Our Top 15 Places to Drink Beer In The North of England

By beernomicon
September 26, 2019
Having both grown up in the North of England we have spent all of our boozing in Northern towns and cities. We are very proud of the pedigree of breweries, taprooms,  bars and pubs we have in this part of the world, so we have decided to give you our Top 15 places to drink in the cold North.
(This is not a definitive list. We miss out plenty of places we like to drink and neglect places we have haven’t had chance to visit yet. Cities like Sheffield, Preston, and most of the Pennines don’t feature. We love these areas and the beer it has to offer, but we decided to go with places we have visited frequently and stand out to us personally for one reason or another. If you agree or not with our choices, please let us know where in the North of England you love to drink.)
Tom's picks:
The Smithfield Tavern, Manchester 
37 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ
Manchester's best pub, it's a wonderful mix of classic pub and craft beer bar. With an excellent selection of keg and cask and amazing bar snacks ranging from spiced nuts to pickled eggs and local pies and sausage rolls made with Blackjack beers. The Smithfield has everything. Make sure to investigate their fridges, there's some wonders hidden in there.
Northern Monk Refectory, Leeds
Marshalls Mill, The Old Flax Store, Marshall St, Leeds LS11 9YJ
A little biased but I did love this bar/brew tap before joining Northern Monk. Based above the original brewery of Northern Monk this bar has 16 keg lines always filled with the UK's best Brewery but also some great guests do TTO from all over the world. Not only being a great bar with a great beer garden, it's also an event space that holds two of the best UK's beer festivals each year Hop City and Dark & Wild City.

Whitelock's Ale House & The Turk's Head, Leeds
Turk's Head Yard, Leeds LS1 6HB
1 pub and 1 bar side by side down a little alley in Leeds sharing an alley based beer garden, I class these as one as I'm sure many others do. Another wonderful place where you have the best of both worlds, being witness to a Timothy Taylor and an Equilibrium TTO and MTB in Turks Head simultaneously  was easily my favourite moment in beer!
The Cellar Bar, Chester
19-21, City Rd, Chester CH1 3AE
I was lucky enough to call this bar my local for a time. For a long time this had been just any other bar, so when I'd seen they got Mikkeller Willamette single hopped IPA on my jaw dropped!
Cellar runs a monthly night called Beer Without Fear, where you're invited to try six new beers and vote for a winner. They've been running this night for five years now!
The Pilcrow, Manchester
Sadler's Yard, Hanover Street, Manchester M60 0AB
A pub built from the ground up by its community, an amazing project with a wonderful result. From the keg taps to the barstools, all were hand crafted by its community. Originally meant to be a Cloudwater taproom, The Pilcrow became something more. Warm and inviting even when empty, Ross and I have had the pleasure of finishing off a few De Garde bottles in their along with other greats! The Pilcrow even hosts one of Manchester's many great beer festivals, Summer Beer Thing.
Saltaire Brewery Taproom, Bradford
103 Dockfield Rd, Shipley BD17 7AR
This simple brew tap next door to the Saltaire Brewery is simply wonderful. Sitting next to the Liverpool Leeds canal it is many things to many people! A local cycling community use it as a hub of operations, where they're provided with all manner of maintenance equipment for their bikes, as well excellent cask beer. Saltaire Brewery have a selection of their cask fresh on constantly, not forgetting their bottle shop which is stocked with all kinds of guest beers. There's a huge beer garden here which they host an annual beer fest in too (starting to see a theme).
Wylam Brewery Tap, Newcastle
Palace of Arts Exhibition Park, Claremont Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PZ
When a picture is worth a thousand words, please look at this building before continuing to read this. Wylam saved this building from the council who planned to knock it down. Found in the heart of Exhibition Park is this idyllic brewery, with its wondrous tap room. I visited whilst pouring at Craft Beer Rising held there, needing a break from the fest I found myself in the taproom enjoying a pint of Jakehead. The setting was perfect, a real elegance I'm not use to.
The Brewery Tap, Chester
52-54 Lower Bridge St, Chester CH1 1RU
You're not going to find any inspiring beer here that will make you re-evaluate how taste the world. Here is a pub built inside a medieval great hall, with gnarly tapestries on the wall, a huge hand carved fire place, good cask beer (mainly local) and the best fucking chips and ketchup ever! When I visit home I make a point of going here for a pint, for me this is a spiritual recharge spot.

