There’s no two ways about it; this American-style brewpub is impressive on a number of levels.
First off, the vast copper vats at one end of the spacious, light ground floor building and the snaking pipes running across the ceiling carrying the newly-brewed beer to the unique dispensing system.
Second off, the jaw-dropping 27 draft beers including 13 cask ales and 14 craft keg beers, plus 100-odd international bottled beers.
Bringing up the rear but definitely not last is the pizza. Everyone knows it’s a great combo but it’s even better when the pizza is made in front of you and is seriously one of the best I’ve had this side of Naples (and the dough is made from the beer yeast!)
But the beer takes centre stage. Their Pilsner is hoppy, clear and very pleasing, the house wheat beer (Weiss) is a perfectly good, every-day bitter but the Paradiso is possibly one of the best ales I’ve tasted for a while; lovely floral notes, very quaffable.
Thank goodness for the Trans Pennine back to Todmorden. They take beers from local and regional breweries too; Jaipur from Derbyshire-based Thornbridge, Kirkstall in Leeds, Ikley and the Northern Monk brewery in Leeds.
Owner and brewer Jamie Hawksworth learned his trade in Prague and opened his first brewpub Pivni in York in 2007. Tucked away down a side street near The Shambles is has become a bit of an institution in the city and Jamie went onto rescue the glorious Victorian waiting room next to Sheffield Station, creating Taps – another mecca for beer lovers.
Hawksworth expected ‘lad & dad’ drinkers but actually the demographic is much wider; it’s good to see a really mixed bunch of folk on a warm mid-week lunchtime; shoppers, tourists and seasoned CAMRA types.
Comfortably padded booths make for a sociable lunchtime as a table of smartly-suited young professionals proves. ‘Meet the Brewer’ evenings are held – a regular contributor is Logan Plant (yep, rocker Robert’s son) who runs his own London-based Beavertown Brewery.
And that pizza; seasoned chef Big Dan’s stone-baked beauties (I can recommend the ‘The Smoky One) go down a treat with a glass of Paradiso.
The bar hosts a number of events - this week drinkers were invited to take part in the Chilli Shop Takeover, which saw Tapped’s traditional pizzas given a very spicy makeover.
Great beer, good pizzas, it might be a simple formula, but it is one that’s seems to be working very nicely for this Leeds bar.
Tapped, Trinity, Boar Lane, Leeds LS1 5EL. 0113 244 1953, www.tappedleeds.co.uk