One of the UK’s most well-known specialist beer shops has closed. Beer Ritz, in the Headingley district of Leeds, announced the closure on social media yesterday, though mail order continues to be available from their warehouse, via the Beer Ritz website. 

The business is continuing to take online shopping orders and its parent company, the specialist beer wholesaler Beer Paradise, remains in business.

Beer-Ritz had been trading since 1998, long before the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook on which its demise was announced. It was a finalist in the Drinks Retailing Awards on several occasions in the intervening years.

Beer-Ritz posted yesterday morning: “We’re very sorry to confirm the closure of Beer-Ritz Leeds.

“We’d like to thank all the loyal customers and hardworking staff who have made this shop a neighbourhood gem for the last two decades. Mail order continues to be available.”

Brewers, retailers and industry commentators took to social media to pay tribute to Beer-Ritz’s role in helping to sow the seeds of today’s vibrant independent beer shop scene.

Favourite Beers in Cheltenham said: “You guys were one of our inspirations when we were starting out.”

Sussex brewer Burning Sky said: “Gutted. You guys paved the way for many others. Love to you all and may the online sales flourish.”

“So sad to hear”, said Jules Gray, of Sheffield beer shop Hop Hideout, adding that Beer-Ritz had “inspired my own beer shop journey”.

Customer Charles Walker said: “While I’m personally upset at the loss of a great little shop, I’m gutted for the dedicated and wonderful staff that worked there – always welcoming, happy and helpful.”

South London bottle shop Hop Burns & Black said: “A mighty oak has fallen”.