Annoyed at Leek brewery

Reads 4657 • Replies 6 • Started Sunday, January 1, 2012 10:27:34 AM CT

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beers 6789 º places 107 º 10:27 Sun 1/1/2012

We did a family visit to Leeds Castle in Kent a few days ago. We like Leeds Castle. In the gift shop I noticed they had some beers. They’d never sold beers previously. I picked one of each. Chatting at the checkout the manager said they’d tried the beers on the recommendation of one of their suppliers, but they’ll never do it it as it "hadn’t gone well". As there was hardly any bottles left (less than 7) this seemed an odd statement. I then noticed that the bill was less than expected - all the beers had been heavily discounted, even though the BBE was April 2012. Fair enough.

The brewers details were given as Cottage Delight in Staffordshire. But when I got home I noticed that the beers were actually brewed and bottled by Leek.

Leek have had an infection problem for some years, so many (most?) of their beers are sharp. The brewery once offered to send me some replacement beers when they had sorted out the infection issue. That was back in 2004. The beers have still not arrived and I’ve given up on communicating with them. The last they told me was they were "experimenting with bottling straight out of the fermentor".

Now, fair enough if they infect their own beers and it impacts on them only, but here was a situation in which a new outlet was trying beers, and have decided to give up. To be fair I don’t know if they are giving up because the beers were infected, but it seems likely. Because of Leek’s infection issues the Cottage Delight company will likely now have a tarnished reputation, the shops the beers were sold in will likely have had problems and might, like Leeds Castle, decide not to sell beers in the future. Leek’s ineptness, and their own greed in continuing to push their product even though they know it is infected, is bad for the shops selling their beer, bad for other breweries who will not get a chance to sell their beer to these shops, and bad for customers.

I’m annoyed at that.

I’m going to drop them an email saying that I’m annoyed. And possibly an email to the Leeds Gift Shop to find out a bit more information, and let them know that not all breweries are as bad as Leek, and that they should consider some of the local Kent breweries.

Is there anything else I should be doing, or should I leave it at that?

beers 32944 º places 453 º 10:50 Sun 1/1/2012

yeah leek are pretty badat times, ive had some i liked but some are the worst things ive ever had

beers 3074 º places 94 º 11:01 Sun 1/1/2012

Did you taste these beers to confirm the infection is still present?

beers 1234 º places 56 º 11:03 Sun 1/1/2012

As long as retailers are attracted to contract brewers to turn out gift packs at the right price point, this will continue to happen.

beers 8749 º places 12 º 12:12 Sun 1/1/2012

Leek are crap, end of. If you are going to write to them ask about Direct Beers (see admin forum)

beers 7540 º places 736 º 03:18 Mon 1/2/2012

Actually, the last couple of Leek beers I had were pretty decent

Personally, I think Leeds Castle would have been well advised to do a little more research before stocking products they knew little or nothing about. And, as you say, it would have been nice if they’d looked into local options (although I’m told that Moodleys are pretty dodgy, not that I’ve actually seen any of the beers). There’s already a local precedent for this with Westerham and the National Trust Place/s.

06:33 Wed 4/25/2012

If any of the above people would like half a dozen bottles free to try, please email me. We have moved away from bottle conditioned beers and all our products are sterile filtered and carbonated.
I thought Silk Tork was going to call in and see us a few years ago, ooh , possible 2004, for some samples. Obviously never made it!!