How good is this? Fifty taps and an indoor street food market. And it’s my favourite Vocation brewery too. Although they only opened last Friday, I suspect some will be saying it’s a gimmick, it’s not a pub and it’s not for them. I bet it gets in the Good Beer Guide though, with it’s six cask lines poking out of the stainless steel bar-back.
You’re not faced with a daunting choice neither because they’ve cleverly grouped the different types of beer, colour coding each type; Imperial Stouts, Stout & Porter, Sour & Saison, IPA, Pale & Session IPA, European, Ciders, Lagers and Cask.
As well as the obvious Vocation beers, more choices than in their tap room in Hebden Bridge too, all the rest are from exciting brewers from across Europe. Think Verdant, Wander Beyond, Track, Omnipollo, Hawkshead, Marble, I could go on. And when did you last see anywhere with two Kernel beers OTB in Leeds?
It’s not a place for Lagerboys. The three choices of Pilsners had a taste, and a price, beyond the thresholds of mainstream lager drinkers. The beer tickers, from what I saw, were already scratching away in little notebooks and appear to be early adopters of the Assembly Underground concept.
Prices are as expected for this style of city centre venture, and I realise many drinkers would go pale just thinking about them. But that’s fine because this place isn’t for these outdated folk who would probably look around the drinking hall at the various food vendors saying things like, ‘It’s all foreign muck’ and ‘That lass behind the bar didn’t have a clue.’ Just for the record, everyone behind the bar were exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable.
The forward looking will walk in and go, ‘Oooh and Aahhh’, like I did because Assembly Underground takes the enjoyment of good beer and food to a different level. Okay it’s all a bit like the Industrial Zone from the Crystal maze, but where isn’t these days. It’s also a bit more finished off than some of the other similar places in town who never really got it right with the cask ales particularly, to my mind.
Turning to the food, you’ve got the TripAdvisor #1 rated Falafel Guys, Slap and Pickle, Bread & Butter, Coffee & Chocolate and Jah Jyot a sort of Punjabi based street food offering from Sussex? Mind you, anyone knocking out Masala Dosa will do for me
I think they’ve had one of those ‘soft launches’ because I only heard by word of mouth when out with some friends at the weekend. Something like, ‘You’ve got to go, it’s mental, they’ve got fifty lines’. Mind you, it still says ‘Opening early November’ on their website.
When I popped in on Monday evening there was clearly some snagging still going on and it wasn’t very busy, unlike the German Christmas market over the road in Millenium Square. But I reckon Assembly Underground will just go from strength to strength, particularly when the students return after Crimbo.
It’s the sort of place you can wander in and get a reasonably priced, quality bite to eat, from bacon sarnies to whatever. You could call in for a beer too. Take a friend, and if they don’t like beer then they can seek out the cosy, hidden away Cocktail Bar.
The blurb on the website says; Assembly Underground is bringing street food and craft beer to the heart of Leeds city centre, supported by a rolling programme of live events. Situated in a fully-refurbished underground space and located in an iconic, Grade II listed building on Great George Street.
I say; it’s not a pub, just a cool place that will appeal to lots of people and with the largest range of draught beers in Leeds has got to be a must visit for all beer aficionados, whatever their calling.