BeerRitz Welcome


Welcome to our "social media hub". From here you can reach all of the different bits of the BeerRitz empire.

For all mail order, you can use our online shop www.beerritz.co.uk. You can also follow the mail order service on Twitter here, and you can like the Facebook page so updates will appear in your timeline. You can email the mail order service using this form, or you can call us on 01423 359371 (9.30am-4.30pm, Monday-Friday)

Our shop, BeerRitz, in Headingley, Leeds, is open from midday to 9pm, 7 days a week. You can follow the Leeds shop on Twitter here, and you can find the shop's Facebook page here. Their phone number is 0113 275 3464, or you can email them here.

The blog below is a general summary of what is arriving on a weekly basis. The things we mention below will appear online fairly quickly, then get to the Leeds shop the following week, usually on the Thursday.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Aged Beer

Most brewers are slightly reluctant to put best before dates on their beers. This is because, unlike perishable food items beer doesn't really go 'off' (the only real exception to this being wheat beer... don't try that!)
Now of course you want to drink your hoppy beers and IPAs as fresh as possible, and that's fine, but there is quite a lot to be gained from aging some beers from time to time. Yes it's true, just like a fine wine, pick the right beer and it can become even more beautiful over time.

As a side note, a little experiment I tried a few years back was to age a bottle of Thornbridge Wet Hopped DIPA Halcyon - what I ended up with after exactly one year of aging was a beer that had lost it's overly bitter hop flavours and had transformed into more of a Barley Wine type ale - it was really cool, and a fun experiment to do.

Of course there are rules to laying down beer.. The first of which is to not literally 'lay it down', unlike wine you want to keep it upright. It also wants to be stored in cool dark place, like a basement or cellar. The better options for aging beers will always be the stronger beers with bottle conditioning to let the flavours evolve over the years. If you look at some of the Belgian beer bottles we sell there's a reason why they have a best before date of 2025 in some cases..!

With this in mind we've been doing a little bit of our own aging at the shop this year. We've kept a case of Struise XXX Rye which has been bourbon barrel aged secretly stashed in our cellar for a year now, and this coming Saturday it's going on sale in the shop! We thought we'd give you guys a chance to try some aged beer without having to wait a year or two first..

There's only one case of this stuff, so if you want to grab one or two make sure you pop in this Saturday when it'll be going out on the shelves from the get go!

Love beer, age beer.

Monday, 20 October 2014

OCTOBER BEER TASTING - SIREN


When it comes to cutting edge beers new to the scene these days it'd be hard to find anyone who would leave Siren Brewery off their list of favourites. If you look at Rate Beer and those sort of sites, they've recently just been named the second best new brewery in the world for 2013! With beers on our shelves from the sublime QIPA to in your face and surreal Limoncello IPA there really is something for everyone.. They have also been pushing the boundaries in barrel aging beers for a while now.

It's because of this barrel aging prowess that we're going to be sampling some barrel aged IPAs on our tasting day. As a bit of a yin to the yang we will also be showing off some of their dark beers as a bit of an opposite... after all, they do do those dark beers o so well too!

So coming this Saturday the 25th (this week!) Sam and Gordon from the brewery will be coming up to take you fine customers through their wares whilst we supply with as much cheese and meat as you can possibly eat! Pop down anytime between 3 and 5pm to grab your chance to quiz the hottest guys on the brewing scene these days!

See you on Saturday!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Changes To Hours In December

It'd be lovely to have a crystal ball that could see into the future sometimes wouldn't it?

As we don't currently possess such an item we're going to have to look at facts. And the fact is that it'll soon (very soon) be December, and that can only mean one thing: CHRISTMAS BEER RUSH! Recently we've all been having talks and analysing sales figures for December in past years, and we've come up with one conclusion: we're not open long enough!

So this year we're gonna try something new. In a way to try help you guys and girls get your hands on whatever beers you want we're going to be extending our opening hours for the first time in many years. Not only will this give us more time to get our shelves thoroughly stocked, but it'll also give you the extra shopping hours.

So from December the 1st our doors will be open at 10am and we will be closing at 9pm. This will be the case for nearly all of December right up to Christmas eve when we will shut at 6pm. Below is just a rundown of the changes which will follow;

December 1st         10am - 9pm
    |       |
December 23rd      10am - 9pm
December 24th      10am - 6pm
December 25th      Closed
December 26th      Closed

From December 27th we will be back to our normal hours of 12-9pm, until New years eve we we will close at 6pm and close the following New Years day.

