I forgot to renew my passport, I’ve had a year to renew it and it’s slipped my mind, so at the moment I’m on annual leave and enjoying what you could call a ‘staycation’.
Having made time for a few appointments, the first week has been a laid back affair but we did manage to pop up to Leeds and catch up with our awesome pal Andy Benge. Hot off the heels of photographing Leeds Festival, Andy found time to fit us into his busy schedule for a spot of lunch. We arranged to meet at the Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, a beautifully restored building full of beer, music and food. As you walk in you’re faced with a long room with a long bar down one side, plenty of seats and a couple of food places. As we were a bit early we decided to get a beer and head up to the roof garden…I say get a beer, some of the prices for a pint of real ale/craft beer were quite expensive ranging from £5.00 to £6.50 a pint, any how as it was a hot day we decided to tickle our taste buds with a pints of fizzy refreshing Amstel for a mere £2.75.
So after a few beers and a lot of chatting we decided the grab some food. Our choices were either Dough Balls Pizza or Patty Smiths Burgers. Both looked and smelt fabulous, but we all decided on the latter. The boys chose the Reuben whilst I had the Colonel Patty burger. Both tasted great, awesome fillings and just enough fries to go with it!
As we sat we came across a Leeds Beer Week leaflet, now we didn’t know this was happening but we decided to have a look and see what was going on. There were events ranging to brewery collaborations, talks by brewers and events on certain days at certain venues, it certainly looked like a packed schedule, alas we didn’t have time to fit a lot in, but we did decide to check out a couple of the pubs/bars mentioned.
We decided to head to Veritas, a more gastro place/wine bar. The beer guide said it was famed for its pork scratchings, but in fact it’s actually the roast meat sandwiches they prize themselves on! As we’d already eaten we made do with a couple of beers and a packet of the previously mentioned scratchings! We then decided to head down to a couple of places near the train station, on the way we came across Mr Foley’s. This place wasn’t on the list of pubs involved in beer week, that could be because of their association with York Brewery, but dang, this was an awesome pub. A great range of beers, helpful and friendly staff who obviously know their stuff when it comes to ales and a bit of that ‘old world’ pub vibe (which sometimes you can’t beat!).
We treated ourselves to a couple of different guest ales, with the highlight being Black Iris Brewery’s Precious Iced Tea, an Asian Botanical Amber at a mere 4.0%. It tasted stronger that it was, and was a delicious floral affair which is just up my street at the moment, safe to say we sank a couple! There’s a beer festival in Foley’s at the beginning of November, so we’re going to try and make it back there!
As time was getting on, we headed down near the train station to try and get in a couple more pubs, in fact Tapped kept us for longer than anticipated. An awesome looking bar, with a brewery inside and around 30 brews on tap as well as numerous bottles, simply a beer lovers delight! After a bit of advice and a few tasters from the barman, I still couldn’t decide what to have so I settled on two halves Magic Rock’s Rhurbarbarella and Siren Craft’s Pompelmocello – both fruity, tart and very drinkable. I do have to admit the Rhubarbarella was my favourite of the two though!
It would have to be great to spend more time in Tapped but unfortunately our time had run out and we had a train to catch. Leeds we’ll be back for you soon, we have more bars to conquer and more ales to drink!