractive, moreish taste. 

162 years of brewing without a coffee break.

162 years of brewing without a coffee break.

It’s true. If you visit our brewhouse in Keighley, Yorkshire, you won’t ever catch a whiff of arabica emanating from the brewers’ office. But it isn’t because they don’t have breaks. It’s because our brewers never drink coffee. The reason for their ban on the brown stuff is that coffee plays havoc with the palate. Our five full-time brewers start and finish every brew of our beer, carefully tasting and testing as they go. And when you have a beer as finely balanced as Landlord, you need brewers with finely tuned noses and taste buds. It’s a small sacrifice for a great sip of beer.

What do Taylor’s brewers and  seasoned chefs have in common?

What do Taylor’s brewers and seasoned chefs have in common?

Creating delicious food starts with using the best ingredients. Our brewers believe the same is true for beer. That’s why they always insist on using whole leaf hops, rather than the hop pellets used by most brewers. It’s because the more delicate aromatics present in hops can be lost in the processing of pellets. Although more costly, only whole leaf hops let our brewers create the balance and layers of flavour you expect from a pint of Landlord. Much like a good chef always uses fresh herbs. We think the proof of the pudding is in the drinking.

A.I. is too important to be left in the hands of machines.

A.I. is too important to be left in the hands of machines.

The A.I. we’re referring to isn’t Artificial Intelligence,  it’s Ale Intelligence, of course. We’re not technophobes, we just don’t trust anything incapable of smelling, feeling or tasting to create something as delicately balanced as Landlord. That’s why we have five hands-on, Heriot-Watt trained brewers involved in every step of the process, from barley delivery to filling the cask. This way, we can make sure that every sip of Taylor’s is as delicious as humanly possible. Machines may one day take over the world, just be thankful you won’t be around to drink their terrible beer.

What on earth have lightsabers got to do with brewing beer?

What on earth have lightsabers got to do with brewing beer?

It may seem a little excessive, but we check every last cask with what we call our lightsaber. But it’s not from a galaxy far, far away. It’s an ultraviolet light used by our brewing team to inspect our casks for absolute cleanliness. Only when it has passed the lightsaber test is a cask considered worthy of becoming home to 72 pints of freshly brewed Landlord. With a beer as finely balanced in flavour as Taylor’s, coaxed from the purest Pennine spring water, aromatic hops and finest barley, we can’t help being just a little picky.

Why we love the rain in Yorkshire.

Why we love the rain in Yorkshire.

Taylor’s brewery sits upon the Knowle Spring, the unique source of water we use to brew our beers. This particularly pure and consistent spring water is one of the reasons we’re able to brew beer of such reliable quality and taste. It has filtered over time through layers of sandstone and black rock, which creates the special mineral qualities that marry perfectly with our Golden Promise barley malt. This unique combination is the foundation of the complex flavour and subtlety of Landlord. And it all begins with rain falling upon the Yorkshire hills. That’s why we’re always happiest when it pours.

A swift half at lunch is of the utmost importance at Taylor’s.

A swift half at lunch is of the utmost importance at Taylor’s.

It’s the most important meeting at the brewery. On the stroke of midday, every day, our team of highly experienced brewers stop whatever they’re doing and wind their way down to a small room in the depths of the main brewery building. In this unassuming place they undertake the most vital of tasks – the tasting of beer. Every single batch is tasted at least three times during the brewing process to check the beer is perfectly balanced, and ensure it conditions to produce the depth of flavour that you expect from Landlord. We think it’s a lunchtime tradition well worth preserving.

Pub cellar spotted doing 60mph down the M6.

Pub cellar spotted doing 60mph down the M6.

Don’t be alarmed, it’s just one of our lorries. Good beer needs to travel well. So to ensure our beer is delivered to pubs in perfect condition, we designed our own lorries that always keep our casks at cellar temperature, whatever the weather. They keep our beers between 10 and 12 degrees, allowing for the correct conditioning that gives Landlord its clean and crisp flavour. So however near or far from the brewery you are, you’re always going to get that taste of Taylor’s.