No sooner do we have a massive county in beer terms then we get a second in West Yorkshire, our final piece in the Yorkshire quartet. It’s a landlocked county and relatively upland in character taking in the Pennine moors and river valleys. West Yorkshire came into existence in the 1974 shake up corresponding roughly to the old West Riding.
The built up areas centre around the main cities / towns of Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and Huddersfield making it the 4th most populated county in England. There is a dense network of roads, canals and railways giving an idea of the importance of the industry of the area to the country. The main industries being Woollen Mills, Cloth manufacturing and Coal mining. In more recent times after the demise of much of its industrial base many Banks and Building Societies have centred around Leeds. Let us not forget that the Rhubarb Triangle is in West Yorkshire.
On Ratebeer we have a total of 161 Breweries listed, 93 of which remain active and 68 sadly closed. There are 20 Commissioner / Client Brewers in amongst these.
The oldest brewery we are showing is the Leeds Tetley Brewery (Est 1792) but this is now just a Commissioner of beers, owned by Carlsberg Marstons Brewing Co, so your Tetley Bitter is basically a Northants beer these days and the old Brewery is an art complex. The oldest surviving traditional Brewery is Timothy Taylor’s of Keighley (Est 1858). Initially set up in the centre of Keighley by Timothy Taylor, moving to their current Knowle Spring site in 1863. Timothy Taylor landlord was created in 1952, subsequently winning Camra’s Beer of the Year more times than any other beer. Whilst the brewery is not family run any longer it still maintains the traditional feel it has always had.
In the 2020 Ratebeer Awards the Brewery of the Year was awarded to Magic Rock Brewing (Lion Co. – Kirin Holdings). The Best Beer Award went to Vocation / Amundsen Imperial Frappe. No award was made for a new brewery.
The Top 10 Beers for West Yorkshire are –
- Magic Rock Bearded Lady Dessert Edition Bourbon Barrel
- Magic Rock Bearded Lady Hazelnut Dessert Edition Bourbon Barrel
- Northern Monk / Lervig Dark City 2018 Devils Delight R
- Magic Rock Bearded Lady Dessert Edition : Salted Caramel Bourbon BA
- Vocation Imperial Kirsch
- Vocation / Pomona Island Imperial Mocha
- Northern Monk / Lervig Norse Star
- Magic Rock Bearded Lady Bourbon BA Dessert Edition: Coconut
- Northern Monk / Evil Twin Even More Death
- Northern Monk / Wylam I Like to Moob It Moob It R
The Top Bars / Pubs in West Yorkshire are –
- Grove, Huddersfield – 99
- Refectory (Northern Monk), Leeds – Holbeck – 93
- Friends of Ham, Leeds – 92
- North Bar, Leeds – 91
- Magic Rock Tap, Huddersfield – 91
There is also a very highly rated Store in the area –
- Beer Ritz, Leeds – 90
The Top 5 Raters of Beers from West Yorkshire are –
The Rater who resides in West Yorkshire with the most overall ratings is –
@ManVsBeer who happily is still with Ratebeer.
Hi Craig. I believe that these may be just on-line during the pandemic, they still seem to be advertising, even giving a free beer with their on line order.
West Yorkshire is the county with my highest number of beer ratings and yet not really that many beer visits which have largely been confined to Leeds and Wakefield, also Hebden Bridge when I did the Pennine Way. Leeds itself has a buzzing, modern feel to it, Wakefield more traditional.
Of course I have been to many of the football grounds, Elland Road, the old and new Huddersfield grounds even Bradford City. Non really memorable although Huddersfield has one of the better new style grounds. The Pennine Way through these parts is still in the muddy slog stage, although it does drop down to some nicer bits, Hebden Bridge in particular. One of the strangest things on this part of the walk is near Haworth at Top Withens Farmhouse where you encounter some signs written in Japanese to stop our Asian friends getting lost on the moors whilst doing their Bronte tour.
So West Yorkshire is my most rated county for beer numbers, gradually inching towards my first 1,000 ratings county currently with 981 which places me in 4th place for the county. I am however on top of the number of breweries tried with 116, very pleased with myself there. I have an average rating of 3.29 for the beers from the county, pretty decent.
