Leeds Craft Beer Bars
23rd July 2020
As a city, we have a real appetite for great beer, with a booming craft scene and a number of award-winning breweries on our doorstep (much to our delight). It should come as no surprise then that our craft beer bars are second to none. From local favourites and one-off creations to imports from across the Atlantic and exotic selections from around the globe, our bars are a beer lover’s paradise.
Most bars are currently operating a reduced capacity and reduced opening hours. Many will require you to book a table in advance, which will be done on a first-come, first-served basis. Always plan ahead and book in advance. Please check out the further guidance
(Waterlane Boathouse, Credit Ryan Morrison)
You will find craft beer havens dotted across Leeds, each boasting their own unique range of unusual and tasty creations. Minutes away from the train station, you will find Leeds Postal Service, an old mail sorting office brought back to life as a bar and bottle shop specialising in American imports. Wander from here to Granary Wharf, and enjoy one of Water Lane Boathouse’s wide selection of beers on the scenic waterfront, or head into the city centre via Brownhill and Co, a family-owned bar known for their range of rare and delicious beers from around the world.
Once in the city centre, you’ll find Tapped, a local favourite American-style pub with fully stocked fridges of craft delights and beer brewed on-site. Venture from here to Foley’s Tap House, an award-winning bar located opposite historic Leeds Town Hall, known for its revolving craft selection. Alternatively, head down Briggate and discover the oldest pub in Leeds. Whitelock’s Ale House is revered for its wide range of ales and beers, many of which are brewed across God’s Own County. Be sure to head next door to The Turk’s Head, and enjoy something from the best modern British brewers around!
(Whitelocks Beer Festival 2018, Credit Proud Fox Creative)
Minutes away, you’ll find old reliable Brewdog, a popular after-work choice, where you can enjoy the work of independent breweries the world over. Once you’ve chosen from their wide assortment of beers, be sure to head downstairs for a game of shuffleboard!
Looking for fantastic food as part of your craft beer adventure? Leeds has got you covered. Check out Bundobust, a revered Indian street food restaurant in the heart of the city. Their selection of craft beers in exquisite, and their own exotic creation, the Bombay Dazzler, goes perfectly with their signature veggie delights!
Check out Assembly Underground, a popular spot home to a range of street food eateries and a 50-tap Vocation beer bar (it’s almost too much choice). After a long day shopping, we recommend grabbing a tasty dish from Trinity Kitchen and pouring yourself a pint from Beer Hawk’s expansive selection of craft beers. If pouring your own pint isn’t your thing, Beer Hawk has a more traditional bar on Boar Lane. With more than 140 beers to choose from, you’re bound to find a new favourite!
That’s not all, with a number of local breweries owning bars across the city centre. Set up by the duo who’d later create the North Brewing Co, North Bar has been a Leeds staple for over two decades, boasting one of the most diverse beer selections in the city. Be sure to visit their Leeds City Tap Room, home to beers you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Another local favourite is The Refectory at Northern Monk. Head out to Holbeck for this tap room in a functioning brewery, which serves pints brewed only metres away.
Ossett Brewery couldn’t settle for just one city centre home. Visit The Hop, a bouncing venue hidden in the Dark Arches where local breweries dominate the taps, or Craft Asylum, with its revolving line-up of craft beers that will keep you coming back for more. Plus, the ever-popular Thornbridge Brewery has just opened their first pub outside of South Yorkshire right in the heart of Leeds. Check out The Banker’s Cat when you’re next in town, and enjoy their modern-yet-vintage atmosphere and craft selection for yourself.
A little outside of the city centre, you will find a trio of pubs owned by Kirkstall Brewery, all specialising in craft beers and ales. Soak in the Victorian charm of The Cardigan Arms, enjoy a riverside pint at the Kirkstall Bridge Inn and sample their latest creations at their bespoke Taproom and Kitchen. The best news? There are plenty of other craft beer options sprouting up just outside of the heart of the city centre.
North Brewing Co has both Further North, a homely Chapel Allerton haven for local and global craft beers alike, and Preston, a dog-friendly craft bar minutes from stunning Roundhay Park which specialises in exotic international imports.
(North Brewing Company, Credit John Slemensek Bokehgo)
Very much not part of the legendary Otley Run route, craft beer connoisseurs can’t miss Arcadia, a bar bursting with one of the most impressive beer selections in the city. After Arcadia, wander over to The Head of Stream, known for bringing their wide range of craft offerings to both Headingley and the city centre.
May we also recommend Saltaire Brewery, a slightly further afield choice which can be found along the picturesque Leeds and Liverpool canal. Their on-site tap room has become a favourite over the years for both dog walkers and cyclists alike, with their large beer garden perfect for a venture out of the city centre on a sunny afternoon.
With the city’s wealth of craft beer offerings continuously grow, there is always somewhere different to try out on your next visit. Things may look a bit different right now, so be sure to plan ahead and follow the latest guidance to make your next visit to Leeds a safe and enjoyable one.