Category Archives: North Bar

>Summer Beer Fete @ North, Leeds

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…And so the summer season of beer festivals rolls on. It’s too distracting, I tell ya…anyway, perennial TGS fave North laid on a beer festival specifically aimed at lighter ‘summer’ beers and mighty fine it was, too.

I started the session with Anglo-Dutch’s Yorkshire Wit. I’m usually impressed by AD’s brews, and this was no exception – massively citrussy (Grapefruit mainly) and supremely thirst-quenching, sold as chilled as it was. A little spice on the palate, I really could have drunk a lot more of this – but then my head was turned by Outlaw’s Amarillo. I’m really keen on single-hop beers, particularly ones from the Outlaw/Roosters stable. The Amarillo was, as you’d expect, clean and grassy, with subtle, sweet malts coming through on the palate.

I’m sure I had read Jon waxing lyrical about Harviestoun’s Schiehallion before, so that came my next. And a pleasant surprise it was, too – A yeasty aroma, with some great orange/lemon notes, and a biscuity, full-bodied taste. Lagered ales are a strange beast, but this really did hit the spot and it’s the one beer of the festival I will actively seek out again.

Beers from Mordue, Salamander and Kelham Island were available, along with the usual range of North regulars – Sierra Nevada, Roosters, Outlaw and Mort Subite to name a few.

See you at the Winter Beer Festival!

>Belgian Bier Fest @ North, Leeds

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Regular TGS loafers will know that North is one of my favoured beer-palaces, and it simply wouldn’t be right to let one of thier famous Belgian bier-fests slip by without dropping in. North do this sort of thing very well indeed; over 100 different beers to try, most of them bottled, with a few exceptions on tap – whilst keeping thier standbys such as Sierra Nevada Pale and Roosters YPA (possibly one of my favourite brews of all time) in case the Belgians got too much for you…
So, we kicked back and worked our way through the menu. First up was Blanche De Bruxelles (draft, 4.5abv), which I enjoyed immensely; pale straw colour, a familiar witbier aroma but a very light, long taste with a massive citrus kick. Lemons and Oranges cut through this one and result in one of the most refreshing beers I’ve had in a long time, and I’ll be seeking out again.
Picking purely by name now, the Zinnebir (bottled, 5.5abv) by the Brasserie De La Senne caught my eye. Much darker in colour but another good choice – woody, piney aromas with a spicy yet hoppy flavour initially; although after a few sips that Belgian frutiness popped up again. This would be great with some formidable cheeses! I’ve picked up a bottle of thier stout for the beer-cellar.
Finally, for balance, it was the turn of Bacchus’ Frambozenbier (draft, 5.0abv). I’m partial to a Frambozen or Kriek on occasion, but this one left me a little flat. The beer looked amazing – deep purple-red colour with a massive strawberry jam/redberry nose – but for me, lacked a little body. If you’re looking for a thirst-quenching summer frambozen then this is for you – but I prefer a little more depth.
It was then time for some food. Another excellent, different evening from North, who should keep these festivals coming. What about an American/Canadian Beer Fest next, boys?

>North Bar’s Oktoberfest

>It’s a strange, heady smell that greets my nostrils as i walk into North on this autumnal wednesday. Bratwurst. Yep, thick, sizzling sausages sitting alongside tall glasses of every shade of ale you could imagine. This is North Bar’s Oktoberfest.
Trust those forward-thinking chaps at North to bring this great little slice of Bavaria to he heart of Leeds; a positive godsend for those of us who can’t afford to go to the real thing. In he name of research, i get stuck in.
Its strange reviewing a bar that i spend so much time in – and i was thinking about not doing it at all. But despite my obvious love for North, the only city bar I consider ‘my local’, i don’t want to ignore the seasonal festivals that they take great effort to put on -and Oktoberfest is a success, purely for that reason. These guys want it to happen; so it does. They do it because they know thier customers want it.
That’s enough of the gushing – onto the beers. First up I sample an Oktober brew by one of my favourite brewers, Paulaner. Its long, smooth and unbeleivably refreshing. Pale, but not too sharp. Of all the normal ‘Oktoberfest’ style brews, this is easily the easiest to drink. A little too easy, actually! Another hit for Paulaner. (Watch out for the Paulaner – heavy beer tent at the German Market around Christmas time!)
Next up, another old fave – Erdinger. Again, tempted by the promise of a seasonal brew from the Munich-based brewery. Again, a gorgeous amber wheat beer, very smooth, but with a much more pronounced kick (5.7) abv. Very drinkable, very good with the aforementioned Bratwurst.

The beer list is extensive – i can’t imagine many places serving Hofbrau or Spaten tonight. The staff pour and pour, smile and serve in a true German fashion. The place fills, and the lights fade. Another night begins at North, and the conversation, lilting in and out of the music, is invariably about Beer.

Oktoberfest @ North runs until the 7th October. For further info, see the North link.

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