With a bit of luck, these changes will go a little ways to making sure our customers don't leave disappointing this Christmas!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

What We're Drinking

Sweet Looking Artwork
Brewdog's little gift packs are a common sight these days in the shop, but the latest addition is a bit more interesting than their usual IPA is Dead offerings.

Russian Doll is a set of four beers that all have the same recipe.. What's the difference between them? Just the abv.. Same malt, same hops, same yeast, but used in different quantities to produce four different beer styles - Pale Ale, IPA, Double IPA and Barley Wine. It's very interesting to see how the abv changes the taste and qualities of a beer, it also plays a massive part in the colour of the finished product.

The range starts off with an easy drinking, lightly coloured Pale Ale - full of light citrus fruits, and bittersweet grassy hops. Moving up a step you find the IPA gaining a bit more body behind the malts. It's a beer that most people used to Brewdog's beers will enjoy. Move up again to the Double IPA and you get a beer that looks and tastes rather similar, but it's in the finish where things beef up and a big warming alcohol hit makes itself known. Finally on the ladder is the Barley Wine. The colour has gotten very dark now, and the abv much higher! It's a sweet and rich beer, almost one to have with your desert. Caramels, and earthy vegetal flavours abound mixing in with the warming boozy alcohol making something really special.

I'd recommended trying these beers before they run out!

posted by will

Friday, 19 September 2014

SEPTEMBER BEER TASTING: ILKLEY BREWERY



Time for another meet the brewer beer tasting event at Beer Ritz!

Ilkley Brewery is one of our most popular breweries we stock. With everyone wanting local beer these days, and with such an epic range and great quality of beer like Ilkley's, it's really not hard to see why.

Come September the 27th we will be playing host to Ilkley brewer Christa Sandquist who is very knowledgeable about the beer she makes. She'll be bringing down two different beers for us to taste; The Mayan (a deep and rich chocolate and chipotle stout) and Siberia (a rhubarb saison) of which both she has good tales to tell about. We will also be providing food to go along with the beers, completely free of course..

If Ilkley beers take your fancy and you'd like to know more about them, or just fancy a couple of beer samples with people who might be able to change your mind about beer then come on down on the 27th!

The tasting will take place between 3-5pm, and is completely free to come and go from as you please. This is our 3rd last tasting this year, so don't miss out...

Friday, 5 September 2014

Leeds International Beer Festival 2014


photo by @leonstaff

So, I went to the opening of Leeds International Beer Festival last night (like a geek - or a boss, depending on who you ask).  Everything seemed in it's right place, like a well-oiled version of last year, with added neon.   I thought I'd take a moment to collect some thoughts about it while the experience was still fresh in my (slightly hungover) mind.  Here are some of them:

  • Leeds Town Hall is a quite a nice building isn't it?  Maybe the US & EU bars have a bit more of a soulless vibe, being cut off from the rest of the festival, but overall, it's a great venue.

  • Magic Rock destroy pretty much everyone.  Their Tequila-barrel-aged Slapstick is a delight. Wonderfully tart, smooth complex mouthfeel and VERY refreshing.  It's good to see a smaller UK brewery successfully barrel-aging beers, because I've had some (the breweries responsible shall remain uncredited) that were a sloppy mess.

  • Did I miss the Friends of Ham Teepee?   Is it hiding behind the party tent (see below)?

  • There's a "party tent" outside now.

  • This probably says something about the significant improvement in the availability of US beers in the UK over the past few years (and my jaded-beer-geek nature), however, there's nothing really available in the US bar that I haven't tried.  Of course, there's plenty of good stuff here, so if you haven't tried Founders or Stone, for example, do so!  Conversely, the European bar downstairs is full of nice surprises, with loads of stuff on keg I have never seen before in Leeds from Friegeist, Cervesa Marina, Camba, & Edge Brewing.

  • From what I tried last night, Freigeist does live up to the hype - nice gose, dudes.  Can we see gose more regularly?  N.B. this is a call to all brewers reading this to start brewing more gose.

  • Why is Buxton and Partizan not here?  I mean, I know there's a lot of good stuff available, but the absence of Buxton beer in particular, reminds me of how much I love Buxton beer.

  • Those free arcade machines in the US beer bar are going to be way more popular after everyone learns they are there.

