What is? Leeds is. That's what. Following on from my full of praise blog post for the city here, I had a much closer look on Saturday when CAMRA's Rochdale, Oldham and Bury Branch descended on it mob handed. Many pints and half pints were drunk and there wasn't a single beer in any pub that was less than exemplary in its presentation. From the first pint in the Leeds Brewery Tap to the last in Tapped (which we visited twice it was so good) cask conditioned beer was presented as the brewer would have loved it to be and, more importantly - because it is the customer that really counts - it was presented in a way to delight the drinker.
The pubs were a delight too - busy and cheerful, reasonably priced, with a positive attitude to customer service which really stood out. The area around the station is a cask beer drinker's paradise with probably around fifty different beers in total in the pubs we visited and we didn't have time for them all. It is no exaggeration to say that within two hundred yards of the station, if you wanted tip top real ale, you just couldn't go wrong. Even in Bundobust, a keg only cafe bar place, my enquiry as to whether they sold cask was dealt with in a lovely manner, with a "Sorry, No" and then a quick run through the beers on offer to find me something I liked. The icing on the cake was that the manager then approached our table to explain that they just don't have the facilities for cask in such a small outlet. A really nice, friendly touch which was very much appreciated.
When I worked in Leeds, I thought beer quality was great. Thankfully it still is. Go there. You won't regret it.
I was very impressed with the Head of Steam too. Well done to Cameron's Brewery, the owners. And well done to Oakham for Inferno, the best pint of the day (Tapped) in what was a very closely contested competition - in my head that is.
The photo shows my tipple in Bundobust. Rather decent it was too. British lager is improving in leaps and bounds
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
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Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
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