After a break from blogging to focus on the launch of my new business venture, this week I return with a post about North Brewing’s latest addition to the rapidly growing family. Plus, a reminder as to how good some of their existing bars are too!
Rapidly Growing Family
It’s hard to believe that North Brewing celebrated their 2nd birthday just a few weeks ago. Such has been their rapid rise to prominence in the Leeds beer scene, it feels like they’ve been around much longer.
In fairness, although North Brewing is a relative youngster on the Leeds scene, the North family has been around much longer. Arguably Leeds’ leading craft beer bar, North Bar, first appeared in 1997. Setting it’s stall out as a pioneer and continuing to so over 20 years later.
After years of focusing on North Bar, the family showed its first signs of growth after the millennium. This has quickly gathered pace in recent years. Along with North Bar itself, the Cross Keys remains one of my all-time favourite Leeds pubs. The North family now boasts eight pubs/bars and a fast-growing brewery.
Recently, I was invited along to the soft opening of the latest addition to that family, their Leeds City Centre-based North Brewing Tap Room.
Bright, New and Comfortable
The new venue is located south of Leeds City station, in amongst some of the city’s largest law firms and a new build area in Leeds.
The first impressions of the new bar is, it’s a great take on what you would now expect from a modern craft beer bar. A minimalist, straight forward design. The size of the venue is modest. However, a high ceiling, large windows and bright lighting give it an open, airy feel.
There are high stools and high tables placed in the centre of the room and some additional seating also by the windows. However, rather than the high school science class feeling you get from a lot of other bars with high stools and tables, these are bright, new and comfortable.
Up in the ceiling, exposed duct work is visible, adding an industrial vibe. The lighting comes from groups of three lowered light tubes. Each group is angled slightly different and I thought it worked really well with the rest of the design of the bar, including the logo.
Although it’s not the season for sitting outside, there is a generous space reserved with outdoor seating. I suspect this will become one of Leeds’ most popular outdoor drinking spaces in the summer!
Because the size of the venue is quite modest, rest room facilities are at a bit of a premium, with two communal toilets and one disabled access toilet. There might be a queue on the busier evenings.
Also, as you enter the bar, look up by the fridges to your left. See if you can spot the hidden door and winch that is used to lift deliveries to the upper floor. Or on this night, a fantastic vantage point for some promotional photos!
Plenty of North Brewing Beers
On to the beer! The bar and fridges are dominated by North Brewing products. The bar features an impressive 24 taps, with all except a few pouring North Brewing and guest beers. Alongside the beers, you can also grab draft wine and cocktails.
Should you find yourself here and not tried North Brewing beers before, then you can’t go wrong with the core beers. ‘Pinata’, ‘Transmission’ and one of my go-to beers ‘Sputnik’.
One important thing to mention is that this bar is cashless – i.e. card payments only. I believe this is the first of its kind in Leeds City Centre, but if not, it’s certainly an early pioneer of this (the pioneering approach of North Bar continues!).
It’s not all about the beers. The tap room actually opens from first thing in the morning for your coffee fix too. Coffee is provided by Dark Woods, based just down the road in Huddersfield.
If you find yourself needing some food, then Little Bao Boy have set up residence here. You may recall that they were on hand at my Festival of Brewers event in June this year. Super tasty and must-try!
This is a great new addition to an already crowded pub and bar scene in Leeds. It’s really testament to the city’s appetite for craft beer that places like this can open and immediately attract crowds. I believe that the North Brew Tap Room will be a great success; plugging a small beer gap in the local area with quality products in a great environment. Give it a go!If you enjoy reading our content, please consider sharing with your friends using the sharing buttons at the bottom of each post. Also, you can subscribe to receive notifications about new blog posts via email. Simply enter your email address into the 'Subscribe to Mike's Tap Room' box at the top left of this page.