A trip to Hull to see the Tigers play Nantes at an unusual venue (Hull Kingston Rovers rugby ground) provided some quaffotunities. Nothing required in the Good Beer Guide but helpful (and unhelpful) tips from fellow pub bloggers Simon and Martin were vigorously pursued.
Though it was actually Tony, the new landlord of the well established Hop Vine (we visited before and after the game) that suggested trying the Dram Shop. And what a glorious place it is, including the ornately tiled and decorated bar (see above).
This was once Wilson's Corner, the retail shop for Henry Wilson and Son. The Victorian frontage has flights of fancy including several gargoyles. Wilson acted as a local agent for Bass, who acquired it in 1960.
We had Great Newsome Ploughman's Pride (4.2), toffeeish and malty, and Clarke's Chinook APA (4.2). Pity there were only three others in but it was only 4pm and the beer was in good form.
Earlier we had been to the Hed'On Inn micropub, which was busy for a midweek afternoon thanks to some high quality beer and Sarah's effervescent presence behind the bar (at least when she wasn't flooding the cellar).
We enjoyed a Stamps Penny Black (5.5%) which lived up to its description of a 'robust porter' and Salopian Lemon Dream from one of my favourite breweries. This was a beer that carried the lemon taste well, a quality that eludes many rival attempts. Should be a stick on for the 2018 Good Beer Guide.
Hull is UK City of Culture this year and the city seemed more vibrant than on previous visits. My local town, Paisley, is shortleeted for 2021 (along with Stoke, Sunderland and Coventry). Paisley urgently needs a boost and like Hull, has many fine buildings. But unlike Hull, its smaller scale, close proximity to a large city, former almost exclusive dependence on a single industry (threadmills) and lack of waterfront make successful regeneration all the harder.
Not that Hull has yet managed to deal with large areas of urban blight. The handsome White Hart is deceased.
As is the ex Hull Brewery Red Lion.
But the Old Town and the redeveloped waterfront hold some beery delights (to be continued).