Home > Beer, Uncategorized > Big Pilsner Contest: Bierkeller v North Bar v The Grove

Big Pilsner Contest: Bierkeller v North Bar v The Grove

There’s a new German Bierkeller which has opened on Park Row in Leeds, in the cellar of the building that also houses Shooter’s Sports Bar and the new “Park Row Bar & Brasserie”.

I haven’t ventured in yet, but I will in the near future. It offers an Oompah band on Fridays and Saturdays, serves their beers on tap in steins (if you fancy it) and would seem to promise the rowdy fun of the big beer tent at the German Christmas market in Millennium Square in Leeds, but all year round.  Whilst it’s not selling itself as a great place for a quiet, contemplative drink, much like the Christmas market I think it’ll probably lend itself well to an evening out with a large group of friends; birthday parties etc. 

I enjoy the atmosphere of the Christmas market (see picture above), but the beer selection isn’t that extensive. Kate pointed out that the Bierkeller’s website claims that they have “the largest German beer selection in the North” and expressed some doubt at this. I decided this was worth investigating.

This is the Bierkeller’s list of beers from the website:

On Tap
1. Paulaner Munchen Lager
2. Paulaner Hefe-Weisebier
3. Paulaner Dunkel Lager
X. Rosarda
4. Kaiserdom
5. Flensburger
6. Haus Bier

In Bottle
X. Timmermans Peche
X. Timmermans Kriek
X. Timmermans Frambois
7. Fruh Kolsch
8. Erdinger Schneeweisse
9. Schneider
10. Schlosser Alt
11. St Georgebrau

That’s quite a good selection, with some fruit beers (“Schooner of strong imported US craft keg for the gentleman; half of fruit beer in a branded stem glass for the lady” is destined to be the catchphrase for Al Murray’s successors). However all the fruit beers (Timmermans and Rosarda) are Belgian, so that leaves 11 German beers. A decent turnout – 11 Germans are generally considered a pretty formidable opposition – but surely at least one bar in Northern England can boast a larger selection?

I thought North Bar would be a likely competitor in Leeds. Bearing in mind that their online beer list doesn’t include the regularly changing guest beers, their extensive permanent selection contains the following Germans:

On Tap
1. DAB
2. Fruh Kolsch
3. Erdinger Urweisse
4. Guest German Wheat Beer
5. Schlenkerla Rauchbier

In Bottle
X. Fruh Kolsch
6. Jever
7. Kostritzer
8. Schlenkerla Rauchbier
9. Schneider Aventinus
10. Schneider Weisse
11. Weihenstephanan Kristall

That’s 12, but I’m afraid one of the Fruhs has to be disqualified as it turns up both on tap and in the bottle and the guest is, um, a guest. So Bierkeller probably holds out as unbeaten, at least for the best permanent selection of German beers in Leeds. Although someone may correct me on that; Mr Foleys has a fairly extensive selection of imported beers in the fridges these days.

Of course North also has a fantastic selection of US, Belgian and other great beers so it probably wouldn’t be interested in this particular scrap anyway. However the next challenger is a heavyweight in all categories: The Grove in Huddersfield [insert big fight entrance music here].

The Grove’s astonishingly extensive beer and cider menu is here. Amongst those 9 remarkable pages of small print you’ll find the following Germans:

On Tap
1. Erdinger Urweisse
2. Früh Kölsch
3. Jever

In Bottle
4. Schlösser Das Alt
5. Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche (Oak Smoke) Doppelbock
6. Erdinger Pikantus Dunkler Weizen-Bok
7. Neuzeller Bockbier
8. Schmucker Rose Bock
9. Schneider Aventinus Weizen Eisbock
10. Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
11. Erdinger Pikantus Dunkler Weizen-Bok
12. St Georgen Brau Kellerbier
13. Kuppers Kolsch
14. Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
15. Neuzeller Kirsch Beer (Cherry)
16. Veltins
17. Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche (Oak Smoke) Doppelbock
18. Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
19. Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen
20. Erdinger Acoholfrei
21. Erdinger Pikantus Dunkler Weizen-Bok
22. Erdinger Weiss Dunkel
23. Maisel Weissbier Dunkel
24. Maisel Weissbier Hell
25. Paulaner Hefe-Weisbier
26. Schneider Aventinus

So there you go. The Bierkeller doesn’t have the best selection of German beer in the North, nor indeed in West Yorkshire.

To be fair I think any challenger in the North generally would have a hard time beating The Grove for selection in any category of beer. But then again, Bierkeller has more on tap; I don’t think I could cope with more than 11 steins of beer in one sitting; and I bet The Grove doesn’t have a house Oompah band.

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  1. January 11, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    You’ve put Schlenkerla DoppleBock and Aventinus twice, and Erdinger Pikantus three times 😉 4 Drafts as well, although as the fourth is Nuezeller Kirsch, that eliminates it from the bottle list I guess. But still, the list is longer than I thought it was, now that Ian’s added a few newbies.

    We sort of have a house Oompah band… Well we’re having a second Bavarian themed night on 25th Jan, and will have the ‘world famous’ Betrunkes Wurst Band back… members of the University Brass Band playing German drinking anthem Ein Prosit and such German classics as Three Lions and the Dambusters (Well they did last time…)

    One of my colleagues was in the Bierkeller a few weeks ago and said it’s great for atmosphere but the prices were steep. £25 for 3 1L Steins. So just under £5 p/pint?

    • January 13, 2011 at 1:11 am

      Cheers Brian – that’ll teach me to blog by cutting and pasting.

      As regards the price, the Haus Bier is the cheapest at £3 a pint/£6 a stein, although I’ve been warned to avoid it.

  2. February 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    you need to check the bierkeller in leeds out yourself.
    also, the website does not have all the german beers they sell, just a sample.
    the comment on the price of steins may be correct if these were for the high abv german imports, but I wouldnt avoid the haus bier as mentioned, its a great session beer at 4% and is an import. if you are pounding steins, it needs to be easy to consume and tatse good. you cant do a liter at a itme of 6%+ beer or you’ll be pretty messy after a couple!
    my next stop is the grove, I cant reply unless i have sampled their wares!

  1. February 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm

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