For those who love independent breweries and the hoppy smell of freshly brewed craft beer, the short walk along North Street (and towards the Bagel Nash HQ) to North Brewing Co is well worth the ramble out of the City Centre. Slightly unassuming, the only indication that you’re in the right place is a modest sign and an open lit door frame on the side of a warehouse. Yet as we entered the building we were met with a beery buzz and a swamped bar – reassuring us that were definitely in the right place!
The warehouse offers a spacious drinking spot with tables and benches scattered around a single taps bar, various keys and gigantic brewing vat. The guys behind the bar are well informed about the brews they serve and will happily guide you through the choice of twelve different taps on offer. Plus, the brews are served in only halves and 2/3 measures allowing you to sample more of the range without breaking the budget – with 2/3 being priced around the £3 mark.
Christian Townsley, Director of North Bar Ltd, thinks that North Brewing Co will bring something extra to the Leeds’ brewery and bar scene:
“We believe that even in the current competitive climate in British brewing there’s an opportunity for a team willing to produce well crafted classics as well as more challenging beer styles.”
The Taproom offers North Brewing Co’s five core beers, the recipes of which are the brain beer children of Seb Brink, formerly of Golden Owl Brewery and Darius Darwell of Bristol Beer Factory, and the guys have created classic easy drinking brews as well as ones that experiment and play with the versatility of beer.
Amongst the five core beers, The Transmission, a 6.9% West Coast IPA, stood out as the subtlest yet full bodied pint – dry but with a slight sweetness that makes it all too easy to sink a few of these over the evening. The beer equivalent of an Expresso Martini, The Full Fathom embodies the North Brewing Co’s capacity for creativity in the form of a coffee and coconut infused porter – a beer which possesses a bitter and strong coffee savor undercut by coconuty notes of sweetness. Also available were the Sputnik and Prototype Pale Ales and the Bulkhead Brown Ale core beers – as well as new and guest taps.
John Gyngell, Director of North Bar Ltd, celebrates the plentiful supply of craft beer fanatics in Leeds:
"This provides the company with commercial customers ready and waiting for our product, giving us the opportunity to develop our products quickly and under the scrutiny of the most refined palates. In the tap we have an exciting new venue that we worked hard to ensure still felt like a part of the brewery. We wanted that ‘Willy Wonka’ feel."
Although close to the City Centre, the location of The Tap Room means it’s more a destination drinking spot for craft beer obsessives to chill with mates than a crazy weekend party haven. Yet relaxed seems to be what the North Brewing Co is aiming for, providing a team of friendly beer experts to guide your sampling and slurping in a chilled and unpretentious setting.