Category Archives: The Fox and Newt

>The Fox & Newt – Redux

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Late last year I wrote about a visit to The Fox & Newt – and it proved to be a popular post; it would seem the brewpub had a lot of admirers from the 70’s up until recent times.
I feared, however, that the article was somewhat of a kiss of death – not long after I visited, it closed. Again. This was becoming a little like deja vu.

I’m pleased to report that The Fox is up and running – and hopefully for good this time. I enjoyed a relaxed lunch there this week, and spent a little time chatting to Emma, the manager, about what happened before and her plans for the pub.

It all sounds great; firstly- and most importantly – the brewery will be back in early 2009 – although not under the Fox and Newt moniker due to the usual legal wrangles. Recipes have been formulated, gear has been tested and tweaked and a talented bunch of brewers seems to have been assembled. Watch this space for more – I can’t stress how much of an event this should be. After all, you can count on the fingers of one hand genuine brewpubs in the vast space of Yorkshire – and there are none in Leeds. A true cause for celebration.
As for the pub itself – well, it’s been updated, sure – the walls are now painted and the floors scrubbed but the pub-feel has been retained, as had (thank christ) the tiled fireplace in the side room. Emma’s keen to point out that this is a pub – and one focused on beer and lots of it. There are no alcopops in the fridge. There are only two lagers on sale. The beer -chalkboard was updated twice in the hour is was there, and there’s even tasting notes for the beer available at the bar.


The beer selection is good – Leeds Pale is always on, and in fine form, I might add – as was the Adnams Broadside that shored me up for the rapidly declining temperatures outside. Others on offer were Leeds’ Hellfire, Black Sheep, Elland’s Eden and Brain’s Top Notch. Emma proudly counted off the beers from York, Elland, Abbeydale and many other local breweries sitting in the cellar, waiting to be supped.

The food looked good – homemade and good value – and I’ll be certainly visiting again. The Fox is (as it always has been) a good pub – one slightly out of town, but one that is worth the five minute walk up towards Park Lane. It’s run by an energetic and proud bunch of people, who truly want you to enjoy good beer. And hopefully, it’ll be beer that they have brewed themselves in the not-too distant future.

The Fox & Newt
Open from 12 midday every day.

9 Burley Street,Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS3 1LD

>CAMRA’s Leeds Beer,Cider & Perry Festival 2008

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It had been a long time coming but finally the Beer Festival programme hit my neck of the woods. Pudsey Civic Hall is also about ten minutes away from where I live, so I personally couldn’t think of anything better to do on a Saturday lunchtime than go see what’s happening.

I can understand why some enthusiasts steer clear of Beer Fests like this – there’s nothing in the way of atmosphere; unless you count the uneasy apprehension between the older veterans of the brewing scene and young enthusiasts like myself. Some really don’t like this split; this faction in the brewing world, and simply avoid it – for me, it’s a great opportunity to taste some great beers in one place. Simple as that.

Art and Beer? Beer and Art?

No sooner had I arrived at the North-sponsored ‘Global Beer Bar’ than we were greeted by a cheery young lady from Bare Arts Brewery. Thier pumps were, quite cutely, in the shape of pigs, and tasters were soon offered of their Bitter. Very nice it was too; quite light and easy- going for a dark bitter. Bare Arts had already won kudos for the friendliest stand of the weekend; how many breweries have a fully-functioning art gallery attached?

