When it comes to beer, you can’t beat these hop-obsessed bars…
There are loads of great bars in Leeds, but which are the best for beer lovers? We’ve rounded up 21, and every one is a must-try if you love the hops. We’re talking great Yorkshire ales, cool craft beer and exotic brews from around the world. Whether you’re in the city centre or the suburbs, you’ll never struggle to find a decent pint in Leeds.
Choose from over 150 rare global craft beers
Since it opened in 1997, North Bar has been the go-to for craft beer in Leeds. They’ve scoured the world to showcase the best brews available, so you can work your through 18 beers on draught with over 150 more in the fridges. They have all the best Leeds breweries, but you can expand your horizons with rare and exclusive tipples from places like Belgium, America and Japan.
North Bar, 24 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
Sup great local brews served by craft beer experts
Despite its place on the route, Arcadia has opted out of the Otley Run. Instead, they focus on serving one of the most impressive beer offerings in Leeds. There are 8 real ales on draught, including two permanent taps for Black Sheep and Elland, or you can get one of their many bottles and cans. Not sure where to start? Their staff are experts, so just ask – they might even give you a little try before you buy.
Arcadia, 34 Arndale Centre, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2UE.
Try local ales in a pub that’s older than America
Whitelock’s is one of the oldest pubs in Leeds, and throughout its existence, its trademark copper-topped bar has been home to one of the most diverse beer offerings in Leeds. They have a smattering of local beers, from Kirkstall to Ilkley and Saltaire, alongside one-offs from more exotic breweries, all of which you can enjoy in a venue packed full of character.
Whitelock’s, 4 Turk’s Head Yard, off Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HB.
Discover the UK’s best new breweries
Belgrave is a master of all trades – live music, street food, and most importantly, craft beer. They’ve got loads of local ales on cask hand-pulls with oodles of great American beers in the fridges, but it’s their dedication to the best new UK craft breweries that makes it a must visit. From Manchester’s Beatnikz Republic to Liverpool’s Mad Hatter, Malton’s Bad Seed and Cornwall’s Verdant, that only scratches the surface of the up and coming talent you can find here.
Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, 1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Work through an ever-changing menu of European craft beer
Friends of Ham is a staple for craft beer lovers because they keep things fresh. Expect an ever-changing offering which they hand-pick from breweries across Leeds and beyond. On one visit you can try out local creations like Magic Rock’s Gooseberry Gose, and on the next, you can go for something continental like the Delirium Red Cherry from Belgium.
Friends of Ham, 4 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.
Find your next favourite tipple and take it home with you
Leeds Postal Service is the sister venue of neighbour Lazy Lounge and it’s completely dedicated to quality craft beer. You can explore over 40 cans and bottles from breweries like Goose Island, Roosters and Camden Town at the bar, but if you want to try something different, why not give one of their beer cocktails a go? Oh and if you find a beer you love, you can grab a few to enjoy from your sofa thanks to their bottle shop.
Leeds Postal Service, West Point, Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JY.
Check out Kirkstall Brewery’s historic watering hole
From floods to closures, The Cardigan Arms has had a rocky few years, but that’s all in the past now. Kirkstall Brewery has made it their second home after The Bridge Inn, and they’ve returned it back to its former glory. This Grade-II listed Victorian gem is full of character, thanks to the circular bar and numerous snug rooms. It’s the perfect place to try out the real ale of their owners and plenty of other Leeds breweries.
The Cardigan Arms, 364 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2HQ.
Enjoy a spot of live music while you sample great Yorkshire ales
The Hop is an Ossett Brewery pub that has served up top quality local real ales for nearly a decade. You can try all their own beers here, from Yorkshire Blonde to Silver King, but that’s not all they have on here. In fact, they have 9 pumps reserved for the likes of Ilkley, Thornbridge and Oldershaw. Pair it with a Jones’ pie as you watch the regular live bands.
The Hop, Dark Arches, Dark Neville Street, Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BR.
Wash down Indian street food with creative craft brews
Bundobust is a craft beer institution. They have a huge selection behind the bar, so you can jump from UK favourites like Saltaire, Kirkstall and Wild Beer Co. to continental brews like Schneider Weisse and their own exotic creation, the Bombay Dazzler Indian Witbier. Pair your brew with their completely meat-free Indian street food for the full Bundo experience.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Uncover the bar that put East Leeds on the craft beer map
The Assembly is the place to go for craft beer in Crossgates. It’s a cool, laid-back venue, where you can relax on Chesterfield sofas and enjoy one of their hand-picked craft beers. They’ve got their own Belgian-style beer on draught, or you can try everything from Magic Rock’s Cannonball to Timmerman’s Strawberry Beer.
The Assembly, Terminus Parade, Station Road, Crossgates, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 7JZ.
