That said, finding a location for after work drinks, when the girls want Bellinis but the boys want half decent beers (sweeping generalisations alert, sorry Melissa!) and everybody wants burgers and sunshine, is more difficult a task in Leeds than you might think. We've got some fantastic beery places such as North Bar, Mr Foleys and Veritas, but not many places where you can sit in a sunny beer garden and have the option to get a bite to eat aswell.
So where did we decide on? In the end it was All Bar One on Millenium Square as it's the only place that gets sun into the early evening, serves decent food, has a few nice beers and does cocktails. It's a place that attempts to have something for everyone and I think what it does, it does very well. Two cask ales on handpull (sold out) a selection of decent world beers on the bar including Pilsner Urquell, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a nice Rothaus German Wheat Beer, plus a decent selection of bottled beers including Worthington White Shield, Duvel, Brooklyn Lager, and Innis & Gunn.
I had a really tasty and high quality gammon egg and chips with a pint of Rothaus Wheat Beer and Colette had the coriander and harissa lamb burger with tzatziki and a Prosecco Bellini. Everything was well made, well cooked and really tasty. The Rothaus was an orangey, light wheat beer, lovelly and refreshing, slightly peppery with a herbal edge but essentially a tasty, simple, summery beer.
So my question is, why can't more mainstream bars get it right like this place? How many times do you walk into a bar with friends or colleagues and the only options are a pint of Becks and Coronas in the fridge? All Bar One was packed with people and it seemed to me that the better beers were selling the quickest. If the cask ale was sold out then thats obviously popular, and of the kegs it was the Wheat Beer and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that were flying out. I think the tide is genuinely turning and more people than ever are starting to come around to drinking better beer.
How far away is the day when you can walk into any old place and they'll have nothing but decent beer on the bar?
I feel like it's getting closer.