If you’re an aficionado of real ale, then look no further than the city of York. With a number of establishments in the city specialising in traditional beers, you’ll find a wealth of places to stop off for a pint.
One place you should definitely take in on a real ale tour of York is Brigantes. Situated a short distance from Micklegate Bar, one of the four gatehouses that defended the city during medieval times, a good selection of real ales can be found here.
Run by Market Town Taverns, Brigantes is the only pub to have a secret passageway to York Brewery and was the first establishment in the city to introduce a no-smoking rule.
In addition to housing a fine array of real ales and bottled and draught continental beers, you may be interested to know the listed Georgian building was the birthplace of renowned architect Joseph Hansom, who went on to design York’s St George’s Catholic Church and Birmingham Town Hall.
Brigantes certainly stands out as a great place to go for a drink as it has been named the Pub of the Year by the York branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) both in 2011 and 2008, with the most recent award seeing it commended for its tasteful decor, friendly staff and a good choice of beer.
Elsewhere, make sure that you stop at the Lamb & Lion Inn on High Petergate. Here you’ll have the chance to sample a wide selection of hand-pulled ales with Black Sheep, which is brewed in North Yorkshire, and the honey-coloured Golden Mane among the permanent offerings.
In addition, there is a range of guest ales to try, while you can also tuck into classic pub food, which includes traditional favourites like fish and chips and pie and mash, produced by the AA rosette-awarded chef.
You may be inclined to have your food and drink outdoors, as the establishment was voted by readers of local newspaper York Evening Press as having the best beer garden in the city, while York CAMRA named it the best town pub for the summer of 2011.
A real ale tour of the city should also encompass Ye Olde Starre Inne. Established in 1644, this has the distinction of being York’s oldest licensed pub and here you’ll be able to sample a range of ales including John Smith’s Cask and Theakston’s Old Peculiar, while there is a regular rotation of guest drinks.
Continue your journey through York’s finest pubs by stopping off at The Old White Swan. Situated on Goodramgate, just a short walk from the world-famous York Minster, here you can enjoy a range of good-quality ales including Sharp’s Doom Bar, a bitter produced in north Cornwall.
One of York’s oldest public houses, The Old White Swan dates back to medieval times and is said to be haunted.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not is up to you, but as the pub is Cask Marque-accredited and won the York CAMRA town pub award in spring 2011, you can be sure that you’ll be able to sample some terrific beer.
Visit the Golden Ball, situated on Cromwell Road, and you’ll have the chance to try Deuchars IPA and Bombardier, while a different guest ale is on offer each week. The establishment won the 2004 Pub of the Year prize from York CAMRA so it’s definitely worth checking out.
With so many award-winning pubs in York offering fantastic real ale, you’ll never be short of somewhere for a pint or two!
Written by travelsupermarket, who offer great deals on weekend breaks in York.