Editor’s Note: The following information comes from beer blogger Leigh Linley of The Good Stuff, Leed’s longest-running beer blog and the gent who volunteered to lead the Thursday night pub crawl at the 2012 European Beer Bloggers Conference. See below for details. If you have any comments about this itinerary, please leave them here as we can always make adjustments! If you are a Leeds blogger, will be at the conference, and want to help Leigh, please email him directly.
Here are some of the pubs that we hope to visit during our Thursday night crawl. Leeds has a wonderfully diverse group of pubs and bars, and if you’ve never visited before, you’ll hopefully get a flavour of what Leeds is about during your weekend.
Please note: this list could be subject to change through circumstances beyond our control. For example, BrewDog Leeds could be open by May, and if it is, we will visit! Also, please bear in mind that the beer ranges at each pub will be impossible to guess until we get there! Finally, this list represents the main stops along the way – there are also other pubs that we may sneak into if time (and the size of the Group) permits, such as The Grove, The Adelphi and The Brewery Tap.
Mr Foley’s Cask Ale House
Mr Foley’s is the closest pub to the Metropole hotel, and will most likely be our meeting point for the crawl as it’s one of the biggest. The beer range at Foley’s is both local, national and international, with Cask ales from the likes of York Brewery, RedWillow, Hardknott, Revolutions and SummerWine making regular appearances, there’s a dedicated UK Keg line, and fridges stocked with the likes of Sierra Nevada, Odell, Stone and Belgian classics. Food is served (With the Burgers coming highly recommended) and Sport is shown in a convivial, friendly atmosphere.
The Victoria and Commercial Hotel
‘The Vic’ was built in 1865 to accommodate people attending the courts opposite, and has since been a major part of the fabric of Pub-life in Leeds. Boasting a warm, typically Victorian interior with plenty of etched glass, polished brass and wood, The Vic is a great place to while away a couple of pints. The Cask Ale ranges varies from Yorkshire classics such as Timothy Taylor’s Landlord to beers from the likes of Saltaire, Fuller’s, Thornbridge, Adnams and many, many more.
No visit to Leeds is complete without a jaunt to North Bar. Opened in 1997, North brought World Beer to Leeds and has remained a favourite ever since. A multi-award winner, expect enthusiastic staff, a warm welcome and a stupidly eclectic range of beers on Cask, Keg and in Bottles from the likes of Brooklyn, Odell, Left Hand, De Molen, Anchor and a dedicated UK Stout at all times.
The Hop is situated under the Dark Arches (below Leeds Train Station) and is a cavernous drinking spot; live music plays on a night but in the daytime the emphasis is on Beer. Owned by Ossett Brewery, The Hop usually has 3-5 Ossett Beers on Cask, along with Guest ales from the likes of Fuller’s, Fernandes, Titanic, Rat and Ilkley.
The Midnight Bell
The Midnight Bell is Leeds Brewery’s flagship pub and does a great trade in good food, sympathetic pub design and great beers from Leeds Brewery. There’s a large courtyard area in the rear; so if the weather is good, we’ll be able to enjoy our pints of Leeds Pale, Best and Midnight Bell in the sun.
The Cross Keys
The Cross Keys is owned by the same chaps who own North; so you know what to expect – just in a much more traditional setting. Open fires, exposed brick and snug seating areas all contribute to a quiet, out-of-the-way atmosphere in which to enjoy beers from Thornbridge, Roosters, and Ilkley’s MJ (Keg), along with a great selection of World classics in the fridges.