  • Keep your eye on Northern Monk Brewing.  They might still be a bit rough around the edges (although their Black IPA was one of the better examples I've tried recently!), but once they get comfortable in their new brewery/brewpub (coming soon) - LOOK OUT!

  • In the foyer, you'll see Beer Ritz is not there this year.  Instead, there is Drew Millward.  He is selling some great screenprints and you should buy some of them.

Overall, Leeds International Beer Festival is clearly one of the better beer festivals in the country, on par with Indy Man Beer Con in Manchester - easily the best two festivals in the North and both are held in really great venues.   So, we got it pretty good up here!   What are your thoughts?  Feel free to comment below!

Posted by Jeff

Monday, 1 September 2014

What We're Drinking

It seems Bristol is quite the hotbed of activity when it comes to brewing and new breweries popping up these days. A couple of very popular notable mentions that we are currently selling through quite a bit of are Arbor and Bristol Beer Factory. While these two are hard to keep on the shelves at the moment it's worth while noting that we don't like to keep things static at Beer Ritz, and have just started stocking beers from Wiper & True brewery. W&T are new(ish) to the beer scene but you wouldn't think it looking at them and their beers! Take a read of their story here; http://wiperandtrue.com/about/



I personally have been enjoying quite a bit of their range since we got them in last Thursday. The Australian hopped Pale Ale is a delightfully refreshing beer and one that seems to be very popular with the regulars. I tried the Citra and Rye Amber Ale last night, and while I drank it before I had even thought about it I remember the juiciness of the Citra hops worked perfectly well balanced against the spicy rye malts. Another notable mention was the Quintet IPA. Now this is hopped with a few hops, one of which is Sorachi Ace - a big dislike of mine. While I could tell those hops were in this beer, I could still look past that and tell that this was a really well made IPA. Perfect balance, a bucket load of flavour, flawless.

Not tried a bad beer yet from Wiper & True, and don't think I will be doing...

Posted by Will

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

What We're Drinking

Beer cans, beer cans, beer cans. We can't get enough and neither can you - we're selling more than we ever have before (if I had 50p for every time someone came into fill a box with cans for their festival weekend, etc.). At Beer Ritz, we stock cans from breweries Such as Brooklyn, Beavertown, BrewDog, Thwaites, Four Pure, Flying Dog, Sierra Nevada, and others. Despite "traditional views", cans actually offer many advantages over bottles, being more portable, completely sealed (keeping your beer fresher longer), easier to chill, and actually allow no light to enter which can be detrimental to a beer's freshness. Everyone on board?*


Today's beer can of choice comes from the Thwaites Brewery's "Crafty Dan" range, the 13 Guns American IPA. To be honest, I only bought it because it was cheap (£1.99!) but I'd say it delivers at least what the price tag suggests. Plenty of tropical fruit flavors of mango, passionfruit and grape skins come from the use of 6 different (mainly US) hops in the brew. This beer has plenty in common with other bigger US IPAs such as Flying Dog's Snake Dog or Ska Modus Hoperandi, albeit a bit more watery. However, Thwaites have certainty succeeded in making a solid reasonably-priced entry-level craft beer in a can, which is more than can be said for many upstart breweries of the totes-craft variety.

Here's to canning!

* if not, NPR ran a great story about the recent boom in beer canning which you can read about here - http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/06/10/320645347/brewers-have-been-all-bottled-up-but-now-theyre-canning-it

Posted by Jeff

Monday, 25 August 2014

What We're Drinking


We are loving Mallinsons beers at the moment, we really can't drink enough of the stuff! While they do the odd dark beer, it's the single hopped pale ale range, which is constantly changing with the selection of hops they have, which draws us in every time for that end of the day drink. I currently believe that that their range of Pale Ales are some of the best in the shop, and Mallinsons are quickly becoming my favourite UK brewer. Consistently good quality, consistently fairly priced, perfect.

My latest hop crave is the Calypso verity. I had a couple the other night and it's one juicy beer! Lot's of green apple skin flavours mixed with lychee and peach flesh. Quite bitter sweet, floral and lots of citrus notes, it's a brilliant beer for any occasion, you should grab some before we all do!

