Six of the Best: New pubs in Leeds

The Lamb and Flag.

The Lamb and Flag.

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The Leeds pub scene has renewed vigour, as Yorkshire Evening Post beer writer Simon Jenkins points out in his new book, The Great Leeds Pub Crawl.

Here, he chooses six of the best new pubs in the city - the book, published by Scratching Shed, is priced £13.99, available online.

Headrow House.

Headrow House.

The Lamb and Flag

Church Row, LS2 7HD

One of the most recent acquisitions by Leeds Brewery, it’s name was inspired by an old cigarette card which was found in the rundown building by brewery partner Michael Brothwell - the symbol of the lamb and flag, which has for centuries been associated with Christianity and being in the shadow of Leeds Minster, as it is, it only seemed fitting.

What was a crumbling 19th Century building has been lovingly restored and given a new lease of life in what is bustling new bar circuit for the city. There’s a beer garden and a balcony inside, pub meals and great real ale.

The Social.

The Social.

The Social

Merrion Street, lS2 8JG

Two handpumps and fonts dispensing craftr ales and some non-standard lagers are the chief attractions of this lovely little bar close to the busy junction of Merrion Street and New Briggate.

But it’s rear beer garden provides a surprising suntrap, while its piano and football table offer further indoor attractions. The real ales change regularly.

The Belgrave.

The Belgrave.

Like the nearby Belgrave, the decor os post-industrial chic, with simple furniture: school chairs, pine tables and a brace of leather sofas - this was once an antique shop after all.

The Black Swan

Call Lane, LS1 7BT

For all its wonderful bars and restaurants, Call Lane has never really catered properly for the real ale drinker... until now.

Barfly...The Social, Merrion Street, Leeds..SH1001/140b.Picture By Simon Hulme

Barfly...The Social, Merrion Street, Leeds..SH1001/140b.Picture By Simon Hulme

Enter stage left, The Black Swan, which opened earlier this year as one of the city’s great ‘secret’ alehouses. It is deliberately understated, there’s no illuminated sign, it looks more office block or red brick warehouse than pub. Only a swan motif etched into the glass confirms you are in the right place. Two real ales, a fabulous selection of craft ales and copper-fronted pizza oven may keep you here longer than you expected.

The Belgrave

Cross Belgrave Street

The ecclectic choice of beer came as the biggest surprise in what was an afternoon of epiphanies. A long bar topped with a great choice of craft and keg ales reaches down the right hand side.

Across the room, heavy steel-framed windows painted in battleship enamel, speak of this building’s industrial past. This building has lived other lives but in its most recent incarnation it has been stripped back to its barest essentials.

Walk through the double doors at the back and up three storeys of steps to discover the rooftop bar, a revelation.

Date:  11th August 2015. Picture James Hardisty, (JH1009/76f) Briony Rose, 25, Bar Supervisor at Head of Steam, Mill Hill, Leeds, with a third of a pint. A report has been released showing a rise in people drinking halfs or third of a pints rather than pints.

Date: 11th August 2015. Picture James Hardisty, (JH1009/76f) Briony Rose, 25, Bar Supervisor at Head of Steam, Mill Hill, Leeds, with a third of a pint. A report has been released showing a rise in people drinking halfs or third of a pints rather than pints.

The Head of Steam

Mill Hill, lS1 5DQ

The Head of Steam chain began in Newcastle, spreading to Huddersfield a decade or so ago. Following its takeover by north-east giant Cameron’s, the brand is being rolled out across their estate close enough to stations to justify the name.

This corner pub, formerly Spencers, has been given a fresh lease of life thanks to a six-figure refurb, making the most of its curved frontage. Inside, however, you will find the same intimate drinking and dining spaces clustered around a really beautiful central bar. Quality beers, decent food and a great atmosphere.

Headrow House

The Headrow, LS1 6PU

In the same cavernous building which was once home to the notorious Big Lil’s Saloon Bar, a great new bar has at last opened its doors, putting a much-loved Czech lager right at the heart of its business.

Just down from the wonderful Crash Records, a gap in the Headrow frontage opens into Bramleys Yard, and the entrance to Headrow House is dead ahead. Turning right you arrive in the ground floor bar, where four vast copper tanks dispense fresh, unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell. The beer is delivered weekly in tankers from the brewery in Plzen, the city which gave its name to a whole genre of golden lagers.

The Lamb and Flag, Church Row, Leeds..SH10014164a...8th July 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme

The Lamb and Flag, Church Row, Leeds..SH10014164a...8th July 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme

Date:29th October 2014, picture James Hardisty, (JH1005/92b) The Black Swan, Call Lane, Leeds city centre, pictured Co-owners Si Ord and Shane Quigley.

Date:29th October 2014, picture James Hardisty, (JH1005/92b) The Black Swan, Call Lane, Leeds city centre, pictured Co-owners Si Ord and Shane Quigley.

8 October 2014.......     The Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds which is also celebrating its first birthday. TJ100549b Picture Tony Johnson

8 October 2014....... The Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds which is also celebrating its first birthday. TJ100549b Picture Tony Johnson

Headrow House''Beer Tanks

Headrow House''Beer Tanks

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