Skip to main content
3rd October 2012


To Peter Eells, Timothy Taylor`s Head Brewer, consistency in the brewing process is of paramount importance, hence he rarely sanctions a `one off` brew. However, the return of the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment from Afghanistan, has proved to be an exception.

Havercake Ale was originally brewed to celebrate the Regiment`s Tercentenary in 2002 when it was The Duke of Wellington`s Regiment and now Peter has given the green light to this latest brew to honour the Regiment`s service and sacrifice in war torn Afghanistan.

He describes Havercake Ale as “A robust Yorkshire ale (ABV 4.7%) brewed to match the qualities of the famous West Riding Regiment – it has strength, balance, clarity and a good head”.

The beer takes its name from soldiers of the `Dukes` who have always been affectionately known as `The Havercake Lads`. This nickname is derived from the oatmeal bread cake which, for centuries, was the staple food of the Yorkshire Pennine towns and villages from where the regiment was mainly recruited. Reputedly the recruiting sergeant stuck a havercake on his bayonet or sword when out looking for `volunteers`. It seems the promise they would be fed regularly on havercakes which, no doubt, would be accompanied by plenty of ale, was a real bait.

Haver is the Yorkshire dialect word for oats and is also thought to be the origins of the word haversack, an essential part of every soldier`s equipment that was originally used for carrying a ration of oatmeal.

Commenting on the brew Taylor`s Managing Director Charles Dent said “The brewery has long standing connections with the Regiment stretching back to Timothy Taylor himself who joined the Volunteer Corps in 1858. We wanted to recognise the huge debt of gratitude we owe to our servicemen and women and particularly honour the 3rd Battalion on their return from Afghanistan. What better way than a special brew of Havercake Ale”.

He added “To acknowledge their sacrifice we are donating 10p for every pint of Havercake sold to the ABF The Soldiers` Charity  and The Yorkshire Regiment Benevolent Trust. The draught ale sold out very quickly which means we will be giving over £6000 to these two very worthy causes”.

Lieutenant Colonel David O`Kelly, Regimental Secretary of the Yorkshire Regiment, said “ The Regiment is delighted with the continuing partnership with Timothy Taylor. This special brew of Havercake Ale will undoubtedly raise the morale of the soldiers. In addition, the opportunity to work once again with the ABF The Soldiers` Charity is very welcome. The money raised will directly benefit those in need in the Regiment, including the families”.

He added “Strength, clarity and a good head is an excellent description for those who serve in the Yorkshire Regiment!”


Havercake Ale is the first draught beer produced by Timothy Taylor since the introduction of Landlord sixty years ago. It will be available on draught in selected pubs and in bottles from selected supermarkets.


Media Contact:  Robert Clayton  Ash Marketing  01756 711407


Photo Captions:-

1)    Charles Dent (Left) and Second Brewer Andrew Leman (Right) are joined at the brewery by soldiers of the 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment for the first tasting of Havercake Ale. Also pictured are Brigadier Dick Mundell, retired Colonel of The Duke of Wellington`s Regiment (Second Left), Colonel (Retired) Carron Snagge, Keighley MP Kris Hopkins (Back Left & Right) and Amy Simeons, ABF The Soldiers` Charity (Front)

2)    Lt. Col. David O`Kelly, Regimental Secretary, Charles Dent & Lt. Col. Ian Crowley MC, Commanding Officer, 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.

3)    Havercake Ale