I've blogged about this joint before - it used to be called Okells, and before that, Baroque. Last time around, only the sign above the front door seemed to change, with maybe a concession to the casual 'Friday Night' drinker rather than the real ale enthusiast. This time round, however, things are different, as you would have guessed from the new name.
Named after the bloke who first set up shop in the iconic building, Foley's seems to have really embraced local breweries and cask ales this time around, with the chilled beer selection taking a back seat to the taps.
10 taps present a good spread Yorkshire Brewing, with York Brewery being the most heavily represented. No problem; Thier Guzzler and Yorkshire Terrier are favourites of mine, and now i can get them in Leeds, all the better. Also available are offerings from Leeds Brewery; i was most impressed with thier Leeds Best and Midnight Bell - the first a fine session beer in the style of Timothy Taylor's Landlord but with a little more bite, the second a darker bitter with a much, much maltier body, as you would expect from a beer named 'Midnight Bell'. I've been impressed by Leeds Brewery thus far, and you'll hopefully see a fuller profile of thiers coming up on this blog.
Speaking of surprises, the Grolsch Wiezen is nice, too. Sorry, but i have to be honest. I enjoyed it, and have not seen it anywhere else in Leeds.
With Camra meetings taking place here, hopefully Foley's has recieved the endorsement from those who matter and is here to stay. It hope it does, too; I really enjoy its latest incarnation- a large, friendly boozer with staff who know thier stuff. The bar food menu even suggests simple beer pairings, and although not ground - breaking stuff, it's a step in the right direction to the layperson who wants to delve into the world of food and beer. Im not going to get snooty about that; La Gavroche it is not; but La Gavroche I would not want it to be. I'm sure i'll have many a decent pint in here in months to come.
Mr Foley's Cask Ale House
159 The Headrow