Aire Bar Leeds review: Here's what I thought of a city centre basement bar with a riverside beer garden

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
For some, the sun is synonymous with beer gardens.

Chewing the fat with friends outside a pub is a great British pastime, enjoyed by young and old alike. Those long English winters feel incredibly distant when you can enjoy a drink with the sun on your face.

It is for this reason I went down to Aire Bar following a swift improvement in the weather. I made plans with friends and pencilled in a date, looking forward to the prospect of taking in the riverside views Aire Bar offers in its beer garden.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The date arrived and obviously, the rain was so torrential it nearly knocked me over. Bye bye beer garden plans.

Aire Bar can be found on The Calls. Image: Simon HulmeAire Bar can be found on The Calls. Image: Simon Hulme
Aire Bar can be found on The Calls. Image: Simon Hulme

I was disappointed but truth be told, I had no reason to be. Aire Bar is so much more than its idyllic beer garden and proved to be a lovely little hideaway from the downpour.

Brick-walled and spacious-yet-cosy, it is a stylish and inviting retreat. Found at the bottom of steps, it could be described as a hidden gem were it not so popular with Leeds folk.

Chronically online people such as myself may be familiar with a trend on social media platform X, formerly Twitter. Basically, people decide on their dream draught pint line-up and then argue about their choices incessantly with other users.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Like so much on social media, it was once fun and now draining. However, their bickering would be brought to abrupt halt if they ventured out to Aire Bar. The range of drinks is breathtakingly extensive, with so much choice it is dizzying.

Every continental lager I have ever loved or loathed is seemingly on offer, as well as various difference flavours of Thatchers cider. The spirit selection also offers plenty of variety, making the bar ideal for groups divided by their drink preferences.

I opted to enjoy my refuge from the rain with pints of Asahi, a beautifully crisp Japanese lager. Dry but drinkable, it went down an absolute treat. Aire Bar also serves up craft ales, with Huddersfield’s Magic Rock Brewing represented on the taps.

I tried Saucery, a fruity session ale that really hit the spot. A pint of Asahi came to £5.60, which although not cheap, is hardly steep in a city centre. Service was incredibly friendly and the atmosphere in the venue is a noticeably friendly one.

I came for the sun and instead got soaked en route, but the visit was still worthy of my time.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.