Leeds – Vocation at Assembly Underground

This was the final visit on my little tour yesterday of some Good Beer Guide pubs in Leeds. It’s a quirky location and I’m not sure that I would have found out about it without CAMRA’s recommendation as it’s located in a cellar where the first visible venues inside are food outlets. It’s actually like a little food court, with Vocation providing the bar section of the whole arrangement.

As an aside, there’s some heritage to the building that the bar is located in.

This isn’t the sharpest of photos unfortunately, but this is the main seating area and the food venues can be seen to one side. There are other seating areas available, including within Vocation itself.

This is Vocation’s bar area at the rear of the basement.

Grrrr, this photo isn’t as clear as I wanted either, but the beers are listed on screens above the bar. I asked the member of bar staff about what dark beers they had, with four options being suggested, which is an excellent choice and it’s rare that I’m offered that many to pick from. Indeed, they try and have fifty different beers on, so I can see why they’re in the Good Beer Guide with that effort.

I went for a third of a pint of the rather decadent Ecstasy of Gold from Turning Point Brew Co. I’d had their Mile Zero just a couple of hours before, so it wasn’t a hard decision for me to drink another of their dark beers. And this one was also brilliant as far as I was concerned, smooth, rich, packed with vanilla and chocolate flavour. It was a heavy hit and so it took me a while to sip my way through the drink (which was overpoured so that it was nearer to a half pint, something I was pleased to note) but it remained as enjoyable at the end as at the beginning. I’m becoming something of a fan of this brewery, they definitely know what they’re doing.

I liked this whole set-up and some of the food options looked really quite decent. It wasn’t very busy, but I can’t imagine Tuesdays often are, but I can imagine at weekends there’s an entirely different environment here. Some of the food venues apparently close when it’s not very busy, although this isn’t ideal if it means that customers can’t rely on food being available here. The Vocation bar is positively reviewed and although the drinks aren’t the cheapest, there is such an extensive range that they perhaps justify that slight extra cost. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, with the whole atmosphere feeling comfortable. I’m definitely pleased that this one is in the Good Beer Guide.