A Keighley brewery is celebrating the diamond jubilee of one of its own most cherished products.

It is 60 years since Timothy Taylor’s classic pale ale Landlord was created.

The drink was publicly praised by singing star Madonna in 2005, when she hailed it as “the champagne of ales”.

It was the brewery’s then managing director, Philip Taylor, and other senior staff who decided to create a new premium beer in 1952.

A spokesman for the business said: “Philip was very much a hands-on brewer and formulated the principles of brewing at Knowle Spring which are still adhered to today.

“The strong pale ale which emerged from the drawing board was designed to be a bottled brand to meet a market which, at the time, was growing in popularity.

“The new ale was based on Taylor’s BB, a beer occasionally brewed in the 1930s to a superior bitter recipe, and was launched onto the market as ‘Competition Ale’.

“The competition was for drinkers to come up with a suitable name for the new beer. It was won by the steward of the Drill Hall Club in Keighley, who won £500 – £10,000 in today’s money – for naming it Landlord. Little did anyone realise that Taylor’s had given birth to a beer that was later to achieve virtual cult status and even become a favourite for celebrities, including Madonna.”

The spokesman said it was head brewer Sidney Fairclough who orchestrated the launch of the draught version. Work to refine the beer as a quality brand was continued by his successor Allan Hey and today’s head brewer, Peter Eells.

Timothy Taylor’s managing director Charles Dent said quality and consistency were key to Landlord’s success.

“As with all our beers, the taste of Landlord is achieved by using only the very finest natural ingredients, taking pride in the brewing process and allowing full time for the ales to ferment and mature,” he said.

“This is the discipline which was first established by Philip Taylor all those years ago and which is still maintained by Peter Eells and his team today.”

Today, Landlord remains the first beer to simultaneously hold Camra’s Champion Beer of Britain and the Brewing Industry International Awards Supreme Championship Cup.