Let’s Get Down to Brass Tacks…

Armed with the obligatory souvenir pint glass and beer tokens and a remit of ‘I’m not trying anything I have drunk before…’ , a quick glance at the programme gave me some idea of what I wanted to try. And try i did, over the course of a thoroughly enjoyable early afternoon. My picks of the weekend? Well, I was very impressed by Naylor’s Brewer’s Choice Special Brown Ale – 4.6% – sweetish, but with a firm, biscuit-malt body. Gorgeous. So that becomes my Beer of the day. Also sampled were:


Anglo Dutch’s Devil’s Knell – 4.8% – Slight carbonation, but with a long, hoppy finish. Great amber colour. Solid entry from this talented and forward-thinking brewery.
Boggart Hole Clough’s Farmer’s Stout – 4.5% – I only picked one stout, and was glad it was this one. Light in body but with a complexity of flavour, rounded with a treacley finish. Great session stout.
Church End’s Goat’s Milk – 3.8% – Straw-yellow in colour, light bodied. Typical hoppy golden ale, again would be good session beer on a warm day. Refreshing.
Old Spot’s Beer Stalker – 4.1% – Again, very similar as the Church End inasmuch that it’s an entirely refreshing, hoppy ale. Maybe a little light for my taste; grapefruit aromas.
Purple Moose’s Dark Side of The Moose – 4.6% – Dark ale, foamy head and a long,long bitter finish. Very moreish, very impressive indeed.
Slaughterhouse Saddle Back – 3.8% – Impressive showing; had to be tried – any brewery that’s based in a ex-slaughterhouse gets my vote. Traditional bitter with a huge malty body and gentle hop finish. Really solid – could drink a lot of this. My ‘Session beer’ recomendation of the weekend.
Windie Goat Fisherman’s Pride – 5.0% – All the way from Ayrshire, Fisherman’s Pride poured red and malty, although with practically no head. A slightly vegetal aroma gave way to a long bitter finish. Quite sweet.

Phew. Needless to say, great pleasure was to be had tasting all those.

I Coulda Been A Contender…

There was a little disappointment; some beers that I were looking forward to had either sold out or weren’t available. I had heard great things about Glencoe’s Wild Oat Stout, and Skinner’s Helegan Honey sounded interesting too. Leeds Brewery had a brand-new beer on, Leap of Faith, but I gave that a miss. I’m no stranger to Leeds and their excellent wares. Favoured drinking spots The Fox & Newt and Foley’s had beers on show, the latter brewed by York Brewery. Other great brewers such as Goose Eye, Cotleigh, Purity and Elland all were represented.

After a stop at the Global Beer bar to pick up some of Left Hand Breweries’ JuJu Ginger (Been after some of this for a while), it was time to go. I could have happily gone back today and started again; such was the quality of the ales on offer.

Next fest; Skipton!

>The Fox & Newt, Leeds

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It was with great interest that I found myself returning to The Fox & Newt, the place I would hang out when I was a student at Park Lane College over the road. Of course, I knew nothing of beer back then. I didn’t know that in the eighties, The Fox & Newt brewed its own beer. But I did know that after years in the wilderness, it was brewing again.
The Fox (as I like to call it) is a traditional pub with traditional tastes. An unpretentious Yorkshire pub, if you will; no airs and graces. The beer reflects that style – I sampled two over the leisurely lunch I enjoyed there this week. First up, the Brewhouse Bitter – a dark, but not at all heavy bitter with a lovely biscuity finish, perfect to get things going. I then moved onto the Cunning Stunt, which at 4.0% abv, I would imagine to be their session ale – and how perfect for that it is. Light, refreshing, with a hoppier body than the bitter and a creamier head, I could really sink a few of these. Also on offer was Dark Side stout, which I didn’t sample but seemed popular. All brews are full mash, and I understand that plans are being laid to produce seasonal beers.

The new proprietors, Gerry and Patricia, have really got things right here; you can tell from the beer that care and passion goes into each barrel, and I sincerely hope things go well enough to ensure The Fox and Newt’s future. After all, we now have a pub brewing its own quality beers within walking distance from the city centre. And that is something to be excited about.

Bar food and snacks are available between 12-2pm, and the jukebox is good. I enjoyed a perfect, lazy day-off lunch – simple, some sports pages to pore over and some of nicest beer I have tasted in ages. You can’t really get higher praise than that. My drinking map of Leeds has got one new stop on it.

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