It might not be on the same scale as suburbs such as Headingley, Chapel Allerton, Meanwood or even Horsforth, but the east side of Leeds is slowly making a name for itself in terms of craft beer.
We’ve put together a fairly short but equally good craft beer crawl, taking in both Cross Gates and Garforth via train. Both train stations are easily accessible from the centre of Leeds, York and beyond. We’ll be starting our craft beer crawl in Cross Gates.
Out Out Bar
The first stop on our list is Out Out Bar, located right in the heart of Cross Gates opposite the shopping centre on Austhorpe Road. You can expect a great pint of cask on in here – one of the only places on our independent craft beer crawl that offer this. There’s also limited outside seating to soak up the sunshine (if you’re lucky).
Venturing into Locus Bar via the side door entrance next to Virgin Money bank, the unassuming ground floor entrance takes you up some stairs, and straight into what feels like a city centre bar. You could almost forget you’re in Cross Gates! They always have craft beer on tap, usually by Wilde Child when we’ve visited numerous times in the past, as well as a number of cans and bottles. They also serve up amazing cocktails.
This is probably the biggest of the bars in Cross Gates, but what you make up for in inside space you lose on outdoor seating – you’ll find a balcony here but expect it to get instantly full on warmer days.
The Assembly (Cross Gates)
Next up is The Assembly, which opened in Cross Gates in 2018. This is the original of two bars, one of which we’ll visit later on. Although rather small, they serve a great selection of rotating craft beer on tap, as well as bottles and cans to drink in or take away. They also serve cocktails, wines and locally sourced charcuterie if you need a change from the beer. On hotter days and evenings you can expect to find outside seating, and it does get very busy!
Now for a walk to platform one at Cross Gates train station straight to Garforth, which is one stop away. We’re hopping from the original Assembly to the new one!
The Assembly (Garforth)
You’ll find the new Assembly in Garforth on Main Street, just a short walk from the train station (Garforth station that is, not East Garforth station!).
Opened this year, The Assembly Garforth aims to expand on the original concept opened in Cross Gates by the same husband-and-wife team. Situated over two floors, the new venue is larger than the original, but aims to keep the same feel and vibe.
Garforth may have had a better selection of pubs in general over Cross Gates, but the arrival of The Assembly firmly positions it as a new go-to craft beer destination.
What a better end to our first East Leeds craft beer crawl than visiting a local microbrewery?
Quirky Ales is situated in a small industrial estate just off Aberford Road. It is roughly a 17 minute walk from The Assembly, so if you’re not up for that a local taxi might be easier.
Quirky offer a wide range of their own beers fresh on tap, as well as guest ales. The tap room allows for both indoor and outdoor seating, and there’s occasional live music on. You can also purchase beers to take away.
If you fancy coming back to Quirky Ales when not on our craft beer crawl you can try their Brew School, which teaches you how to brew your own craft ale for just £60 per person. Fantastic idea!
So there we have it, our first East Leeds craft beer crawl. Hopefully the craft beer scene this end of Leeds will continue to flourish so we can add even more places in future…