Tapped’s enviable plot on Boar Lane in the heart of the city blesses it with short staggering distances from Leeds Station and nearby shops. So on warm days when its big windows are thrown open – causing animated conversation from within to spill out on to the pavement – it’s hard not to feel tempted into a cheeky one while going about your day.
Alas, this was not my first visit to the popular America-inspired “brew pub”. But due to a communication blunder this was my first time there supping alone, which actually ended up giving me ample time to take a good gander around the place and size it up.
Overall thoughts: well worth a trip.
The team behind other esteemed boozers such as York’s Pivni, The Sheffield Tap, The York Tap and The Harrogate Tap set up the bar a few years back now. Clearly, the art of beer-making itself and the joie de vivre of a top tipple is a source of pride to the owners, who’ve placed large steel fermenters right at the side of the seating area. Notices on these keep punters in the loop about when they can expect the latest brews.
Feeling hoptimistic (I’ll get my coat) I go for a pint of Tapped Beer Co’s own porter (five per cent, £3.50). It’s nice on the first try, inoffensive, but does have slightly acrid after-taste and becomes bit of a chore as the glass empties.
Much better though is the cask Rodeo American pale ale (four per cent, £ 3.30), another of the bar’s own beers. Pale ales aren’t usually my thing, I tend to find them a bit, um, rubbish – but this did the trick. A refreshing and totally chuggable crisp taste.
Lager lovers shouldn’t fear though because decent offerings such as Bernard Light (3.8 per cent, £3.60 for a pint) are a fair choice for those wanting other hoptions (I’m leaving now).
Indeed, there was plenty to choose from, as 27 draft beers including 13 cask ales and 14 craft keg beers are served USA-style from taps raised behind the lengthy bar. This set-up can be a bit daunting for some, but clipped-up signs outline the drinks, percentages and prices. In addition, there’s a television advertising the beer list, train times style.
More than 100 bottled beers from around the world are also offered, as well as stone baked pizzas made from scratch.
A pint of Bronx (7.2 per cent, £5), an Irish dry stout by Derbyshire’s Thornbridge Brewery, is a strong and pricey but very acceptable night cap. Thick and hefty, but there was something there that made it so drinkable.
Pulling in a large amount of punters, with diverse age ranges, on a Wednesday night suggests that either the so-called real ale revolution is at its peak, or that Tapped is doing its bit to keep people interested.