Monday, 2 March 2015

Pure Dead Brilliant

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


Matthew Curtis said...

Wahey! We agree on something! Bloody love Leeds me.

Les Differential said...

Was everything poured through a sprinkler?
When will publicans learn its the best way to serve beer.

Martin, Cambridge said...

Also my experience recently - had particularly good beer in North and Whitelocks, though enjoyed the Brewdog keg most. Lots of great pubs of all characters, although the loss of basic Tetley pubs is still felt.

Tandleman said...

Les: It's a sparkler not a sprinkler. If you sprinkle beer you get shit flat beer.

Properly condition and sparkled beer is the way forward.

Martin: Sentence 1 -FFS.

Erlangernick said...

What were you doing in a keg-only café as a CAMRA outing? Aiding and abetting the enemy!

I loved my short trip to Leeds 3 years ago, sort of struck me as an up-scale Sheffield. No, check that, completely different to Sheffield. I don't recall having encountered anything but perfectly-presented beer there then either.

If it weren't 4-1/2 hours by train from Broadstairs, I'd be going there for the CAMRA fest next week instead of London.

Martin, Cambridge said...

I do apologise Tandleman; it was the BD Cherry and Coconut Stout trial brew that did for me that evening.

Matt said...

I used to go to Leeds quite often when I was in the service of our former employer. Can't remember drinking anywhere apart from the Wetherspoons in the station and the Scarborough opposite but it sounds like another trip might be in order.