The Breweries I have had most beer from are –
- Mallinsons Brewing Co. – 49
- Elland Brewery – 47
- Northern Monk Brew Co. – 43
- Magic Rock Brewing (Lion Co. – Kirin Holdings) – 42
- Saltaire Brewery – 40
- Ossett Brewery – 38
- Ilkley Brewery – 37
I have rated 37 beers from West Yorkshire with a score of 4 or over, the best are –
- Hand Drawn Monkey Smaller – 4.4
- Naylors Pinnacle Blonde – 4.3
- Naylors Brew 600 – 4.3
- Goose Eye Over and Stout – 4.3
- Summer Wine Nerotype #3 Bravo Black IPA – 4.3
- Elland Beyond the Pale – 4.2
- Leeds new Moon – 4.2
- Magic Rock Bearded Lady Hazelnut Dessert Edition Bourbon Barrel – 4.2
The West Yorkshire Breweries with my highest average score are –
- Magic Rock Brewing – 3.557
- Kirkstall Brewery – 3.532
- Northern Monk Brew Co. – 3.51
- Mallinsons Brewing – 3.504
- Vocation Brewery – 3.496
I have reviewed just 17 places in West Yorkshire, not one of my better efforts and I don’t currently plan to revisit, my best are –
- North Bar, Leeds – 82
- Fernandes Brewery Tap & Bier Keller, Wakefield – 80
- Harry’s Bar, Wakefield – 76
- Friends of Ham, Leeds – 76
- Brownhill & Co, Leeds – 72
I will have to try and get on a beer tour of Huddersfield as I’m told it is very good.
The shop has closed permanently. They are just mail-order now so a new mail-order place should be set up.
Surprised to some extent that for me W. Yorkshire is above both Greater Manchester and Greater London. 159 samples isn’t bad for a novice. And I seem to like them. Only Gloucestershire’s average is above WY’s 3.4.
Magic Rock and Northern Monk produce most of my standout selection although North and Elland make a respectable showing below 4.0. Salt Mockado is an Ossett brew. And I seem drawn to Collabs which is a complicating factor if we are assessing local strength.
Magic Rock Dark Arts Chocolate 4.2
Northern Monk Death 4.2
Salt Mockado Latte Porter 4.1
Magic Rock Kentucky Common Coffee Grounds BA 4
Magic Rock Bearded Lady Bourbon BA Dessert Edition: Coconut 4
Northern Monk Neapolitan Ice Cream Pale 4
Northern Monk / Bissell Brothers Patrons Project 6.02 Knucklepuck 4
North Brewing Co / Broaden & Build Stout + Porcini + Cacao 4
Northern Monk 003 Project Pinda 4
North Brewing Co / De Molen XXXK Mild 4
I used to go up to Leeds every so often, although not on beer related adventures. Like Newcastle, it was a city that told the story that life can be really rich if you have a decent salary in the North.
I have actually encountered the Japanese on the Bronte trail and can recommend Hebden Bridge as a good place for a break if you want decent food and pleasant walking.
It’s not easy for a Lancastrian to say nice things about Yorkshire and I cannot stretch to saying something good about Leeds United, but the beer is certainly something to cheer in this new post-Euro 21 more tolerant England. Maybe it’s the beer that’s coming home…
Yeah that seems the best move as thats also my understanding
65 from 24 breweries.
My Top 5 Beers:
Clearly I am a moob man.
Only Northern Monk (16) and Magic Rock (10) are in double figures.
When I was at Uni in Hull I used to visit Leeds for gigs and record shopping (Out of Step Records) and Bradford for the odd gig (1 in 12 Club). I actually visited Leeds shortly before joining Ratebeer so added ratings for three places and otherwise have ordered from Premier Hop.
Well two Salt beers at Hop Hideout, Sheffield are currently helping my “charge” to the top 50 for West Yorkshire.
This is one of only two English regions I’m not in the top 50 of, having got into the top 50 of Derbyshire yesterday.
Used to travel to Leeds, Huddersfield and Halifax on business quite a bit back when such things could be done.
Right. That’s all for now. My first contribution to these for a few weeks. But need to get back to the Sheffield beer scene….
West Yorkshire eh ? time to crack open a West Yorkshire beer and monitor Mr Gubbins walloping Gloucestershire whilst writing this report !
West Yorkshire is my third highest county for beers rated with 44 beers from no less than 28 breweries. Most beers from
Several other breweries with 2 each
Highest rated beers are
Beerrink Windrush Stout 4.2
Little Valley Hebden Wheat 3.9
Ossett Voodoo Stout 3.9
Rat Dark Ratanic Mills 3.9
Timothy Taylor Landlord 3.8
Kirkstall Drophammer 3.7
North Brewing Full Fathom 5 3.7
Elland 1872 Porter 3.6
Magic Rock Common Grounds 3.6
Vcation Golden Ticket 3.6
Vocation Life & Death 3.6
The Windrush stout is the strongest beer I have EVER drunk on cask – 14% ! And I’m the only person who has ever rated it …
Looking at my own recods now, I’ve drunk 269 West Yorkshire beers from 56 breweries. Highest numbers are
I am rather partial to Rat beers ! I always choose one if available, and they rarely make the same beer twice.
