We couldn’t go to Leeds without stopping by North Brewing’s Leeds City Tap. We swung by for some juicy IPAs, fruity goses, and plenty of delicious bao buns.
I have to confess that despite owning and operating an Instagram account, I have very little idea how it actually works. While my beer photography is improving (there’s less crap left in the background these days), I can’t compete with beer influencers and their beautifully laid out shots with fancy glassware. Until now, that is.
That’s because North Brewing has a particular talent for brightly coloured, almost luminous fruited sours. With those beers, and a tasteful plain brick background, now I’m sure to make it big on the ‘gram.
Plus, all their kegged beers are vegan and they have a bao bun restaurant on site. I hear influencers love that.
North’s actual brewery is a little way out of Leeds city centre, on North Street, appropriately enough. While that’s temporarily closed due to Covid, their Leeds City taproom on Swinegate is open and busy, with plenty of fresh kegs and cans to pick from.
I know North does a great gose, but I need something a bit nearer my comfort zone to start. A thick, juicy New England IPA sounds like the perfect option.
Transmission is orange and hazy with a bright white head. At first glance, it looks a little like smooth orange juice.
The aroma is boozy and sweet with intense orange, melon, and passion fruit notes. On the palate it’s almost like a screwdriver cocktail, orangey and intensely boozy. It tastes even stronger than its already high 6.9% ABV.
Transmission isn’t a session beer, but it’s absolutely worth having one to try. 3/5
North x Whitefrontier x Gypsy Hill, Berry Berry
I love a collaboration beer. Perhaps there’s a risk of “too many cooks” when the list of collaborators is longer than your arm, but in this case that sharing of ideas has paid off.
This beer looks absolutely incredible. It’s thick and dark, completely opaque and a deep, garnet red. A few daring bubbles rise intermittently to the top, but there’s certainly no head.
The aroma is fabulous: cherries, blackberries, kirsch. At 7%, no wonder it’s reminding me of a different kind of booze.
Tart raspberry, blackberry, strawberry and sour cherry arrive on the tongue like a full frontal assault. The flavours don’t hang around long, but they’re intense; in their stead, the finish leaves me with a dry, puckering tartness.
I’d cross town for this. 4/5
Mango and Passion Fruit Triple Fruited Gose
Mango, passion fruit, and…what, exactly? It seems odd that you can make a triple fruited gose with only two fruits. In fact, that’s not so unusual: many triple fruited gose beers include two or even four types of fruit. It’s more a description of the style and the amount of additional sugar those fruits bring than a strict ingredient list.
This beer tastes like a Solero. Specifically, the orange coating of a Solero, melted and mixed up. Smells and tastes like a delicious ice cream too: very heavy on the passion fruit, with just a hint of tartness and saltiness to help balance out the fruit bomb.
It’s good. Very good. But not as good as Berry Berry. 3/5
Full Fathom 5
FF5 is a coffee coconut porter. For once, I’ve had the foresight to order this one at the end of the evening rather than ruining my palate right from the start.
Final Fantasy 5 is dark, cola brown with a thin, tan head. Its aroma is heavy on the coconut sweetness, almost like coconut cream, backed up with richer, darker coffee and chocolate notes. On the palate it’s like drinking an oat milk cappuccino. Options chocolate and instant coffee on the finish but that’s just drawing me in for more.
Maybe I can order this in the morning instead of my macchiato. 4/5