Leicester | UK
As little as twelve months ago, the Leicester beer scene felt incomplete. Like something was missing in a city surrounded by the craft havens of Nottingham and the bordering Midlands.
Now, with the emergence of a handful of pubs gripping onto the essence of what this beloved city was lacking, it’s flourishing. Over the subsequent 12 months, nothing is unthinkable for Leicester beer.
Leased to Market Harborough Brewery, late 2016 and still arguably the Godfather of real ale pubs in the city centre. The Criterion boasts an impressive and varied 10 cask and 5 keg lines, usually consisting of regional craft ales, and an extensive selection of bottled beer from around the globe. A two-roomed 1960s boozer, the décor only adds to its charm – who’s for darts? They also host numerous tap takeovers, quiz nights, live music and comedy and is a firm favourite of the Leicester beer scene.
Top Tip – don’t leave without trying one of their delicious, authentic Italian-style pizzas
A stone’s throw from the heart of Leicester’s retail and restaurant capital, St. Peter’s Square is the newest comer to the prosperous Leicester beer scene. You can tell great care has gone into selecting their fine array of beer, wine and coffee (straight from the infamous local roasters-cum-merchants St. Martins) and their sublime food offering is second to none. All housed under a beautifully restored Victorian roof, with a sun-catching contemporary beer garden running alongside.
Top Tip – A cask line dedicated, and rotating, through Leicester’s excellent Framework Brewery
More than just your average bottle shop, Brewklopedia boasts being not only the very first and most welcomed in Leicester city centre, but also puts most contemporaries to shame – stocking an unrivalled 500+ lines of craft beer from the four corners of the globe. They throw an array of monthly events from homebrew clubs to bottle tastings, meet the brewers to beer and chocolate pairings! You can be sure that the hottest, freshest brews are found on their shelves (and chilling with the tall boys in their huge fridge!) in this Leicester beer cave!
Top Tip – The ship is manned by a Certified Cicerone (that’s like a Beer Sommelier times a thousand), so don’t be afraid to ask for advice when choosing from their mammoth offering.
Open for less than 12 months and Broood has already set out to be one of Leicester’s premier real ale venues. If you’re looking for the next beer you’ve never had, then Steve Thatcher, co-owner with wife Mrs. T, is your man. Steve travels the country tirelessly in search of the latest brewery, sometimes so new that he’ll bring his own cask along to get it filled up for sale back at his pub!
They keep the beer board, changing by the hour on occasion, up to date in real time on their website so you don’t miss a peep (or pour). They host a ton of Leicester beer events and the recent addition of an outside seating area is in perfect time for the long, hot summer. The marriage of coffee, chicken and craft/cask beer. Broood… get it?!
Top Tip – Broood also offers a range of food for pizza lovers, curry fiends and vegans alike.
Just shy of an hour’s walk out of the city centre, but you’d make the trek to visit CAMRA’s pub of the year 2017, right? Run by two teachers, the micropub is even kitted out with old desks (graffiti included!) from their school, as the pair set out to re-educate the city and themselves in great beer. An assorted and ever-changing draught blackboard, with the option to choose five-thirds at once, a tidy variety of canned craft and the friendliest atmosphere makes The Classroom is the local to be jealous of. It even opens during the week at 4PM; see you after last period.
Top Tip – Snack on their top-quality pork pies from Oakham and fine cheese boards, all washed down with a perfectly cellared pint of ale (no kegs allowed!).
Leicester’s first brewpub in over 20 years. Showcasing both in-house brews and quality local and regional beer, the most recent a Tap Takeover highlighting Welsh craft heroes Tiny Rebel. The brewery itself is located behind the pub and is open to the public, where you can watch head, and sole, brewer Joshua Gray in his element preparing his three core beers, West End Copper, IPA and Stout amongst seasonal and small batch specials. Leicester beer done well!
Top Tip – Look out for their nights of live music which take place twice a month.
*You can read more of our awesome city beer guides here or why not check out exclusive Beer Adventures interviews with kick ass people in beer