It’s back, and it promises to be an absolute belter.
There are no pubs so synonymous with the history of Leeds city centre as Whitelocks.
From catering to traders on Briggate market in the eighteenth century and the glamour days of royal visits and dinner jackets in the early 1900s, to its Grade I listing in the sixties and 300th anniversary in 2015, much has changed around it, but Whitelocks has remained one of Leeds’ most iconic and beautiful buildings.
The idea to reopen a dedicated section of the pub as a craft beer alternative to the real ale mecca of the main bar has been an absolute revelation for the last two years. Named the Turk’s Head after both the yard and the original pub, it provides a perfect balance between modern and traditional, new and old.
the weekend will see a mouth-watering 68 beers on cask and keg
The Whitelock’s and Turk’s Head beer festival returns for its fourth year from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th July, and has perhaps aptly, given its recent history, been dubbed “The New Wave”.
The real meaning behind the tagline relates to the beer though, as the weekend will see a mouth-watering 68 beers on cask and keg across the two venues, from 30 different innovative UK breweries.
The two bars combined can have up to 28 different beers on at any one time, and there will be some exceptional rarities on show, including Cloudwater’s Small Chinook & El Dorado Pale and Northern Monk’s limited release ‘Coffee Death’ imperial stout on cask, as well as Magic Rock’s Bearded Lady Dessert Edition – a bourbon BA Imperial stout in seriously limited supply, and the Wylam ‘All Format’s’ DDH Pale, both on keg.
Flying the flag for Leeds alongside Northern Monk will be Wilde Child, newcomer Anthology and the UK’s only wheat-focused brewery, Eyes. They will be joined by some serious talent in Deya, Verdany, Track, Zapato and many more.
Like last year, food will be provided by London-based Capish?, who will provide award-winning meatballs and several other Italian-American street food classics.
The festival kicks off at 5pm on Thursday, then runs right through until 11pm on Sunday. You can pick up a glass and beer menu for £5 – which includes a free half. Other than that though, it’s a cash and card free for all, and you’d be wise to squeeze in a trip as early as possible if you’re interested in sampling the rarities.
The weather forecast is pretty good at the moment too, so outdoor seating will be at a premium. This is without doubt one of the best and most intimate beer festivals in Leeds, and the perfect way to kick off a gruelling six-week schedule of summer drinking – as if you needed an excuse.
Whitelock’s/Turk’s Head Beer Festival, 26th - 29th July, Turk’s Head Yard, LS1 6AH