Category Archives: Market town taverns

>Quick News Round-Up – MTT Expand Further, Foley’s and Tap Up For Awards…

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A couple of post-worthy snippets caught my ear this afternoon: Firstly, Market Town Taverns have announced that they are currently refurbishing the forgettable Waterhole on Great George Street and turning it into Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. It should be opening in early October, and given MTT’s track record, this is great news for Leeds beer drinkers. Along with the imminent opening of East of Arcadia, and another site in Meanwood, it would seem MTT are going from strength to strength. And well deserved, too – MTT represent a safe pair of hands, and Veritas will form an intriguing little beer circuit at that end of Leeds with Foley’s and The Victoria.

Speaking of Foley’s, they’ve just been shortlisted for the Publican Cask Ale Pub of The Year, along with another Yorkshire stalwart, The Sheffield Tap. Congrats to both, and well deserved, I might add.
Brewery News; Rooster’s have a pumpkin ale ready for Halloween – keep an eye out – and the ever-popular Naylor’s have opened a new Beer Emporium, selling their wares and also a few homebrew supplies, as well as a bar, at their brewery. Knowing how many Ale enthusiasts live in the Keighley area, I’m sure it’ll be popular. Wharfebank are now stocking an IPA named WISPA, and thier eagerly-awaited Black Tom Mild is now available. Keep an eye out. Anyway, that’s it. Keep on reading – and drinking. Cheers.

>Arcadia, Headingley – Redux

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Market Town Tavern’s Arcadia in Headingley underwent an expansion in the last couple of months, taking over the unit next door to it. As the best place to drink in Headingley by a country mile, this was welcome news. It’s also heartening to see quality being rewarded – pubs may be closing all the time but when things like this happen you realise that some decent pubs, owned by companies with attention to detail and respect for the trade, are doing ok. Plus, it may be controversial but I’m all for a dead-wood clearing exercise.
Anyway, onto the pub. We chose yesterday lunchtime to pay a visit and see what was going on. The usual friendly, relaxed atmosphere and staff remain, as do the tin beer posters and assorted other breweriana (including a gorgeous plate for Goose Island’s Matilda that I simply have to have) that adorn the walls. The extension means that both the ground floor and upper mezzanine area have more or less doubled in size, and it’s a tasteful job.
Feeling peckish, we noticed that the food menu had been slightly scaled back, and also in price – which was a nice surprise. Given that I rate the Hamburger as one of my top five beer foods, I decided to give the guys a chance to impress with a Blue Cheeseburger. Excellent it was too, a big, rough, meatball-esque burger and a great cheese that started off buttery and then hit you with that sharpness that you need in a blue cheese. A chewy bun, and slices of tomato rounded it off well. My partner’s felafels were also given the thumbs up – as were my other friend’s Bean Chili.
From a range that included Saltaire’s Winter Warmer, TT Landlord and Copper Dragon’s Golden Pippin, I gave Vale Breweries’ Vale Pale a go; a very much no-nonsense Pale with a decent floral aroma. A nice alternative to Landlord, I thought. Their Wychert Ale had much more depth, with a fruity nose, a tight, creamy head and a treacle/bonfire toffee vibe in the body which aptly fitted the freezing temperatures outside.
We left happy in the knowledge that Arcadia remains improved, and putting the rest of the Drinking – Pits in Headingley to shame.

>Hawkshead Red

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…I’m carrying on in this mild/autumn beer feel that I’ve been into recently by enjoying a few pints of Hawkshead Red. Hawkshead are a brewery of whose beers I’ve been a fan of for some time – much like other ‘go to’s’ like Naylors, Wylam and Taylors, Hawkshead are consistent; consistently good – and the Red is no exception. Juicy malt, a red-fruit body and a high hoppiness at the end of the sip make this an excellent session beer, and it’s ruby colour invites pint after pint…lovely. I thought it tasted a little like Fuller’s ESB, but that’s just me.
I enjoyed this beer most recently in The Narrow Boat in Skipton, a Market Town Tavern that always is a pleasure to drink in. In fact, just as I was draining my first pint, the pub was besieged by about 100 morris dancers, who all bought their pints in a very polite fashion and decamped to the back room, where the guitars were pulled out, the drums beaten and the singing began. And that’s what a lazy lunchtime in darkest Yorkshire drinking Hawkshead Red amounts to!! More of the same, barman.

>Market Town Taverns Global Press!

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…Spotted an excellent article on Yorkshire’s own Market Town Taverns in this month’s excellent Beers Of The World Magazine.
About time, too. MTT are an outstanding company, putting the life back into the ‘pub’ experience in Yorkshire, and turning a new generation (ie, mine!) of people onto the joys or real ales from around the world.
It’s in shops now, but you can read some of it here.

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