In terms of places, I haven’t reviewed any places in the county. However, there are two venues which are in my Top 10 for the whole country, so they doubtless would be rated very high. The Grove in Huddersfield and the Fighting Cocks in Bradford.
Not been to any football matches in the county, but have been to watch cricket at Headingley (more then once) and Bradford. Memorable visit to Headingley when Gordon Greendidge scored about 200 (no-one else got over 20). Plenty of 4 through the slips though leading to the classic Old Fogey comment “he’s edge more than ‘e’s hit proper”. Have been to Wetherby races as well.
Plenty of bus spotting trips to Yorkshire as well, particularly to see Black Prince and ride on their Routemasters bombing it down the M621 !
PS Hampshire 486-7declared, Gubbins 137 not out.
Second most rated county for me for both beer and place ratings. Largely on account of having visited for the 2015 Rugby World cup. (CAN v ITA and SCO v USA at Elland Road).
Arriving on the train from London I google mapped the hotel, looked at the queue for taxis and decided to walk. Unfortunately, I did not account for the amount of cobblestone and uneven pavement between the train station and the hotel, which made the distance feel much farther while dragging a suitcase !
The bus queues after Canada match were enormous so we followed the crowd marching back into town and stopped for a drink at the quaint and charming but overly full Grove Inn. The next day we learned our lesson (and I cared less about the outcome of the match ) and ducked out of the match early, caught one of the first buses into town and were seated at the bar at Brewdog with a pint and a pie shortly thereafter
Really enjoyed Friends of Ham (How can you not enjoy a place with a name like that!) Watched Wales v England at Tapped Leeds which was a pretty enjoyable combination of pizza, beer, and a raucous but friendly crowd.)
Cheap Wetherspoon’s breakfasts with a couple of ratings at Stick or Twist and Hedley Verity. At HV my notes include “One guy tried to jump into the conversation by proclaiming that Wayne Gretzky was the greatest hockey player ever, which was amusing but mildly confusing in my pre-caffeine state.”
More sport based connections; I had for a time embraced Huddersfield Town Terriers as my club - purely on the basis of sport and not the fact that they are the beloved team of Sir Patrick Stewart as some have suggested. On a different trip to the UK I was somewhat forced to switch my allegiances to Fulham, on the basis that they were willing to sell me a ticket, while Huddersfield was not. (In fairness Fulham was in the Championship and Huddersfield recently elevated to the Premier League at the time.)
As seems to be the trend for me, my top two rated West Yorkshire beers were not consumed there but rather had in Bristol and Canada respectively.
My tally is 186 rates from West Yorkshire, with highest rated being Northern Monk / Wylam I Like To Moob It Moob It at 4.4. Northern Monk and Magic Rock dominate my list.
There are 8 cideries in West Yorkshire, with Le Cantina / Saxon Cider at Batley having the most entries with 24 that so far have eluded me (and am not sure they are still going). At some point I’d really like to visit Udders Orchard’s Taproom and Pure North Cider Press which are near Huddersfield. Also in West Yorkshire are Grotley Scatters and Grumpy Johns Cider.
The top 5 raters for West Yorkshire Ciders and Cideries are:
West YorkshireCider Ratings
Was hoping West Yorkshire wouldn’t turn up for another month or two as there’s a chance I may be going there next month!
It is actually a county with a little bit of family history - my Mum was born in Huddersfield after my Gran was evacuated there in WWII. I’ve personally visited it very little, but due to the widespread availability of its beers, it’s my 12th most rated county, with 63 rates (no chance of going top 50 here!).
My top brews from the county are:
I’ve tried beers from 28 breweries, with Saltaire (8) and Magic Rock (6) being my most rated. Of the ones with 5 or more rates, Vocation is the highest rated with an average score of 3.58.
My only rate for West Yorkshire is Asda, but I’m not counting that as that was based on Asda stores outside the county! So no place rates really.
The highest point in the county is Black Hill (582m high) in the south west of the county - appropriately named given the mess of eroded peat bogs at the summit, which gave a weird, bleak moonscape kind of feel. Fortunately it was bone dry when we were up there, and it was a glorious walk. I understand a lot of work has been done since our visit to repair the erosion and return the hill to its natural state, which is good to hear.
Apart from that, I can only remember two other visits to the county:
- staying in Haworth Youth Hostel whilst hillbagging, a glorious old crumbling mansion. I assume we went to the Haworth pubs, but I don’t remember them particularly (we were clearly the only people in town who weren’t there to see Bronte stuff though!).
