Bar review: Tapped, Boar Lane, Leeds

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The ‘trend’ for craft beer is over. Gone. You know when something is no longer ‘trending’ when the supermarkets cotton onto the fact.

It’s been several years now since the likes of Morrisons and Asda twigged that bespoke ales would snag a significant portion of the male custom base (including yours truly). For many men (and it is in the main the male of the species which succumbs to this particular vice), simply walking past the beer aisle is something of an ordeal. Even if you went in there with no intention of buying beer (say you wanted laundry liquid and cat food, for example), you can still find yourself being pulled in, as though by some invisible tractor beam. And once you’re in, you can’t help but linger and look at the shelves with a certain degree of longing.

But enough about these mainstream marketeers, I want to talk about Tapped in City Square, Leeds, which is a wonderful place and the kind you don’t mind being sucked into.

As it turned out, on this occasion, I went in there on purpose. Well, sort of. I had been walking down Park Row with the intention of going back to work when the thought struck me that no-one had been to review this fine establishment in over a year. Needs must. A short time later, I arrived at their door and it was only half past eleven.

A sign outside proudly (and it has to be said effortlessly) just how many beers they have here. There are currently 27 draft beers including 13 cask ales and 14 craft keg beers, with over 100 bottled beers from around the world. Of course, they do cider and wine too, but let’s not get too technical.

The thing Tapped does so well is bring all of this phenomenal choice to the table, alongside a nice, laid back atmosphere (a bit dim/bland in places perhaps) and staff who know their stuff.

To wit: when I ask at the bar for recommendations I am given six or seven choices, depending on my preference. Today, I opt for half a Five Points XPA (£2), an easy drinking ale with the colour of sunshine glinting off copper and a light but slightly heady grapefruit edge. It’s light on its feet and fragrant and reminds me of summer straight away, even though it seems to be the opposite of that outside.

Several other drinks are bought during this sitting but chief among them was Verdant Lightbulb extra pale ale (a weighty £6.08), which comes in a snazzy lemon-coloured can and even reminds one of lemons in taste a bit. It’s zesty, hoppy, a delight to drink, with an almost oaky finish. I also managed to demolish a 12-inch mushroom and anchovy pizza (£8) during my visit, which was, overall, most pleasurable. Minor criticism: website needs updating.

Scores: ⅘4/5

Address: 51 Boar Ln, Leeds LS1 5EL

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