Posted by Will

Monday, 18 August 2014

COPPER DRAGON BEER TASTING


Next in line to come down to the shop for a beer tasting/meet the brewer event is Copper Dragon. Now it may be possible that Copper Dragon is the biggest brewery on our tasting list for the year, but don't go assuming that bigger breweries make blander beer like so many people think, it's just not true! (well, it is for a couple, but not Copper Dragon...) From the ever delicious summer type ale that is Golden Pippin to the dark and mysterious Black Gold, Copper Dragon is well known for delivering consistent beers of top quality. That's one of the reasons beers like Golden Pippin do so well, because when you order one, you know it's going to taste the way it should!

Rob Percival has been working at Copper Dragon for a while now, and it seems he's always the one that's trying to sneak in as much ingredients he can into the seasonal specials range they produce. A few of his main loves when it comes to brewing are ingredients like spicy malts hailing from Germany and extremely juicy hops from the USA and New Zealand.

It's these seasonal specials where Rob really gets to shine and show what he's made of as a brewer. Now unfortunately Copper Dragon don't (as of yet) bottle any of these specials, but that's not stopping us for this tasting! Rob will be bringing down a pin (that's about 36 pints!) of his recently released Summer Pale Ale which has been VERY heavily hopped with Galaxy hops for you lucky people to try for free! We will also be doing a promotion of 10% discount for all Copper Dragon bottles for the afternoon.

So, on the 30th of August, from 3-5pm pop down to see Rob (who can give you as much technical knowledge about beer as it's scientifically possible!) and drink some of his beer, which we assure you will be well worth the trip!

Monday, 21 July 2014

ARBOR BEER TASTING 26th JULY


It's time once again for our monthly Meet the Brewer / Beer Tasting extravaganza at Beer Ritz, and this time we're going for a proper IPA throw down!

The guys from Arbor will popping down for the afternoon to let two of their big IPAs do battle for supremacy. Will you go in favour of the huge hop flavour of Mosaic hops in the freshly brewed M-Bomb IPA or will you steer more towards the heavy punching Yakima Hops in Yakima IPA? Well, there's only one way to decide, and that's to pop in on Saturday the 26th to taste them side by side with the brewers telling you all you need to know about the beers and brewery.

Another generous bonus that the Arbor team have given is as follows; They have increased their bottle sizes to pints, but not put on any extra costs, so that's about 13% extra for free!

Our monthly tastings seem to have grown quite a following, and as always - are completely free! Food and drink will be flowing and fun times will surely be had! Do pop by anytime from 3-5pm..

Monday, 16 June 2014

THORNBRIDGE BEER TASTING JUNE 28TH


Hands up if you've never heard of Thornbridge Brewery? No? Anyone?

Yes we all know of Thornbridge, and the legend that lies behind the doors of Thornbridge Hall. Before there was Punk IPA - there was Jaipur. Before there was Wet-Hopped IPA there was Halcyon. Before people were arguing about how many liters of production qualified a brewery as 'Craft', there was Thornbridge. It's got where it has today by continually producing only the finest quality beers, maintaining a above par level of consistency, and not being afraid to step outside the lines when it comes to beer styles. No compromising, just constantly delivering what the consumer wants - Damn fine beers!

We'll be lucky enough to have the guys from Thornbridge pop over to the shop on Saturday the 28th of June from 3-5pm to talk about a couple of their beers - and open quite a few of them too! We will be tasting the 'Black IPA of the Year' - Wild Raven, and a personal shop staff favourite - Kipling New Zealand hopped IPA. The guys will be able to answer any questions that you've ever wanted to ask, and of course there will be some food to be paired with beers.. All FREE too!

So do drop by in a couple weeks time to enjoy the fun!

*As a side note, it will be our No.1 Salesman James' last shift on this day, we're sure you'll want to wish him the best for future endeavors!*

Saturday, 17 May 2014

May Beer Tasting



Saturday the 31st will be a great day at Beer Ritz, as we'll be hosting Great Heck Brewery for our monthly beer tasting-meet the brewer event.

The little brewery situated in the picturesque Selby coalfields of North Yorkshire has been overseen since 2008 by local legend; Denzil Vallance, and while things started off quite modestly with cask ales, Denzil has slowly started putting more and more of his beers into bottles which is always a good thing for our shop shelves!

We're going to be trying two of the beers on the day from the selection; Citra Golden Ale (a bold and tropical fruit flavourful beer), and Black Jesus ( a dark and roasted, but very hoppy Black IPA). We think the selection will go down a treat for the sunny summer weather (if it holds up!) So if you can make it down to meet Denzil, have a chat, and sample some of his beers with a bit of food on the side (for free!) then get down to the shop on Saturday the 31st of May from 3-5pm!

