In a city that’s famed for its craft beer, which bars should be your first port of call?
Leeds is crammed full of quality craft beer bars. Belgrave Music Hall, The Head of Steam and The Brunswick – we’ve got them coming out of our ears, but if you had to narrow it down to just five, which would you choose? We’ve put together our list, and they’re absolute blinders, but it might not have everywhere you’d expect – when you’re sticking to just 5, you have to be ruthless.
1. North Bar
North Bar is a Leeds institution. It’s been around for 20 years, and was one of the first craft beer bars in the country, let alone the city. It’s been the go to bar for beer lovers ever since, with more than 150 beers to choose from at any one time. Choose keg, cask or bottle, try something from their brewery, which is just down the road, or venture further afield with brews from America, Japan and Australia. And if you don’t know where to start, their beer-savvy staff will point you in the right direction.
North Bar, 24 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU
2. Northern Monk Refectory
From Eternal Session IPA to True North Pale, The Refectory is the obvious place to go to try Northern Monk’s beers, which are made mere metres away, but that’s not the only reason they made the list. These guys are brewers, they know beer better than anyone else, so you can bet that every beer behind their bar is either a stone cold classic or a one-off limited edition that you need to wrap your lips around before it’s gone. They’ve got 16 keg lines, two cask ones and plenty of room in the fridge, so there’s always something new to try, and let’s not forget their events, they hold some pretty spectacular beer-obsessed soirees.
Northern Monk Refectory, The Old Flax Store, Marshalls Mills, Marshall Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9YJ.
Bundobust’s selection of craft beers is top drawer. They have permanent taps from Kirkstall Brewery and North Brewing Co., as well as a host of rotating beers. We’re talking tipples from the likes of Finback, Burning Sky, Fuerst Wiacek, Wylam, and Cloudwater. And then there’s the fridge – expect bottles and cans from all over the world. But it’s not just the beer that’s earned them a place here, it’s the combination with Indian street food – Vada Pav with an IPA? Heaven.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
4. Tapped Leeds
With its huge copper tanks, endless pumps and packed fridges, Tapped Leeds is an instant winner. It’s an American-style brewpub, where they make Growler IPL and Hawks Lager right in front of you, then send it straight to the taps. They have 13 cask ales and 14 keg beers for you to choose from. They change on a regular basis, but you can expect the likes of To Øl, Kirkstall and Anarchy Brew Co. It doesn’t end there though, there are more than 100 bottles and cans in the fridges. It’s a frankly ridiculous offering, and it puts them right up there in the top 5.
Tapped Leeds, 51 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5EL.
5. North Brewing Co. Tap Room
The second North Brewing Co. Tap Room is a must-visit for craft beer lovers. It’s open 7 days a week, unlike the one at their Sheepscar brewery, and is the go-to venue to try their own creations, whether it’s favourites like Transmission IPA or one-off brews you can only find here. There are 24 taps on in total, showcasing beers by other breweries as well as their own, and you can even buy cans and bottles to take away. Couple your pick with the delicious baos from the Little Bao Boy hatch in a cool-as-heck venue and you’re good to go.
North Brewing Co. Tap Room, 3 Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BA.