Ross's picks:
The Marble Arch, Manchester
73 Rochdale Rd, Manchester M4 4HY
Tom reckons The Smithfield is the best pub in Manchester, and I’ll have to politely disagree. The Marble Arch (owned and ran by Marble Brewery) is possibly my favourite place to drink anywhere. Perfectly kept cask and keg in an historic building, roaring fire, full on beautifully tiled (and sloping) floor, bloody well nice food and the wooden bar has been a very welcome sight on many occasions. Serving all types from local Posties on their dinner break to groups of trendy sods from the Northern Quarter, just get down there, have a pint of cask Manchester Bitter and lap it up.

The Ship & Mitre, Liverpool
133 Dale St, Liverpool L2 2JH
The bar is meant to suppose to reflect the inside of a ship, and that's just the the first thing you notice. A big, glorious pub that serves classics from mainland Europe alongside modern craft and well-loved cask, whatever mood you are in beer-wise you are sure to find something and the Ship that sorts you right out. It has a special place in my heart as it was a half of Erdinger from here that first opened my eyes to how good beer could be. Definitely the type of place you can sit in all day and far into the night, grab some cheap as food from the kitchen and work your way through what takes your fancy behind the bar.
Tap and Bottles, Southport
19A Cambridge Walks, Southport PR8 1EN
Southport wasn’t really known for its options when it comes to beer, but that all changed when T&B opened. Tucked away in an old Arcade in the town centre, Tap and Bottles has that cozy warm feeling you want from where you choose to drink. My nights there usually start with some beaut pints of cask, I then move onto the varied selection of draft delights before dragging my mates to the fridge to select some sharing beers, and always there for a recommendation or nod in the right direction are the staff that really make this place stand above the rest.
(Look out for there yearly Southport Beer Street events too.)
Buxton Taphouse & Cellar, Buxton
Old Court House, George St, Buxton SK17 6AY
A few places are special to drink in, places you go out of your way to go to as a real treat, but Buxton Taphouse is definitely one of those places. Buxton Brewery have been making some of the best beer in the UK for years and their tap house serves 18 of their best year-round. The place always seems to have a great selection of beers on so you can start on 4% cask and end on 12% imp stout all in one session. Spent a few of my birthdays drinking in here all day and never regretted a second.
They recently opened their Cellar Bar next door too which has 13 beers on, so even more space and beer to get through.

The Free Trade Inn, Newcastle
12 St Lawrence Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 1AP
There seems to be a theme here of traditional pubs, that serve really good modern craft beer whilst always giving credit to the older beers that paved the way; and The Free Trade Inn fits right in with that. Perched with a beautiful view over the Tyne and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge that would bring you back over and over again regardless of the beer, the Free Trade Inn has the wonderful lived in (and drank in) feel you want from a boozer. It's cliche to say but you do feel home as soon as you order a pint and sit down.
Just a classic pub with a tap list and view you can spend hours enjoying.
RIP Craig David

The Trackside, Bury
Bolton St Station, Bolton St, Bury BL9 0EY
Nestled in Bury, Greater Manchester is The Trackside, and as you may have guessed by the name it sits on the side of the train tracks at Bury Bolton Street station. The East Lancashire Railway runs through the station and is a beautiful heritage railway line that can take people to a few stops through to Lancashire. The Trackside is kind of a throwback to a classic pub, and although recent changes to the interior may have changed it from its past charm it is now more functional and better equipment to house the many families, boozers and train enthusiasts who pass through its wonderful train station bar. With its big, traditional covering outside, it's a fantastic place to watch the trains pass while you drink some proper Northern cask beer. A hidden gem.
Hawkshead Brewery Beer Hall, Staveley
Mill Yard, Staveley, Kendal LA8 9LR
Head up to Hawkshead in the Lake District and you won’t find the Hawkshead Brewery Beer Hall. Instead turn around, get over Lake Windermere and you’ll find the beer hall in Staveley. From the outside it looks slightly cavernous, yet inside it's a cozy, comfortable place that serves some of the best beer in the country. Fairly remote compared to our other picks, the Hawkshead Brewery Beer Hall can fill up very quickly with locals who have adopted it as their local. I’ve visited a few times and loved it, but will never forget the Sunday evening I spent their when it was packed with happy drinkers, while an open mic night ran where seemingly everyone sang a song and got very merry. Definitely worth the trip to the Lakes, go for a walk then go for a pint.
Thats our list.
Do you agree with them? Any we missed?
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