Vocation & Co. (Leeds)

It’s not often I’m taken aback by a selection of beer. Knowingly, the last time I was was when I set foot in Raynville for the first time last year. That moment when you have to stop and appreciate what is in front of you, taking it all in before making a tough decision of what to drink is hard to beat. Although drinking your brew of choice may well top that overwhelming excitement!

Having only heard good things about Vocation’s new hideout in Leeds, I was excited. I hadn’t seen much about it, only word-of-mouth reviews and a couple of check-ins here and there. I wasn’t ready for the veritable haven that lay before me when I stepped in; the sights, the sounds and the smells. Good golly, did the food smell good as soon as we stepped in! My eyes, having caught a glimpse of the bar, wanted to lead me straight there but my nose was trying to coax me towards the food stalls. I was on the verge of a crisis…

The difficult choice was made to head to the bar first, have a drink, then attempt to soak up some of the many beers consumed with some fresh food. The only problem being, how to choose from so many beers? In total there are 50 taps serving the freshest beers from across the UK and the rest of the world, with Vocation’s finest also sitting among them. This is probably the only minor quandary you have whilst at a brewery tap; do you try their own beer or do you try one from someone else? Of course, I’m sure they’re happy to have you either way but I get a slight pang of guilt when you don’t sample a beer from the brewery who own the tap.

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As you can see from the image above the tap list is helpfully split into styles, then numbers making finding a beer and ordering nice and easy. The bar is split in two by a partition wall which, helpfully, has another tap list emblazoned on it so you really can’t miss what is on offer. The tap is very spacious, offering enough space for people to queue in comfort and then sit or stand to enjoy the beer and/or food.

As it was Saturday night it was full enough, not crammed though, so we took a lean against the pizza stand in reaching distance of the bar. We had a nosey at what other food was on offer, Andy deciding that he wanted a burger in the end so we settled on Slap & Pickle with me going for their Big Mick fries. This was the best of both worlds; fries coated in burger bits, cheese sauce, burger sauce shredded lettuce amongst other additions. The fries were almost like roast potato fries, being crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, they were to die for.

I washed this down with a helping of Tiny Rebel’s birthday collaboration with DEYA, the NEIPA, and also sampled Andy’s glass of Lervig’s 3 Bean Stout. The former definitely being my thing, the stout however did not win me over. My sampling of the Black IPA earlier in the day probably being the closest I will come to a stout for some time yet! With the drinks finished, and the rain finally disappearing, it was time for us to jump on the train and head home after what was an excellent day/night out. With another place ticked off on my hit list, I was happy with how the day had panned out and will certainly be calling back in to Vocation & Co in the immediate future.

Vocation Brewery can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching their name on all three. The tap room can be found on Twitter @LeedsVocationCo, on Instagram @Vocationandcoleeds and on Facebook by searching their name.

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