It’s become something of a tradition in Leeds to spend one’s Saturday in close proximity to one or more giant fermenters enjoying a few brews and a recyclable receptacle filled with delicious food. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, may we introduce you to the wonders that occur when top breweries open their doors and start serving excellent scran onsite. You don’t need to look hard to find a venue providing exactly that in Leeds, but just in case you were wondering, here are six of our favourites.
Northern Monk Refectory
Located in the atmospheric Old Flax Store, a Grade II listed building on the edge of Holbeck, Northern Monk’s refectory sits above the company’s first ever brewing site. Here, you’ll find a bursting selection of great beers, with regular guest specials and collaborations to send your taste buds into overdrive. Plus with a seasonally rotating line-up of street food – which has seen everything from tacos and Thai to Indian bites and vegan junk food – you might well find yourself never wanting to leave.
Northern Monk, Marshalls Mill, The Old Flax Store, Marshall St, Leeds LS11 9YJ
The dark time that was the second half of 2020 wasn’t all doom and gloom – especially for North Brew Co, which opened this 500-person taproom in the former tannery on Buslingthorpe Lane. Despite being a little off the beaten track, Springwell continues to draw crowds every weekend, when drinkers and diners can sit on benches inside, or brave the elements in the venue’s expansive outdoor space. With an extensive array of freshly brewed beers (plus negroni and aperol on tap for those less hop-inclined), plus burgers from Kerbside Kids and baos from Little Bao Boy, this really is the place to settle in.
Springwell, Springwell Works, Buslingthorpe Lane, Leeds LS7 2DF
Kirkstall Brewery Taproom
A much-anticipated opening for Leeds, Kirkstall began welcoming guests to its brewery site at the end of January 2020 – and despite what followed, the venue is still thriving today. Along with the Bridge Inn over in Kirkstall itself, the Cardigan Arms just down the road and the Sparrow in Bradford, this taproom is the most recent of the brewery’s ventures, providing yet another space in which to enjoy its versatile range of beers. And with stone-baked pizzas and other dough-based nibbles served up too, this is the perfect place to while away an hour or three.
Kirkstall Brewery Taproom, 100 Kirkstall Road, Leeds LS3 1HJ
Wilde Child Brewing
Passionate about great beer and unpretentious vibes, Wilde Child brewery offers a unique selection of fresh beers and (in summer, on a monthly basis) yummy food. With a journey that began with some plastic buckets and a dream back in 2010, Wilde Child now runs a thriving operation from its Armley Road site. Check out the brewery’s socials for details of its latest open days, which have most recently featured food from BBQ and grill specialists, Modest Bros, plus the opportunity to sample some of the makers’ most delicious brews right from their origin.
Wilde Child Brewing, 7 Armley Road, Leeds LS12 2DR
Boar Lane’s American-style micro brewery has been serving up a range of ice cold beers and piping hot pizzas since 2013, and it remains one of the city centre’s most popular hangouts. With 13 cask lines, 14 keg lines and a wide variety of cans and bottles to boot, this is the place to sample your fill of beers from near and far – and all accompanied by one of the menu’s inventive pizzas, available in 12 or 18 inches.
Tapped, 51 Boar Lane, Leeds LS1 5EL
Head out to Sheepscar to sample some of Nomadic Beers’ finest vegan brews – all in the chilled space of its brewery taproom, open Fridays and Saturdays from noon until 8pm. Specialising in hand-crafted cask ales and run by a team of just four, Nomadic is the spot to kick back and enjoy indie spirit at its best. And with a calendar packed full of fun events – from craft workshops and pizza nights to supper clubs and more, you’re sure to find something to enjoy here.Nomadic Beers, Unit 11, Sheepscar House, 15 Sheepscar Street, Leeds LS7 1AD