On Saturday I visited the latest addition to Leeds’ craft beer scene – Tapped Leeds. It’s an American-style brew pub, where some of its beers are brewed on the premise. As you go in, there’s a huge bar on your left, and a microbrewery on the right wall.
Tapped Leeds is on Boar Lane, and located under the eastern wing of the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, next door to BHS. Go back a few years and Boar Lane wasn’t somewhere that you would spend much time, but the opening of Trinity Leeds has seen the area turned around and now all bar one shop unit is occupied. Together with Friends of Ham and the Leeds Brewery Tap (where the above photo was taken), there are now three good craft beer pubs within drunken staggering distance of each other, and two of them brew some of their beer on site. Brewdog Leeds is only a short walk away too.
Tapped Leeds is certainly the biggest of the three, and has the largest beer selection. Typically, there will be 13 cask ales (delivered by gravity feed rather than pump), and 14 keg beers. And then over 100 beers in bottles and cans in the fridges. This isn’t the sort of place where you go to drink the same thing every time.
It’s owned by Pivovar, and is their first Leeds bar. They started off with Pivni in York, as one of the first British bars to sell Bernard beer from the Czech Republic, and have since opened bars in renovated buildings at York, Sheffield, Harrogate and London Euston stations.The York Tap is one of my favourite York bars, which is saying something as York isn’t exactly short of pubs (the legend states there are 365 but in reality it’s closer to half that).
Compared with their other properties, Tapped Leeds is rather different as it’s not in an old renovated building – it’s in the ground floor of a shopping centre. Consequently, the interior is very different as it doesn’t have to show any original features. In some ways it’s lacking character, and indeed the bar is very plain – all of the beer pumps are on the back wall. Some of the beers can be on the pricey side, with my pint of Damson Porter from the Ashover Brewery costing £3.80 (expensive by Yorkshire standards).
Beer drinkers who like variety will find a lot to like at Tapped Leeds. It’s not somewhere that you would go for a quiet drink, and I personally prefer Friends of Ham. But it’s good to have the choice and it shows that the craft beer scene is in good health.