Review: Beer Hawk, Leeds - craft beer, roast chicken and free hairspray in the bathroom

Those who enjoy a pint or two may be familiar with Beer Hawk as an online retailer of craft and speciality beers, however, the brand has been brought to the masses with two new sites launching in Leeds at the end of 2019.

By YEP Reviewer
Saturday, 4th January 2020, 11:45 am
Beer Hawk on Boar Lane.
Beer Hawk on Boar Lane.

After successfully launching a ‘pull your own pint’ concept in Trinity Kitchen in September, the company officially opened their own bricks and mortar site in December.

Part bar and part beer shop, Beer Hawk has taken over the former Mint nail salon on Boar Lane, next to Be at One.

First impressions?

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The beer fridge in Beer Hawk on Boar Lane.

The light and airy bar is decorated an ‘industrial chic’ style, with exposed pipes and distressed wood furnishings.

To the left as you enter is the ‘shop’ section of the bar, with fridges stocked full of a variety of colourful cans and bottles of beers, ciders and lagers. All of these can be consumed within the bar.

Adding to the colour is an array of posters across the walls as well as soft, warm fairy lighting.

There’s lots of standing tables and different sized tables to accommodate various group sizes, including large ones.

It was relatively busy when we went on a Saturday afternoon in late December and was a friendly and casual crowd.

I normally wouldn’t comment on a bar’s bathrooms - which are located downstairs in this instance - but I was very pleasantly surprised in Beer Hawk. I can’t speak for the men’s bathroom but the women’s bathroom had free sanitary products, deodorants and hairspray. A small touch that really made all the difference.

What’s the menu like?

It’s a small but perfectly formed menu at Beer Hawk, comprised of simply chicken and and a selection of sides.

You can opt for a free-range rotisserie chicken, choosing from a whole, half or quarter depending on your appetite, fried chicken wings or a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich.

Vegans will be happily catered for here as there is a vegan ‘chicken’ sandwich and Korean ‘chicken’ wings, meaning no one will be left out.

Sides are a bit of a mixed bag and I’m not sure what the common theme is but there are waffle fries (added chips and gravy is £2.50 - money I would argue well spent), sweet potato fries and halloumi fries.

If you fancy some salad vegetables to bulk up your fibre then there is corn on the cob, slaw, mango salad and spinach, apple and fennel salad.

There is also an option of mac and cheese following in the American trend of somehow deciding a portion of pasta is an appropriate side dish.

We didn’t opt for any food this time and so I can’t comment on the quality but we did sneak a peek at the table behind and it did look like tasty.

Nonetheless, it is not the kind of place that would strike me as somewhere to go with the intention to eat, more a place to grab something when peckish or a few plates to share with mates.

And the drinks?

I opted for an IPA from Leeds based company Ridgeside Brewery.

The vegan tropical IPA 'Equator' is a blend of hops, pineapple puree and grapefruit juice for "pure juiciness."

It was smooth, fresh and dangerously easy to drink coming in at 5.7 per cent. I enjoyed it so much that I had to get a second.

My partner opted for a Camden Hells Pilsner lager and said he enjoyed it. It was hoppy, quite a strong flavour - unsurprising as it spends four weeks in the tank - and easy to drink.

Camden Town Brewery describe is as the 'lovechild’ of Helles and Pilsner and say it is clean, crisp and dry. A firm winner for my companion.

The verdict

Beer Hawk is a fun and unique addition to Leeds city centre.

It is the perfect place to try out something new and the staff were very knowledgeable and offered good recommendations.

The vibe is casual and laid back and the bar is bright, airy and colorful.

I like the added extra details for women in the bathroom - it is a nice and caring touch that I think women across the city would appreciate.

I look forward to going back, sampling the food and trying a new type of their huge selection of speciality and craft beers.

Scores

Food - N/A

Value 7/10

Atmosphere 7/10

Service 8/10