Leeds – Whitelock’s Ale House

And the third in my little pub crawl of Good Beer Guide pubs in Leeds….

As the sign notes, this is the oldest pub in the city, originally known at the Turk’s Head. I like that they note the number of real ales available and also mention that craft beer is sold. I visited here because the pub was listed in the Good Beer Guide, but if I had seen this sign then I would have popped in anyway.

It’s located down an alley, but the signage is clear so it’s not difficult to find. I was welcomed at the entrance by a friendly staff member and was told it was quite busy inside and was asked if I would be OK outside. I decided that this was fine, although decided I’d pop inside to have a look at the historic interior. I’m not a fan of outside (insects, rain, too much sun, etc), but the beer barrel that I was seated at was perfectly fine and the weather allowed such outside dining.

And there it is, an interior not really much changed from the early twentieth century. I was going to take another photo but a staff member looked at me as if I was an idiot, so I thought that this one would suffice. I liked the atmosphere in the pub through, very traditional and the staff all seemed friendly and engaging.

I’m a fan of John Betjeman, so I consider this great praise.

Initially, I thought that this beer menu was just a little generic, but then I saw the Mile Zero from Turning Point, who are one of my favourite breweries (I haven’t forgotten their Yellow Matter custard beer which was pure gold, or pure yellow really). Given the quality of this beer, I thought that £2.35 for a third was a bit of a bargain.

I accidentally ordered a packet of crisps with the beer as food pairing is absolutely important. And, as for the beer, it was beautiful. There was a richness of toffee and it was packed with liquorice flavour as well, with an aftertaste of Werther’s Originals. This was a decadent treat and I was delighted to be able to try it. Really nice.

The reviews of this pub are very high and even the negative ones are a bit ridiculous, like the person a few weeks ago who was furious that “I waited ten minutes to be served at my table”. It’s not ideal, but perhaps not the end of the world, nor justification for a 1/5 review given the current situation (or indeed perhaps at any time). Another customer gave it 1/5 although he had been going since 1969. Yeah, great, have a bad experience after 50 years of going for a pub and rush to rate them 1/5. Nice.

So, this is another pub from the Good Beer Guide that I really like. Friendly service, clearly popular with customers and some interesting beers. The prices were lower than I would expect and I felt comfortable throughout, so absolutely recommended.