Reviewing every last watering hole in Leeds city centre

Around the World in 80 Beers

Around the World in 80 Beers

  • Beer
  • Atmosphere
  • Amenities
  • Value
My phone camera decided you didn't need to read the sign on the door.

My phone camera decided you didn’t need to read the sign on the door.

This novelty bar occupies the ill-fated middle floor of one of Leeds’s most popular towers of alcohol. The concept is a great one: almost everywhere in the world brews its own beer and Around the World wants to bring them all together under one roof.

Doesn't look much like a novelty bar from this angle.

Doesn’t look much like a novelty bar from this angle.

Despite the name, there are actually well over a hundred different beers on offer, from almost every beer-drinking nation on Earth. They’re typically the “tourist” lagers from each country, but there are some classics like Australia’s Little Creatures and Scotland’s Punk IPA alongside some surprises including an Alaskan smoked porter (at £19 a bottle, a typical price for the rarer beers). There are also a handful of draught beers, mostly Carling-type crap but a couple of good ones including Brooklyn Lager.

One of several beer fridges. Lots of beers!

One of several beer fridges. Lots of beers!

The travel theme extends to their “beer passport”. When you’ve tried every beer from a specific continent you can get a stamp on your passport and when you get all the beers you get your name on the wall and a chance to win a real round-the-world trip. Encouraging responsible drinking there.

The food is stereotypical bar food from every part of the world, with a daily special from each continent. Emily would like you to know they sell curly fries — we should have a tag for that! There’s table service in the dining area which might be helpful once you get to beer number 60 or 70.

Pages from the "beer passport". It's all a little bit weird.

Pages from the “beer passport”. It’s all a little bit weird.

What’s really interesting about Around the World is that it’s aiming itself at the general loud party crowd, many of whom might have had some of these beers on holiday but don’t make a habit of drinking a variety of beers in England. Anything that widens people’s palates has to be a good thing for world beer, but it’s definitely not for us. The staff are not knowledgeable about beer (our bartender offered Emily her beer over ice…!), the whole environment is way too brash and loud for us, it’s very expensive and it just felt like we didn’t belong here. And the great thing about Leeds is that we’ve got several other bars with this kind of beer selection.

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123 The Headrow
Leeds LS1 5RD
0845 533 3000

One Comment

  1. Around the World in 80 Terrible Beers. The concept doesn’t work. Perhaps this is introducing world beers to people who only like lager, however the actual range is so narrow as to be completely pointless- especially when you factor in the prices. I ordered Tusker, a Kenyan beer- the guy opened the bottle, slammed it on the bar and said “that’ll be 8 quid”. Well no, I wasn’t paying that. Tusker costs £4 elsewhere. A an ultra-drab plastic atmosphere with music too loud to have a conversation but nowhere to actually associated, leaving you sat down shouting at each other pointlessly. The same company own Shooters and Bierkeller, two other horrible cynical locations aiming at lowest common denominator drinking.

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