They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Ghosties Favorite Leeds Bars Volume 1.

After my little review of the Grove I thought it would be nice to do a mini series of posts this year reviewing pubs/bars and other places I like to frequent and drink good beer.

Now this will be a purely objective and un-biased set of reviews, of public places in the great city of Leeds, called Ghosties Favorite Leeds Bars! 

I thought the best place to start would be one of my frequent haunts, where I like to cause mischief and mayhem - North Bar.

Not much to look at on the outside, tucked away down a side street in the town center, but momma ghost always said to 'never judge a book by its cover!' and this is a perfect example. It's a great cosy little bar based on European/American style bars with a little bit of home comforts and product tucked in as-well.

Now for drinks; North has a great selection on offer, something for all tastes. They usually have a permanent line of cask Wild Mule from Outlaw, a few other real ales, and a great selection of draught German/Belgian lagers and speciality beers on tap. Today's selection looked a little like this; (and a few taps I didn't capture)

Marble Special Ipa
Summer Wine Boreas American Pale
Fruh Kolsch
Schlenkerla Rauchbier
Marble Dobber
Summer Wine Teleporter
Brooklyn Lager
Belgian Specials; Liefmans Kriek
Chouffe N'ice
Delirium Noel
DeKonick Noel

Now you may think that its all about the beer at North and from the looks of the photos wouldn't be wrong for thinking that.

But North has a lot more to offer than just your plain selection of  fantastic beers, oh yes. A few of North's extra qualities include;

This was a whole bare wall.

Constantly changing local and great artwork.

A line of there own clothing!

A fine selection of spirits, including some great single malt whiskies, you can even get some good cocktails if you like.

North also boasts a very good selection of treats for the peckish among you. Their cheese and meat platter boards go down really well with a pint, and the pies are super, enough all round to satisfy the hearty-ist of appetites. The bar also boasts a great selection of bottled beer, you know, for those occasions where you might want to take some away or just try something completely different. Of course if your not in the mood for beer there is a good selection of wines, a couple of 'real' bottled ciders, and as always a bottom-less coffee.

If this is all the stomach + guts of the place, then who's the brains and heart?

Roll on magical manager Matt, who obviously loves a brew as much as the rest of us. Completely clued up on the craft he sells, he makes sure he passes his expertise onto the rest of his friendly, competent staff, who are more than happy to recommend you a good drink anytime. It's Matt who also brought home the excellent idea of how to deal with the massive graffiti problem they had in the toilets. After a trip to a pub in Amsterdam, Matt brought this idea home to get people to stop writing on the walls, saving the place a lot of time/effort and money painting and re-painting the walls. Well I say 'stop writing on the walls'......

They've gone ahed and covered the toilet walls in blackboards! It's a great idea! and according to Matt it really works - no more harmful graffiti. Well played I say, would be a nice addition to any gents.

They are sure to keep a clean shop; cellar and pumps all kept in a good clean, organized order, which leads to the great quality of the beer you can drink from the barrels. Both the Marble beers I tried today were in great form, and would make me want more (dangerously as they were 5.9% and 6.5%!) For now though I had to settle with halves as I have others I need to haunt today, but hey! there's always tomorrow, and I'm sure another trip to North Bar won't be that far away.

Great bar, super pub! 
Closing times - Mon, Tues - 1am
                          Sun - 12am
                          Rest of week - 2am

North Bar -24 New Briggate
                  Leeds LS1 6NU
                  0113 242 4540
                  - Look out for Volume 2!!


  1. Nice review and good photos. North is pretty special. It's also conveniently (or dangerously) close to my bus stop home of an evening. Marble Special IPA, eh? Hmmm...

    My review of North from last year is here:

  2. Curses, now i have strong urges to visit Leeds for expensive drinking purposes. Ta for the review, I've been intending to visit for a weekend for ages now, and this definitely answers the 'where shall i drink when i come?' question.

  3. Beerprole - Good post, quite wordy, - not a bad thing, that's what I'm looking for. This was my first 'official' pub review and I think the actual information was a bit sidestepped by all the photos. Something to work on at future haunts. Marble Special IPA - BEAST!!

    Ian - North is just one of the great pubs/bars that Leeds has to offer. A few of my future Volumes will include Mr. Foleys, Sela Bar, Arcadia, Veritas, Leeds brewery Tap and the Cross-Keys.

  4. You'e spot on, of course - the post ran to over a thousand words, which I now reckon is about twice as long as the average reader's maximum attention span when it comes to blogs. Hope I'm gradually getting the hang of it, though.

  5. hah, nice review - and good pictures! I always struggle to take pictures in North due to the lighting, but I can see you've had no issues! Damn my Iphone.

  6. btw - just as an aside - one of my first ever posts way back in 2007 was about North - you might want to check it out - - it's a little amatuerish now but I still stand by my beer selection, even if a little simple!

  7. I wonder if you can give a truly objective view of North Bar without giving a slight nod to the odd price point in the venue?

    Big fan of the bar, was in there on Friday night and will undoubtedly be back again soon - but as the beer world gets smaller through online purchases or bars being more adventurous in their lines, a consideration has to be made to the price a beer costs. A quick flick through the list is enough to make you think again when considering buying - especially bottles - as a great number will be on sale elsewhere in Leeds or West Yorkshire. The mark up looks, on face value, to be in nightclub territory on some of the beers in there.

    However, that said - sometimes the draught beer is of such a premium, and quality, that you turn a blind eye to the lack of change from your folding, and consider somewhere else to make this month's cost savings.

  8. I think that this is one of the finest pieces I've ever read...

  9. Leigh - that's where the kiddys are going wrong nowerdays - no need for iphones! just use an actual camera :)

    Chris - Personally I think greater online purchasing and more adventurous bars makes the beer world bigger. I definitely shop around when it comes to buying whisky (Personal favorite being the Whisky Exchange), but I think your right, all prices are going up, and with greater ranges of choice I am becoming more considerate when it comes to choosing a drink.

    Matt - Cheers dude ;)

  10. We appear to be approaching from different angles.

    Bigger in the sense of a broader range, but smaller in the sense that I will be popping in to Beer Ritz for My Antonia this week - where as x number of years ago i would have had to have gone to Italy or America for it - beer world now so small that in a lot of cases, it fits in to the size of a mobile phone (web buying)

  11. Chris - I see what you mean, but make sure you get a couple of My Antonia's - once there gone there gone for good, and you will have to go to Italy for them.