Earlier this year we held Hop City. The festival brought together some of the worlds finest brewers of Hop forward beer including a number who’s beer hadn’t made it to UK shores. We had a great time and the overwhelming feedback from you was that you did too. With Hop City we looked at what an ideal festival would be like for us, it was a different approach to any UK beer festival across a number of areas but we took a risk and went for it. With over a year to wait until the next one and so many other styles we felt would suit a style led festival we decided to do a similar thing. A festival combining Rock Music, Dark Beer and Fire. We were excited. It was a bigger risk with an even smaller target audience but we’d done it once, surely we could do it again. This Friday we bring you Dark City – celebrating some of the worlds rarest and most sought after dark beers. Again, it’s a fairly new format in terms of beer and entertainment; so we thought we’d take the opportunity to address some questions and provide a bit more information on what’s in store.

The festival sessions will run Friday 12pm-4:30pm & 6pm-10:30pm and Saturday 12pm-4:30pm & 6pm-11:30pm. Afternoon session attendees will have until 4.45pm to leave the premises, and pouring will cease at 4.20pm & 10.20pm (11:20pm on Saturday) respectively – we ask that all of our guests please be considerate & respectful to surrounding residents when leaving the festival.

If you have purchased a ticket you will have (hopefully) noticed that you’ve paid £15 for it OR £18 for it on Saturday night (when there’s entertainment too). Once again we have worked incredibly hard to source the best dark beers in the world. Some of which has had to be flown in from around the world. The beer for this festival also averages out at around 9% ABV. This does come at a cost. We’ve tried to offset the cost of the tokens with the ticket price. So tokens will be priced at £2.80 individually or 8 for £20. If you buy wisely that’s £2.50 for thirds of some of the most sought after beer in the world, which is cheaper than we bought them for 😉 If you buy really wisely you could share your thirds of super the super strong beers with a pal and it’s a Yorkshire friendly £1.25. Once again, we ask that everyone drinks responsibly and knows their limits. Also worth remembering that there are plenty of beers below 7%. You’ve just got to hunt them out, there will be a small selection of lighter beers pouring on the main Refectory bar also to refresh your palate…

With Hop City, we decided to have all breweries pour two beers for the duration of the festival; mainly to offset FOMO fears and also cater for the very high demand involved with the beers that were pouring. As Dark City is somewhat more niche, and brings a wider spectrum of styles to the table we will be mixing it up a bit more throughout the whole festival. There are 25 breweries bringing along 80+ beers over two amazing days of beer, which naturally means that some beers will be on at different times to others…. Each brewery will be pouring two beers at any one time, and we have curated the list to ensure that there will always be a good chunk of more sessionable beers available for whenever you need them! As with Hop City, we want to ensure that all sessions are given equal consideration so there’s PLENTY of beer left for final session revellers on Saturday Night 🙂 Friday’s opening lineup has been published already, and we will endeavour to publish each session’s list on social media before it starts.

After hearing from numerous people that they’d like the opportunity to take some beer away, we’re stoked to announce that we’ve partnered with Beer Merchants who are bringing a bottle shop stocked with the finest offerings from the UK and across the world. Northern Monk beer will be available for takeout from the main bar in The Refectory.

We’re super lucky to present a number of magnificent food traders to keep those tummies lined at Dark City. Food is not purchasable with tokens, we advise you bring cash for this purpose. We will have Kerb Edge Burgers and Dim Sum Su in the Gardens and Bears Pantry on the Refectory level. There are cash points at Leeds Central Station and on Water Lane for withdrawals.


DJ set from Grave Pleasures. DJ battle between UK brewing heavyweights James Kemp and Colin Stronge.

Steel Cats will be performing their fire infused, pyrotechnic, acrobatic medley and we’ll have music from Barbarian Hermit, Nomasta, Hark and DJ Phil Ford.

We know heavy metal and rock music isn’t for everyone. On the Refectory level, we will be playing more approachable music all weekend. At the Friday and Saturday afternoon sessions music will take a back seat. On the days we do have music this will just be limited to The Chapter Hall and we plan to keep it at a level so that people can still hold a conversation. Providing they don’t stand in front of a speaker / are crowd surfing.


Probably not the right festival for you. HOWEVER we do have a small range of pallet refreshers from Northern Monk & guests on the Refectory bar and the odd non-dark treat from some of the guest breweries.

The Northern Monk Refectory bar will be supplying their regular range of soft drinks, wine and spirits throughout the festival for non-beer drinkers there will also be a small section of NON DARK BEER. These will also be non-token items, card facilities are available inside the Refectory.


There are still limited tickets available for Friday Afternoon/Evening & Saturday Evening. Saturday Afternoon is SOLD OUT. As it stands, there will be a small number of tickets available on the door for the above sessions – Cash Only £15.

Enjoy yourself, drink some great beer, be kind to others and know your limits! 🙂