Leeds Day Out: Part 1 | Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Leeds Day Out: Part 1

We'd been planning a trip to Leeds for months. As it was where Mr Mashtun studied a degree a number of years ago, we already knew the beer was good there, but as with all places they seem to improve when one departs. A day off for our third wedding anniversary seemed a worthy occasion to head back across Yorkshire. We arrived shortly after 11 and spent an enjoyable but thirsty hour wandering round the Corn Exchange waiting for the pubs to open.

First up was a much-anticipated trip to Friends of Ham for a light lunch. The day we visited just so happened to be Buxton Brewery's launch day for their Two Ton IPA (an 11% imperial/double IPA), so of course at one minute past midday Jim just had to order one. It was frankly stupendous... huge hop aroma and such an abundance of malty, grapefruity flavour that it took a few hours on dark beers before he could move back to anything hoppy. Laura selected the somewhat more sensible Arbor Hop Apocalypse, a deliciously refreshing 4.8% pale ale bursting with tropical fruits on both the nose and palate. To counteract the opening beer onslaught we ordered a Spanish platter consisting of two cheeses, two meats and two breads, plus some tasty little dried figs and a rich quince jelly, which ended up being the perfect balance to the bold beers. The rest of the bar was excellent, with beers from Summer Wine, The Kernel and Wild Beer Co all on offer, but at such an early stage in the day and a long list of places we wanted to visit we thought it was probably wise to move on.


A very short walk down the road and we arrived at The Brewery Tap. This was far more traditional with a good real ale bar including an array or beers brewed on site. Here we sampled Sonnet 43's Bourbon Milk Stout (4.3%) - a well balanced, sweet stout full of cocoa and coffee. Laura selected Marble's Lagonda IPA, which wasn't at it's best. None-the-less, it's a nice welcoming pub adorned with beer memorabilia and with really friendly staff, which is always good to see.


The wander up through Leeds factored in a quick stop off at Trinity Kitchen. This is a concept which we absolutely love, with street food traders being invited in for short residencies, so there's always something new to try. It was a gloriously sunny day, so we treated ourselves to locally made ice creams from Northern Bloc - our favourites were the raspberry and sorrel sorbet, and black treacle ice cream.


Next stop was North Bar. Now, we lived in Leeds for three years, and were never aware that this place existed. Very sad indeed. The vibe in here is somewhat continental cafe, somehow oozing cool, with wooden furniture and local artwork displayed on the otherwise fairly stark walls. Fortuitously enough, a Belgian beer festival was in progress at the time of our visit (50 bottles, and 12 on tap), so we were completely spoilt for choice. After much dithering, Jim eventually plumped for the 666 Imperial Porter from Kirkstall Brewery which was resinous, warming and oh so rich. First up for Laura was Kaapse Bea, a delicious 6% black rye IPA - herby, salty, savoury and with a flavour reminiscent almost of juniper. With so much variety available we couldn't help but stay for a second. The Kaapse Carrie IPA (6.5%) and the Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus (4%) could not have been more perfect for the first warm day of the year. Lovely stuff.


Now in a pleasantly merry sort of mood, we headed back down through town in search of more grub and Bundobust was our venue of choice. This and more in part 2!

Cheers,

L&J

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