Love a good pint? You’re reading our blog, so we’ll assume you do. We’re based in the bustling northern powerhouse that is Leeds, which is brimming with excellent places to grab a proper pint and explore an endless range of craft brewery creations. Below are five of our favourite haunts that we strongly recommend you try out.
Before craft beer was cool, North Bar was a pioneering venue for the art form, providing quality beverages to the emerging beer lovers of Leeds. Perhaps this bar is partially responsible for the surging trend in real ale, or maybe it was just there to enjoy the ride. Either way, it deserves a visit from anyone looking for a proper pint. Beers range from the ancient local touchstones of Kirkstall Brewery to Brewfist’s modern rippers.
If North Bar created the Leeds craft beer scene, Tapped could well have perfected it. With a whopping 27 cask and keg lines arranged along the back of the smartly clad bar and a bottled beer list as long as your arm, it really is a beer lover’s Mecca. It would be impossible to list all of the available beers here, so suffice it to say that the favourites are a lovely bunch, ranging from Czech-style Pilsners to American-inspired IPAs. To add to the excitement, upon entering the bar you’ll spot an impressive brew-kit, where beers are created fresh and ready to serve right there in front of you. Awesome.
Hidden between the olde-worlde imperial majesty of Holy Trinity Church and the magnificently modern Trinity centre, The Botanist perfectly mixes the charms of yesteryear with today’s bedazzling dynamism. This place is primarily a restaurant, but it serves such a spectacular range of brews old and new that beer lovers need to put it on their bucket list. If you’re feeling particularly experimental, have a look at the cocktail menu, which contains a range of botanical brews combining beer, herbs and even spirits. They’re like cocktails that a hardened ale appreciator can drink without shame.
Head of Steam
A craft lover’s paradise, Head of Steam is located almost right outside Leeds train station. Walk into the huge bulldog of a building and you’ll be presented with a good old English pub worked to perfection. It’s like the owner turned the speakers up to 11 before playing the opening theme of a great night out. Again, the range is good, focusing on US and Belgian beers in addition to the local specialities, with an atmosphere that’s less New Age and more old faithful.
Try to stay calm whilst reading about this drinkery, because it’s a bar that serves… wait for it… some of the best Indian food in Yorkshire. That’s right, a pub and Indian restaurant rolled into one; all it needs is a PlayStation and a bed in the corner and you could practically live there. Don’t get this place wrong though, it takes its beer seriously, with 12 taps and plenty of bottles that provide entry level ales, and even a house beer brewed with roasted coriander seeds. They like to play host to the more experimental brewers here too, with complex ales and novel ideas all over the bar.