Start and end at two of the best brewery taps in Leeds on this pub crawl, which takes you to 10 of the city’s the best craft beer and real ale bars.
A brewery tap is a wonderful thing, and Leeds has one in Holbeck at Northern Monk and another in Sheepscar at North Brewing Co. So we thought, why not make a route from to the other, stopping at a a slew of bars and pubs in between? It’s not for the faint-hearted, so take it easy, but you’re sure to find some incredible beers as you make your way from tap to tap.
1. Northern Monk
Let’s kick off in the South Bank, at one of the best new independent breweries Leeds has seen in the past few years. From a converted flax mill in the heart of Holbeck, Northern Monk has been building quite the reputation with their inventive craft beers. Best of all, you can try them in their Refectory Bar, just a floor away from where the likes of True North, Eternal, Chennai and New World IPA are brewed up. They also have a slew of beers from other breweries they like too.
Northern Monk, The Old Flax Store, Marshall Street, Saw Mill Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9YJ.
2. The Pour House
From there, it’s along the River Aire to one of the best waterside bars in Leeds – The Pour House. Just along Water Lane, opposite Granary Wharf, it’s a great spot for an outdoor beer if the sun shines, but if you need to stay indoors they’ve got plenty to keep you occupied. You’ll find plenty of local ales here on tap, from Kirkstall to Saltaire, but they also do roaring trade with their vast array of Belgian delights, including Liefmans, Leffe and Timmermans.
The Pour House, Canal Wharf, Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.
3. The Head of Steam
There’s a little walk here, as you head underneath the railway arches and up to the corner of Mill Hill, but if you enjoyed the Belgian tipples at the last place, you’re going to love The Head of Steam. Alongside their own selection of ales, The Cameron’s Brewery pub has a slew of Belgian treats, including Chimay, Bosteels and Duvel. It’s not all continental though, so look out for a few Northern breweries you won’t often come across elsewhere too.
The Head of Steam, 12 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Across the road, Bundobust offers up two things and they do them incredibly well – craft beers from Yorkshire and beyond and vegetarian Indian street food. While you might be tempted by their array of foodie treats, don’t forget to follow it with one of their brews to wash them down with. The Bombay Dazzler they brew with Northern Monk is well worth trying out, but that’s not all – the likes of Camden Pale, Schneider Weisse and Saltire’s Cascade Pale are on keg, while Kirkstall’s Three Swords and Bad Co. are on cask. If none of that takes your fancy, their beer fridges get stocked up regularly with different beers, so take a peek behind the bar.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
5. Friends of Ham
It’s round the corner for your next beverage. Now at home in their extended spot on New Station Street, Friends of Ham are now pouring even more fine beers from around the world. In fact, chances are you can get something different every time you come as they revolve their keg and cask beers on a regular basis, from Summer Red and Magic Rock to Mad Hatter and Thornbridge. They also have an extensive can and bottle collection which includes constants like Beavertown, The Kernal and Wylam.
Friends of Ham, 4-8 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.
6. Whitelock’s & The Turk’s Head
It’s up Briggate and into one of Leeds’ oldest pubs (as well as one of its newest if you want to turn one stop into two). Whitelock’s has been around for 300 years, and it’s the perfect spot to pick up some local ales, with Copper Dragon, Brass Castle and more in a stunning old pub. Why not pop next door, where they’ve transformed a former events room into a hip new bar? The Turk’s Head offers up a huge selection of craft beers from the likes of Lervig, Wild Beer Co. and Five Points.
The Turk’s Head, 4 Turk’s Head Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AH.
7. North Bar
From one historic boozer to another now, it’s time to head up to New Briggate and into North Bar. The city’s original craft beer hideaway, it’s been dishing up adventurous beers from around the globe for more than two decades. With over 100 different craft brews to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice, so don’t be surprise if you get lost in their hefty beer menu. Chances are you’ll get to discover brand new beers and breweries, from Yorkshire, Germany, America and beyond.
North Bar, 24 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
8. Belgrave Music Hall
Take a right from North to discover one of the coolest bars in Leeds. Belgrave loves its beer and it has six dedicated cask pumps, stocking local breweries like Magic Rock and Ilkley Brewery, but that’s not all you’ll find. They have a number of taps for a slew of craft beers, and it’s the same in the fridges, which are home to brews from the likes of Brooklyn, Goose Island and Anchor Steam. Once you’ve grabbed your next favourite brew, head up to the top floor where the rooftop terrace awaits.
Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Next, head along to the corner of North Street and New York Road where BrewDog’s ShuffleDog concept has taken over the historic Crispin House. You won’t find any beer in bottles here, it’s all on tap, and many come as half or schooners because of their strength. Whether it’s their own beer like Mashtag, Tokyo or Lizard Bride, or guest beer from the likes of Mikkeller, Oskar Blues and Roosters, you’re going to be spoilt for choice. Just make sure you still have your wits about you to beat your pals on the shuffleboard tables downstairs.
ShuffleDog, Crispin House, New York Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PF.
10. North Brewing Co.
Wow – you made it. From Holbeck to Sheepscar is no mean feat, but you’ll be rewarded. As you make it to the end of North Street, you’ll come to a venue that’s been a long time coming. North Brewing Co. is the result of 20 years of experience at North Bar, and working with Belgrave and Headrow House, they’re the city’s newest brewery. Try out the likes of Transmission, Sputnik, Prototype and Full Fathom 5 at the bar, which is spitting distance from the tanks in which they’re made, although it’s only open on Friday and Saturdays, so keep that in mind. Go on – have yourself a pint, you deserve it.
North Brewing Co., Unit 6, Taverners Walk Industrial Estate, Sheepscar Grove, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 1AH.