A Trip To The Northern Monk Brew Co. Refectory

It’s been a while since I did a shout-out piece and indeed it’s been a while since I have ventured out into the beer world in my home town of Leeds since starting the blog. Many beers have been purchased (and consumed!) but I must start getting out more and visiting more bars and tap rooms where I can. So what better place to start than my recent outing to the tap room for the awesome chaps over at Northern Monk Brew Co. Anyone who follows my Twitter account (@pointsofbrew) will know this happened a couple of weeks ago but I am finally penning my thoughts, so here they are!

With my better half away visiting a wedding fair in Leeds, me and the old man (sorry dad!) thought we’d do the right thing and go sample some beers for the big day. After a brief stop-off so he could ogle at some potential new cars we wound up at the Refectory for Northern Monk Brew Co; their tap room that also serves as a kitchen and bottle/can shop. Its location is just out of the city centre so a little out of the way but taps (see what I did there?) into the surrounding areas industrial nature and history.

The first thing you notice when you enter is the awesome glass art work (in the feature image) and also windows offering a glimpse into the brewery and how they operate behind the scenes. It’s great to see that you can have a sneak peek into their brewery and how they work and not having it locked away behind closed doors. Then you ascend a flight of stairs to the tap room where the tasting happens. There’s also some great artwork on display, at the time including the fresh print from their Patrons Project 13.01//DDH India Pale Ale// Tank Petrol// Infinity Vortex// Other Half// Equilibrium outing.

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Offering up 16 taps of their own, and a couple of guest, beers you really aren’t short of choice especially when you can opt to have a can instead. The room offers plenty of space and variety, with an outside area should the weather be favourable. Interestingly they offer up guest takeovers for their kitchen which is an excellent way to showcase local cuisine and food outlets that may otherwise be unheard of. without the exposure. At the time of our visit, Wapentake were offering up their take on local Yorkshire inspired dishes with vegan options also. Naturally we obliged both out of curiosity and patronage but also a means of absorbing some of the beer at the same time.

The food was really nice with me having sausage and mash and dad having scrambled eggs on toast. If anyone gets a chance to visit their café in Leeds we would strongly recommend it. We arrived at the taproom around opening time of 11:45, with beer being served from 12 onwards. It was a little quiet but we weren’t the only ones who visited that afternoon, admittedly it would have been nice to see it with more people in just to see how many people appreciate their beer and the craft scene in general.

With me not being able to drink too much as I was driving (bad times I know) I had to take some home with me, it would have been rude not to! I’ve turned into somewhat of a glass collector recently as well so I couldn’t resist picking up one of their 1/3 glasses from Hop City. Sadly they didn’t have the ones on stem in stock but the limited one is quite cool although not very efficient if consuming more than a third at one time. They may be large scale, but they’re one of my favourite breweries and their supermarket beers are usually staples in my fridge. Yet with all their collaboration brews and experimental outings, such as the ice cream pale ale and the raspberry doughnut beer, they have plenty to offer with plenty of steam for it to continue. And long may they continue!

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