Cosy, characterful and crammed full of beery goodness, Kirkstall Brewery’s Taproom is back open for business.
Psst, beer-lovers of Leeds! If you’re back sipping your way around Leeds and haven’t yet visited the hop-tastic haven that is Kirkstall Brewery’s Taproom, you’re going to want to remedy that. Why? Because this bar and eatery is the ultimate drinking den when it comes to sampling the finest local brews. Seriously, the brewery is right next door! From zingy IPAs to refreshing pale ales, floral pilsners to robust dark porters, all mopped up with delicious stone-baked pizzas in cosy surrounds, the Taproom is your direct line to the freshest beers in town.
There’s a whole lotta love at Kirkstall Brewery. As proud of their local heritage as they are of their drinks, they’ve been brewing for the thirsty Leeds masses since 2012. You’ve probably already sampled some of their mighty fine beers in the city’s favourite bars and pubs and it was their desire to continue the area’s rich brewing past that has led them to where they are today. “There’s a history of brewing in Kirkstall that was replicated with the original Kirkstall Brewery in the 1860s, based on the fact that the monks had brewed at the Abbey before that. And then when we opened our brewery, the idea was to follow on that tradition”, Operations Manager, Spike Stinson, told us. Mission. Accomplished.
Let’s be straight, the beers behind the pumps at Kirkstall Brewery’s Taproom are sensational. Located mere metres from the brewery itself, the Taproom is your gateway to a whole host of liquid loveliness. Take their flagship beer, the flavour-packed Virtuous session IPA at 4.5%. It’s clean and crisp, full of tropical and citrus fruits, with hints of pine and blueberry to balance a complex malt base. Heck, it’s even gluten-free and vegan. Sucker for a classic? Then their signature Pilsner is the way to go, matured for no less than 65 days on Bavarian yeast.
They sit alongside cask favourites like the Three Swords pale ale and Dissolution IPA, but it’s not just the classics you’ll find here. With a team of passionate brewers at the helm, Kirkstall Brewery likes to chuck in a few curveballs too, like the hazy Perpetuous session IPA which is made with different hop varieties on each brew or their 4% Verdita Sour. Originally, this lime-infused sour beauty was a one-off Magic Rock collaboration. But once the public got their hands on it there was no letting go and now it’s a permanent favourite. With gentle hints of coriander, chilli, mint and pineapple, its funky subtlety is at its best when it’s fresh out of the brewery.
From cask to keg, all your favourite Kirkstall beers can be found here. But if you ever want to embrace the brewery’s mad scientist streak and try something new, take a peek at the ever-changing specials board. Recent options have included a chunky breakfast stout brewed with Vietnamese coffee, a tangy-as-heck Berliner Weisse made with Morello cherries and even a barrel-aged raisin, fig and oak-flavoured rye barley wine. Whatever next?!
Well, there is more to Kirkstall Brewery’s Taproom than beer alone. Neapolitan-style, hand-stretched pizzas, whipped up to order by pizza-mad chef Thomas Mundy, are the perfect partner to your sip of choice, especially since you can get up to 50% off them as part of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August. In true Italian style, quality is key, which is why luxurious toppings like brie, fig and rocket or Italian truffled sausage with portobello mushroom, rub shoulders with classics like the Margherita and spicy Pepperoni. All veggie pizzas can be made vegan on request, plus there are some seriously irresistible snacks calling out your name. Cheesy marmite scrolls, anyone?
Just a couple of months after opening in January 2020, lockdown struck and knocked this local legend for six. But it didn’t stall their spirit. While the doors were shut, they invested in their very own canning machine so they could whip up and send out all the beloved Kirkstall Brewery beers their customers were still crying out for at home. It was a welcome stop-gap, but they know there’s no substitute for sipping your way through freshly-brewed beers right on the brewery site. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait any longer.
Of course, there’s been some necessary changes at the Taproom to keep you safe as you slurp. Built in a former warehouse space and chock-full of fascinating memorabilia, the spectacular bar already has oodles of space. But spread out tables mean you now have even more room to enjoy your drinks and ogle all the Victorian brewery signs, ornate beer bumps and reclaimed furniture.
A brand new outside area has been converted just in time for the summer sunshine, plus there’s all the hand sanitiser stations, one-way systems, kitted out staff and table service you’d expect. Basically, you can just kick back, relax and let all their delicious wares come to you. A brand new booking app means you can secure your own slice of beery goodness ahead of time, but you’re just as welcome to walk-in off the street. No faff, no fuss – just quality beer, brewed with precision and served with a whole lotta passion. The appeal couldn’t be simpler.
Kirkstall Brewery Tap & Kitchen, Kirkstall Brewery, 100 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS3 1HJ. Open from 12pm to 9pm Sunday to Wednesday and from 12pm to 12am Thursday to Saturday.Cover image: © Copyright Leeds-List 2020 by Contakt Photography