Want a traditional German experience?
Want some German beer?
Want it in a MASS STEIN? Look no further, Bierkeller has you covered!
An interesting place to try find, they are situated at the bottom of an old school Victorian stair set on Park Row. There web site boasts an opening time of 11am - 11pm from everyday (and 11am till late, Fri, Sat, Sun) but when I went today (wed) the place was not open till 4? A little hard to know if I was in the right place, but the friendly people in the bar upstairs informed me of the times. Bierkeller is situated in the bowels of the remodeled vaults of The Old Bank of England. "a real piece of Bavaria in the heart of Leeds city centre."
On arrival, you are greeted by row upon row of large wooden tables and pews, in what seems to be a sort of European dungeon or some sort of crazy grotto. There is German beer POS and material on every wall, and all the staff have the traditional outfits on, so the place really fits the part (The music as-well!) Not a fan of the Christmas German market and there beer tent? then this is not the place for you. It does also unfortunately have the atmosphere of a place where a lot of business men will come at the weekend to get wrecked on giant beers, but come down on a weekday (or just not on a Fri or Sat night) and you'll be in for a treat - beer and food wise.
Looking at the menu takes a bit of concentration so best to thoroughly read through before you have too much lager. When there's options like Kruitborgers, Nuremborgers, Kaserbrot, Schinkenbrot + Eirebrot I think it's good to know what your getting. (Unless you go for the Cheezborger though)
Not in the mood for burgers or sandwiches? A pretzel tree may be more in your favour, with 6 freshly baked pretzels and dipping mustards - only £6.95 - great for sharing. The deserts sound even more obscure with a Spaghettieis Sunday, or a Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte. I think I'll stick to a traditional Apfelstrudel!
There is a good selection of bottled beer including things like Schlosser Alt and Fruh Kolsch, and some more Belgian fruit bottles, but I got the feeling I was supposed to be drinking as much lager as I could.....
Yes, Bierkeller boasts it's own 'Keggie' but I think at £79.95 for 22 pints I don't think it's just great for parties, it's only for parties. (and for you without math skillz - thats £3.63 per pint - not too bad!)
They like to make it obvious that you can book the place for private parties but it's interesting how many signs there are to not dance on any tables!.... If you want to get some bookings in give them a call on 0113 243 2300, or just give the web site a look in.
While the place may be trying to create the perfect 'Bavarian atmosphere' I think a few little things let it down just a little, like the old man pub style chalk boards all round the bar, and the big flat screen behind the pumps piping out Sky Sports. Maybe I just need to come back when they have the Oompah band blaring and the pews filled with happy beer swilling campers.
All in all, this is a really interesting bar and quite a different bier drinking experience all together. Very worthy of hitting the Favorite Leeds Bars list, and definitely one you should take a trip to. Especially if you like great lagers in giant glassware! If you need some more convincing; check out some of the gallery photos on the website and ask yourself if they look like there having fun.
GET THE STEINS IN!!