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Quirky Ales Taproom

The chances are that you wouldn’t just stumble upon the Quirky Ales taproom. It’s something of a hidden gem, well tucked away from the main road (walking along the A642 from the railway station brought back memories of travelling to the coast in pre-M1/A1 link road days!). Garforth is barely 10 minutes out of Leeds on the train and there are also direct services available on the York and Hull lines so, whilst it may be slightly off the beaten track, you won’t have any problems getting there.

Quirky Ales set up shop here in 2015 and the combination of brewing area and super cosy (and dog friendly) taproom has contributed to their success in the time since. The taproom is compact, and the eclectic décor disguises the industrial bones of the building well. It’s clearly popular too, judging by the number of fellow drinkers this Saturday afternoon. Outside there’s a good size area to sit out when the British weather allows, and food trucks are regular visitors.

On the bar are 5 hand pulls, and there is a wide selection of bottles available too. Don’t panic if you’re not into your real ale, other tastes are also catered for with ciders, wines and spirits along with non-alcoholic options.
Easing ourselves into the afternoon, we kicked off our visit with a Blonde (3.8%). A light and refreshing session pale ale, I imagine that this sells amazingly well when the weather is a little warmer. Perhaps more suited to a chilly March afternoon were the brown ale, A Trip to Jesmond (4.6%), and a dark, strong ale by the name of Classic (5.7%). I could have probably spent the afternoon getting into all sorts of trouble with the Classic’s dark fruit and liquorice loveliness!

Mat is more than partial to a ruby ale (see his author bio) and, had the Quirky Ruby Bitter (4%) been on cask rather than the bottle he had, we may have had some difficulties extracting him when it was time to leave. I opted for the remaining cask beer on offer, Hip Hop (5.5%), their flagship American IPA. I must admit that that I was really pleasantly surprised at the balance of hops with this beer, and was grateful not to have been slapped around the chops by them, as can often be the case with this style.

One of the neat things that Quirky Ales offer is their Brew School, where you have the opportunity to spend the day having a go at brewing yourself under the expert tutelage of Head Brewer, Aaron. You and your fellow brewers will be in control of the recipe (within reason!) and once it’s ready you will not only be able to take home 4 four bottles of your brew, but you’ll also get to sample it in the taproom. Bacon sandwiches and coffee are provided on the day, so what’s stopping you? If you’re looking for a more imaginative gift than yet another Amazon voucher, it’s also possible to purchase Brew School vouchers for the beer lover in your life.

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Jonny Mardling

Jonny Mardling started off with a minor obsession with branded glassware that has not only escalated materially, but also appears to be extending into other areas of breweriana. The creator of Yorkshire.Beer and an Olympic standard procrastinator, “moderation” is his middle name. Resolutely believes that Theakston’s Old Peculier is a session beverage. Fan of old Volkswagens and collector of bobble hats.

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