30 Years (1999) – Landlord

There are few beers more pivotal to the craft beer industry than Landlord by Timothy Taylor’s. Whilst both the beer and the brewery pre-date my 30 year timeline, no matter where you look they are woven into the very fabric which the modern craft beer scene was created from. The reason as to why both are included in this very project will become apparent later on but first, a brief history lesson.

First brewed in 1952, then launched as a competition ale in 1953, Landlord has since become somewhat of a nationwide institution being present at the vast majority of pubs in the UK. But its influence doesn’t stop there, far from in fact. When Fritz Maytag bought Anchor Brewing Company in 1965, not only was he attempting to revitalise the breweries fortunes, he was also attempting to recreate the success of a beer he had sampled in England. That beer was Landlord.

It wasn’t until 1975 that his Landlord-inspired beer was released, Anchor Liberty Ale, a much more bitter offering than Landlord given its genetic make up of American hops (Cascade) as opposed to English/European hops (Styrian Goldings, Goldings & Fuggles). Fast-forward to 1980 and Ken Grossman, a former home brewer, established Sierra Nevada Brewery in an attempt to replicate the success of Anchor Liberty Ale, in turn creating Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

The rest, so they say, is history. From humble beginnings, Landlord sparked a craft beer revolution in America, which has since spread across the globe. Whenever brewers from across the pond find themselves in Leeds, they’ll always hunt out a pint of Landlord on cask without fail. That’s how important this beer is. If that wasn’t enough, Landlord is nowhere near done when you look at its own successes over the years. This being the fitting reason as to why it is included in this piece, I told you there was one!

Landlord is the most decorated real ale in the UK, having won CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain award four times, coming runner-up on three occasions. Its most recent victory being in 1999-2000 and being the first British beer to hold both CAMRA’s award and the Brewing Industry International Awards Supreme Champion at the same time. And if that wasn’t enough, Landlord was also given the strange yet endearing title of being the ‘Champagne of ales’ in 2005 by none other than Madonna. High praise indeed…

Given how strong the Landlord brand is almost 70 years later, it’s a testament to its strength and the standards which the brewery uphold every single day. Trends come and go within the beer industry but one thing is for sure; Landlord isn’t going anywhere and England’s pub scene would be much worse off without it. So here’s to Landlord and the role it played in the wonderful array of beers which we are drinking today.

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