Drink beer mere metres from where they’re made
There are few better places to drink craft beer than in an actual brewery, so head to Northern Monk’s Refectory bar. It’s on the floor above their brewing space and it’s home to 20 draught lines where they pump in their freshly made beer. But it’s not just their own beers on offer here, because they also welcome guest breweries to show off their wares.
Northern Monk Refectory, Marshall Street, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9YP.
Pair a huge selection of rare craft beer with a game of shuffleboard
You might be struck by indecision at BrewDog North Street. There are 36 draft lines on their square centrepiece bar where you’ll be able to try old favourites like Punk IPA alongside their small batch brews. You can also enjoy the work of independent breweries from around the world, many of which you won’t find anywhere else in Leeds. Whatever you go for, take it downstairs and have a game on their 22-foot shuffleboard tables.
BrewDog North Street, Crispin House, New York Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PF.
Discover the craft beer haven minutes from Roundhay Park
Preston is one of the North Bar empire, so you know you’ll find a wonderful selection of craft beer from the world’s best breweries here. But what makes Preston even more special is where it is – you’ll find it in the heart of Oakwood, just a few minutes walk from Roundhay Park, and it’s completely dog-friendly with water and snacks for the pooch.
Preston, 468 Roundhay Road, Oakwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HU.
Seek out the bar where you can try a new craft beer every day
You’ll find The Brunswick on the Northern edge of the city. It’s a stripped back bar across three floors, but wherever you’re headed, make sure you start at the ground floor bar – they have 9 keg and 5 cask lines on the go every day, and you can expect at least one new brew every day, whether it’s Ilkley, Magic Rock, Mikkeller or To Øl.
The Brunswick, 82 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.
Enjoy over 70 different craft beers by the riverside
Water Lane Boathouse is a cool, riverside venue and craft beer makes up a large chunk of their drinks offering. They’ve got over 70 beers on the go at any one time, including 9 draught lines with beers from Five Points, Saltaire and Lagunitas. Or why not delve into their jam-packed fridges, where you’ll find an eclectic array of brews? Choose from sours, IPAs, fruit beers and more.
Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.
Work your way through Yorkshire’s finest real ales
If you prefer real ale to craft beer, it’s time to go to Mr Foley’s. This York Brewery pub is dedicated to cask and they have 10 hand-pulls on tap. You can expect all of York’s favourites, from Guzzler to the Yorkshire Terrier, but it doesn’t stop there. They also get in brews from cask-loving breweries like Arbor Ales, and the selection changes almost daily.
Mr Foley’s Cask Ale House, 159 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RG.
Get fresh craft beer at an American-style brew pub
If you want to see the magic happen right in front of you, head to Tapped. It’s an American-style craft beer brew pub with huge copper tanks around three quarters of the venue with pipes running to the final quarter – their huge bar. You’ll find 13 cask ales and 14 keg beers on the go at any one time, and they’re all different, from their own Growler IPL to Kirkstall’s Virtuous.
Tapped Brew Co., Trinity Leeds, 51 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5EL.
Try an eclectic array of global craft beers
The Head of Steam has one of the best beer offerings in Leeds. They have 12 cask hand-pulls on the bar, where you can find local breweries like Wilde Child, Timothy Taylor’s and Saltaire. There’s more – they also have guest keg lines from more exotic names like Omnipollo and Brooklyn, with two whole fridges dedicated to rare Belgian beers, as well as a few on tap.
The Head of Steam, 12 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Enjoy lazy afternoons of craft beer and great food
The Reliance is a must-try if you love beer. It’s a really lovely bar, full of rustic, old-school charm, with a devilishly tempting line-up of brews. They have loads of cask ales, or you can try the likes of Roosters, Beavertown and Lindeboom on keg. They have even more guest beers in bottles and cans, from Flying Dog to Anchor Steam. And if you pay a visit on a lazy Sunday, you can enjoy a few tipples with their famous Sunday lunch.
The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.
Discover the city’s best craft beer secret
North Brewing Co. is a working brewery on an industrial estate on the outskirts of the city centre, but every Friday and Saturday it opens up its brewery tap to the people of Leeds. You can try popular beers like Transmission just yards from where it’s made, alongside short run test brews that you can’t get elsewhere – they only make limited amounts, so get in there while you can.
North Brewing Co, Unit 6, Taverners Walk Industrial Estate, Sheepscar Grove, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 1AH.
Treat yourself to a host of local and little-known beers
Head to Craft Asylum, the craft beer-loving venue from a brand new brewery. The laid-back, industrial-chic bar is home to 14 keg taps – seven of them are home to creations from owners Salt Beer Factory, and the other seven rotate on a weekly basis, featuring tipples from some of the UK’s best breweries. And if that isn’t enough, they have four cask taps on and fridges full of cans and bottles.
Craft Asylum #1, Candle House, Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GJ.