#twissup #4 #york

#twissup #4 #york

Following on the heels of Sheffield, Burton & Manchester/Huddersfield in 2010, the first #twissup of 2011 was scheduled for the last weekend in February. The only problem was where to go, so a first-past-the-post ballot was initiated and we waited patiently for the results…..

York won the vote. Only a few votes ahead of Brighton with Newcastle third. Hardly surprising when you consider that York has 82 (yes, really – 82) pubs within & just outside the city walls that sell beers from Britain’s independent breweries. (I’m not that much of a geek – there was a map in the middle pages of the local CAMRA magazine ‘Ouse Boozer’)

A loose plan was drawn up which started with a visit to the York Brewery at Noon on 26 February 2011. The question was, would the pubs be big enough to fit us all in?

With our lass away that weekend and my knowledge of York pubs being restricted to The Maltings, I decided to arrive a little early – 4pm on the Friday afternoon to be precise…. Funny, then, how the first pub I found myself in was indeed, The Maltings!

York MinsterAfter a couple of very nice pints (with the option to have them served ‘nozzle free’ – an offer which as a Northerner I declined) I decamped to a pub that wasn’t in our intinery for the following day, The Swan – just outside the city walls – on Bishopsgate. This is described as ‘Classic, Grade II listed, street-corner local in the “West Riding” style with a drinking lobby and two rooms off’. This is exactly my kind of pub – friendly, busy & serving great beer –BrewDog Trashy Blonde and Marble Manchester Bitter being the drinks I picked from the 6 on offer. A quick (equally as good) pint in their sister pub The Slip Inn, no more than 50 yards away and then back to The Swan for a couple more before retiring for the night.

York locals prepare for twissupIt was nice to have a leisurely stroll around York on Saturday morning – I even saw the locals preparing to greet the twissupers – but by 11 o’clock I’d worked up enough of a thirst to join the day’s early arrivals outside The Maltings. After a refreshing Rooster’s Leghorn and a gentle stroll we met the rest of our contingent at The York Brewery.

There were many familiar faces and some not so – there were even some faces I could put a name to – but whichever, it was great to meet you all.
Not wanting to repeat what you might read in other blogs – here is my abridged version of the days events:

York Brewery
Took the tour and partook of a few halves of Moteuka & First Light
Tried a half of Brass Monkey Baboon – certainly not to my taste, so much so that it was left for a much more paletable half of Leeds Best
It’s a very old building near Newgate Market – I’d love to go back but I’m not sure I’ll find it without a local guide. A pint of the rather lovely Camden Town Pale Ale and then some BrewDog was followed by a tasting of the latest Hardknott Aether Blaec – was I the only one who thought the first was the nicer of the two?

After Pivni our little group (if you can call 30 odd people a little group) got fragmented. Our splinter group needed food, so we headed for:

The House of the Trembling Madness
This bar sits above the Bottle beer shop in Stonegate. Some nice (un-named) bottled foreign beer accompanied some food – Please note: the menu is wrong, it isn’t the smallest kitchen in York, there is no kitchen – our meals were prepared at the back of the bar!
Old White Swan
A half of Thornbridge Jaipur – nice but nothing special
Rook & Gaskill
This is a Castle Rock Brewery pub, just outside the city walls. Many people rave about the place but I was underwhelmed.
The Maltings
I think there is a nice symmetry to a day out when you’ve come full circle. But after scoring one of our Southern visitors a 5, three 7s and an 8 for a backward two stumbles and a twist over a bar stool before landng on his arse – @HardKnottDave, @HardknottAnn, @HardKnottSooty, @marktyork and I decided to try a less boisterous venue (I still think that mark of 5 was a little harsh Sooty, he spilt no beer for goodness sake!)
Guy Fawkes
More beer, in view of the Minster
Three-Legged Mare
The last port-of-call ended in our little group sharing a very nice bottle of Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout. If only it had some coffee and vanilla in it, eh Dave?

#twissup #5 is pencilled in for early October – keep an eye on @BeerReviewsAndy‘s Blog or @markdredge‘s Blog for details.

That may seem a long way away but with the first ever European Beer Bloggers Conference in May and The Great British Beer Festival in August, I’m sure there will be plenty of chance to meet up again before then.

Until next time folks….. CHEERS!

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