Leeds – BrewDog Headingley

I visited the other two branches of Brewdog in Leeds a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t get the chance to come out to Headlingley. As I’m trying to visit every Brewdog, I took the chance today to come out here to tick another one off.

I arrived shortly after the bar opened at 16:00, and it’s also closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. I had pre-booked the Wings Wednesday unlimited chicken wings and there was a friendly welcome from the team member. I was offered a choice of seats internally and externally, but went for the one with a power point near to the end of the bar. I’m easily pleased.

One of the beers I wanted was unavailable, so I just had half a pint of the Saison Fourage: Woodruff (or whatever it’s called, I’ve taken that from Untappd) from Yonder Brewing. It was beautifully decadent in terms of the richness of the flavours, it was quite an aromatic drink and it reminded me that Christmas isn’t far off and that annoyed me….  A slightly peppery flavour, all very rustic and I was pleased with this.

The first lot of chicken wings were average, they’re using these giant things which are devoid in any depth of taste, with the wings not being cooked off so that the skin was all floppy and not crisped up. As friends will know, I can’t be eating skin that isn’t frazzled, and preferably burnt, so I picked the chicken out. They also don’t have wipes or the usual Brewdog sauce bottles, although they got me a tub of BBQ sauce.

As I had unlimited wings, I went for the other option of buffalo sauce and these were as bad as they look. Greasy, lacking in flavour, all really quite unimpressive. I have no idea where they’ve got these wings in from, but they’re not a great quality and they’re not cooking them to mask that fact. They’d likely be better to just dump BBQ sauce on the outside of them, cook them for longer and hope for the best. Although I’d suggest that hoping for the best isn’t an ideal way to serve food.

The matter got worse insomuch I was particularly annoyed when the standard £10 charge for these was ignored and I was charged £15. A manager was called over when I politely queried (although I verging into complaint territory at this stage) and they were reduced to £10 without a quibble and that appeased me (I’m easily pleased, as I noted earlier). I’ve checked the Brewdog web-site and it does say that wings should be £10 or £12 in London (although going up to £11 and £13 respectively) so this wasn’t an ideal situation.

On staffing, the server was excellent and she was friendly and engaging. Absolutely no problems with the staff and their welcome, this was a comfortable place to visit. The music was way too loud during the early part of my visit, but they seemed to realise that when a barman was literally shouting at a customer to be heard. As a worrying aside for Brewdog, I quite liked the music, so I’d suggest that they’re entirely out of sync with their customer base. I believe that the Wurzels are the most important musical influence over the last half century, that might not be the vibe that this bar is looking for.

If I hadn’t of got food from this Brewdog then I might have found it a better experience, although the list of beers was limited and it wasn’t very well balanced in terms of beer styles. There were no dark beers and they had to tell another customer that, the only choice was the fallback option in the fridges. On the service, I was entirely happy, but the quality of food wasn’t great and that’s particularly bad given that this is one of their outlets specialising in BBQ food. Friendly staff though, but an average visit.