Leeds-brewed craft beer in a gorgeous riverside setting? This is the perfect place for a pint.
If you go down to the river today, you’re in for a big surprise. Over the last few years, Leeds-based placemakers Citu have transformed the Climate Innovation District into a wonderful, sustainable riverside community. And one of the key attractions has been the Piglove Brewing Co beer garden, with its perfect alfresco setting by the water, showcasing beers brewed in Leeds. But there’s more to it than ale – this might be the best waterside hangout you didn’t know about.
What could be better than beer by the river?
The best place to taste this beer? At Piglove by the River. This seasonal bar has been a real magnet not just for the people who live here – although it is a key part of the community feel that has been created at Citu – but for those in the know too. You can wander to it from central Leeds in mere minutes, spotting river life as you make your way to this oasis of calm and craft beer in an extremely picturesque setting.
Key to Piglove’s success is that it feels at one with the Climate Innovation District it sits within. There’s a whole new neighbourhood across the bridge, and it’s become a much-loved escape for locals who head over for a taste of the sessionable IPA Minka, itself a collaboration with Citu. If you’ve missed out on summer supping, don’t worry, they’re weatherproofing the bar and adapting the site so that you can visit in comfort during autumn.
Breaking the rules on brewing
If the weather isn’t being kind – hey, it’s Leeds, it sometimes happens – you can dip inside to taste beers from their microbrewery, but the best way to experience this place is when the weather is set fair and you can watch the world and the water go by from a prime spot. If beer isn’t your thing, that’s not the only thing on the menu – there’s cider and cocktails, and they’re also sometimes joined by brill coffee pop-up Kopi. The weatherproofing taking place is part of the plan to open in winter too, making it a year-round destination.
Just like the Climate Innovation District they’re very much part of, Piglove are keen on reducing their carbon footprint. As part of this, they’re working towards becoming a carbon-zero business. It’s not just lip service – they’re collaborating with Co2Action to discover ways in which they can assess their carbon output and make an action plan to eradicate it. It dovetails perfectly with the community.
Beer, basketball and brilliant buildings
As you sit sipping a beer in the tranquil surroundings – perhaps to a soundtrack of live music, or with the scents of an ever-changing range of food trucks, such as the heavenly Hoi Polloi or Luigi Street Food Italiano – you’ll also experience the unique appeal of the area. There’s a walk-in show home open there at weekends from 10am to 4pm, which will let you know about the development – something you can also get a feel of on Citu’s Instagram account. A pint of Piglove and it might just feel like home.
And if you’ve been down there before, chances are things have changed a whole bunch since you last visited. They’ve just opened a basketball court on Clarence Road, complete with a stunning piece of artwork by artist and designer Lois O’Hara. It’s all part of the idea to completely pedestrianise the area, along with plans for a school and care home that are in the pipeline too. The addition of this bold outdoor space further cements Citu’s approach to wellbeing.