Against The Grain Bramley review: What I thought of a cosy micropub nestled in a Leeds suburb

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"Everyone is loving it and saying it’s exactly what Bramley needs.”

Those were the words of Owen Wilson, founder of Bramley micropub Against The Grain, in an interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post last year. He was right – it is exactly what Bramley needs.

Discreetly located at Swinnow Grange Mills on Stanningley Road, Against The Grain is a gem of an addition to the Bramley area. The interior is bright and inviting, but retains a cosy intimacy and a vibrant atmosphere.

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There is a huge range of craft ales and liquors, regularly updated to keep punters on their toes with fresh offerings.

Against The Grain is located in Bramley. Image: Steve RidingAgainst The Grain is located in Bramley. Image: Steve Riding
Against The Grain is located in Bramley. Image: Steve Riding

Craft beer offerings can sometimes be bizarre, with weird and wonderful flavours commonplace. Against The Grain scratches the itch of those in search of adventure, while also offering bona fide reliables bound to satisfy the more conventional taste bud.

I began my evening of experimentation with a Lumina Session IPA, a creation of Siren Craft Brew. Elegant and fruity, it was the perfect drink to ease into the evening with.

Next up for me was a pint of Disco King, an American pale ale from Turning Point Brew Co. It was a hoppy number and although higher in percentage than my previous tipple, it was very drinkable.

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I then tried Austrian beer Stiegl Goldbrau, marketed online as “the liquid gold of Salzburg”.

It is a drink I cannot imagine lager lovers taking a dislike to, with its full body and wonderfully refreshing taste. Against The Grain also sell bottles and cans that can be taken away, prompting me to buy two bottles of Stiegl to tuck under my arm and take home.

I would not describe the beers as cheap – the Lumina, for example, set me back £6.50. However, I am loathed to take aim at businesses for not offering £3 pints in the current economic climate.

The drinks are fantastic and the venue is incredibly stylish, but what truly makes a venue like Against The Grain are the staff members and the atmosphere they foster.

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Against The Grain is everything a micropub should be. There is no snobbery from staff members, instead just warmth and genuine enthusiasm when interacting with customers.

It has a community feel, helped by the fact it is open to families with children, as well as dogs. Expansion is said to be on the horizon, and more of Against The Grain can only be a good thing for Bramley.


Address: Swinnow Grange Mills, Stanningley Road, Bramley, Leeds LS13 4EP

Opening hours: Weds-Thurs, 3pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-11pm; Sun, noon-9pm


Drinks: 9/10

Value: 7/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Service: 9/10