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Bar Review Fox & Newt

Tom Goodhand visits one of Leeds' few remaining brew pubs

There aren’t enough real brew pubs left in the world. We’re lucky to have a handful here in Yorkshire, and Burley Road’s Fox & Newt - just a few minutes walk away from Leeds Town Hall and literally across the road from Park Lane College - is the latest pub to join in on the real ale fun.

The pub is something of a stalwart. It’s been up and running in the Little Woodhouse area for years, but only recently - thanks to a new owner and a snazzy refit - has it started to attract serious beer drinkers again. The pub certainly has the credentials required to become a serious contender in the real ale stakes. The well priced bar offers a minimum of four hand-pulled ales (including regular slots for Leeds Brewery’s Leeds Best, Leeds Pale and Midnight Bell), with the capacity for eight different ales at any one time. And, of course, they have their very own brew too, the Nightshade, a surprisingly light and fruity 4.9% ale. Alongside this they also had a gorgeously chocolately, malty Black Cat (from the Moorhouse Brewery), Black Sheep and Black Sheep’s stronger cousin, Riggwelter. A more than decent selection ranging from the easy-drinking session ales to those suiting the more acquired tastes (and requiring a little more moderation).

It really is a true beer lover’s pub, with only a few lagers, a mere smattering of other alcoholic beverages and a few soft drinks. Most impressive of all are the tasting notes left alongside the bar, so novices can sup and learn a thing or two while doing so.

Equally as traditional is the d├ęcor in the Fox & Newt. Although they have unfortunately allowed modernity to creep in with a big old screen for the sport and a table football (they have to tempt the nearby students and locals in, after all), the old fire places remain intact and in fine upkeep, there are comfy seats and old wooden tables aplenty. Plus there’s the option of hearty pub grub for those who want some nourishment alongside their ales.

One for the beer enthusiasts more than those with a fondness for smashing old pubs (the regrettable encroachment of the 21st century ruins the olde worlde vibe somewhat), just don’t take your alco-pop sucking mates along.

Posted on Wednesday 4th February 2009

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