We'll see you there!

Monday, 17 March 2014

March Tasting - Hardknott

Having started life in the back of the Woolpack pub, near the Hardknott Pass in Cumbria, Hardknott Brewery is all about making beer that is unique and different, perhaps beer to challenge the drinker's perceptions of drinking. They don't want to make average or run-of-the-mill beers, so they don't!


We like to think the two beers that sum up what Hardknott do best are the hoppy red ale beast that is Infra Red, and Vitesse Noir, an 11% Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, chocolate and vanilla.


The Hardknott gang will be making their way down to Leeds soon to crack open quite a few of these two beers with us at the shop. We will also have the rest of the Hardknott range on the shelves for your consideration, including shop favourites such as Azimuth IPA, and more special offerings such as 2013 Granite Barley Wine and Rhetoric 2nd edition.


So join us and Hardknott down at the shop on Saturday the 29th of March anytime between 3&5pm to sample some beers we think you'll find not only interesting, but delicious too!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

FEBRUARY TASTING - BREWDOG

Brewdog, it's fair to say, have carved a bit of a reputation out for themselves.

Since their inception in 2007, the UK beer scene has changed massively, and while Brewdog might not have been the only protagonists in this, they have been at the forefront of it - at least, that's what they keep telling everyone. They have never been afraid of controversy, sometimes to good effect, and sometimes for its own sake, and some have found them a bit been a bit "Marmite"- a love-it-or-hate-it thing. In fact, Marmite seems to be one of the very few ingredients that they haven't used over the years.

Despite all the brouhaha press releases and cacafuego styling, there's been one constant underneath all this: the beer. Their core range of beers has now passed into broad distribution, and brings a bit of va-va-voom to beer fridges and bar tops from Scunthorpe to Sao Paolo. Their specials, however, are another thing altogether - full-on, flavoursome, and to use their own terminology, kick ass.

For one day only, the Dandy Brewpunks of Fraserburgh* have sent their regional ambassador, pirate queen Josie Ludford to spread the gospel about their beers. We will have a couple of their more palate-ravaging beers on tasting - Jackhammer IPA and Clown King Barley Wine. And as well as their regular core range, we will have other hard-to-find specials available to buy, including their annual Mikkeller collaboration I Hardcore You (you can read a particularly feverish review of that beer here), Mix Tape 8 (a 14.5%abv blend of barrel-aged imperial IPA and barrel-aged triple), and Black Tokyo Horizon, their monumental (with the emphasis on the mental) 15%abv imperial stout blend in collaboration with Mikkeller and Norwegian brewing behemoths Nøgne Ø.

SATURDAY 22ND FEBRUARY 3-5pm

BEER-RITZ, 14 WEETWOOD LANE, LS16 5LX

BE THERE OR BE VERY, VERY SQUARE!

*well, formerly of Fraserburgh, now of Ellon

If you can't come down. you can still buy their beers online here.

Friday, 17 January 2014

JANUARY TASTING - MAGIC ROCK BREWING CO.

We're going to up our game a bit this year with our tastings at our shop in Leeds (BeerRitz, 14 Weetwood Lane, Headingley, LS16 5LX, for the avoidance of doubt).

Just so you can mark your diaries well in advance, we're cordoning off the last Saturday of every month for a "Meet The Brewer"-style event. We won't always have a brewer on hand, sadly, so we're calling it "Meet The Brewery".

To kick off in fine style, we've got something of a coup. Not only have Magic Rock Brewing Co very kindly agreed to step up and take the reins for the first event, but through a combination of happy accident and a desire to blow peoples' minds, they will be bringing the freshest ever Cannonball IPA that you are likely to have tasted. The beer that will be on tasting at the shop, between 3-5pm on Saturday 25th January will have been bottled the previous day. That's right, Magic Rock Cannonball, just 1 day old. People who are serious about beer are serious about freshness in hoppy beers. Now you can come down and see what the hoopla is all about.

Magic Rock MD Richard Burhouse, self-declared hop pervert, will be pouring samples of the freshest Cannonball ever, and answering any queries that you have. It will also be for sale to take away in bottles. There won't be very much of it, and it won't get any fresher than this. Don't miss out!

All you have to do is bring yourself along between 3pm and 5 pm on Saturday 25th January. We hope to see you there!

BeerRitz, 14 Weetwood Lane, Headingley, LS16 5LX - 0113 275 3464