- a lunchtime stopover at the pleasant Yorkshire Sculpture Park on the way further north. I’ll always remember a posh lady asking my then very young daughter what she thought of a Henry Moore sculpture. My daughter’s immortal reply (after some thought): “It looks like a rabbit playing a trumpet to a duck.”. Which left the posh lady rather speechless!
Hopefully I’ll build up more great memories of the county on my forthcoming visit…
Weird stat: I’ve never been to West Yorkshire. And it’s the only English county I’ve not been to. Obviously I’ve been through it on the train and whatnot, but never so much as alighted for a cup of coffee. What a weird county to be the only one I’ve not been to. Well, there we are.
Beer-wise, at 180 it’s my fifth most-rated county, not enough to get on the leaderboards but good enough. Some great beers as well, quite a few at 4 or above. At an average of 3.48 W Yorks is only beaten by Berkshire. Top of the lot are
31 breweries tried, 27 still active. The bulk of my rates seem to be held with a handful of breweries. My most-rated brewery is Northern Monk (28) followed by Magic Rock and Wilde Child (25 each), Vocation (17) and Ilkley (10). Wilde Child is a fairly recent discovery; the Blue Boar in Leicester is fond of selling their beer and have had a couple of tap takeovers for them.
No places. But they are on my radar. Probably next year.
First beer: Timothy Taylord’s Landlord on cask, unsurprisingly, in October 2013. A beer I’e never been all that crazy about…
Most recent beer: Wilde Child Transcendent Intervention, a fantastic IPA, at the Blue Boar last week.
West Yorkshire is my 3rd highest county by volume with 305 beers rated (@3.2), that total puts me 41st on the RateBeer leader board.
My beers have come from 47 different breweries, 7 of which have now closed. No Mead, Cider or Sake from the county has been rated by my good self.
Most Rated Breweries:
Northern Rock 40
Magic Rock 18
Place reviews are pretty boring, two supermarket HQ’s and a boozy trip to Otley in 2019 where I posted about three pubs. Not been to the region much lately and for some reason I’ve never been to Bradford. Watched Grimsby Town at Leeds, Huddersfield and Halifax, but all before I joined RB (I think).
The game at Huddersfield (Leeds road) was watched on a New Years Day in a low cloud on an open terrace with most people dressed as Pirates. Some of the Pirates claimed that when they left the Night Club at 4 in the morning half the players and the manager were still in there drinking! Luckily the Huddersfield players must have done the same because it finished 0-0 and they all looked pissed up too.
The highest point in the county is Black Hill (582m high) in the south west of the county.
I always enjoy reading your highest points information, however, I would argue that the summit of Emley Moor Transmitting Station at 594 m is the highest point?
I look forward to you bagging that summit can you send us a photo.
West Yorkshire is my highest performing region, by some way, with 56 rates (which probably, hopefully, puts me in the top 500) from 13 breweries, the top guns being:
Curiously my brewery count says 13, but I count 14 - one of the things about the site I scratch my head about a little, but not for long! I’ve also rated 1 cidery, one of the few regions where this has occurred. As far as quality is concerned, my apparent favourite beers thus far are:
It has to be said that I have a great fondness for West Yorkshire, from both a beer and non-beer point of view - the latter down to it being the home of my beloved Leeds United (no boos please) and Yorkshire CCC (some might argue this, but Headingley is its home, so that does me). As far as beer places are concerned I’ve rated none on here, but been to plenty - favourites probably being the West Riding Refreshment Rooms on Dewsbury station and the King’s Head at Huddersfield (more for the pies than anything else, fat get that I am), but others are also highly thought of. One of my lasting memories of local pub life was a Friday afternoon visit many years ago to the Chemic Tavern in North Leeds, Tetley Bitter (in its creamy pomp) was in full flow, with the barmaids pulling pint after pint (using Autovac pumps - don’t mention that on a CARA forum!) and the place was rammed. And it was probably cheap as chips too
I have 80 rates for West Yorkshire which is my 3rd highest region. Average rating is 3.49 which is only behind Derbyshire in terms of my highest (excluding regions with less than 10 rates).
I have five rates of 4 or above:
The Magic Rock ones I had when I was just getting into craft beer so maybe a little inflated but still good beers.
I’ve tried beers from 15 breweries, most notably Northern Monk (14), Magic Rock (12), Vocation (11) and Salt (9). Yep, all the usual suspects.
I don’t recall every visiting West Yorkshire either but I can tick off Lincolnshire next week as I’m off to Skegness.
@reidyboy said “West Yorkshire is my highest performing region, by some way, with 56 rates (which probably, hopefully, puts me in the top 500)”.
Wrong! @redders1974 is in 50th place with 227 beers rated.
Top 500 Mr Fish, not Top 50 - I would never dream of such heights!