I was in Beverley in East Yorkshire last week, and discovered that there were several really good pubs to visit in the busy little market town with its stunning Minster which lies a few miles north of Hull....
And what about Beverley, you may ask? Well, it was founded by an English bishop, Saint John of Beverley, around 700 AD when the area was part of the kingdom of Northumbria, and developed as a place of religious importance. Trading was first established under the Normans, and the town continued to grow as an important wool-trading town and a place of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages on the back of Saint John's reputation of performing miracles, and at one point it became the 10th largest town in England. The huge Minster, which goes back to 1220, is a reminder of its religious origins, and today dominates the town. There are many historic buildings in the town, including the North Bar gateway. There is a racecourse a couple of miles out of town, which attracts many visitors during the flat-racing season, and the town also in normal years hosts a number of food, drink, and other festivals, including the world-famous Beverley Folk Festival. And there are plenty of pubs, too.
|Saturday Market, Beverley
It is easy to get to Beverley, straight on the M62 as far east as you can, keep on the A63, and then pick up the A164 and then you are there. It only took about an hour 25 from Brighouse, and that would have been less if it hadn't been for the odd temporary traffic light, a succession of roundabouts, and that regular rural hazard, the slow-moving tractor. The Premier Inn is located on Flemingate, around the corner from the Minster, in a development which includes a relatively small shopping centre and a multi-storey car park. I got checked in, and a few minutes later, bag dropped off, I was off on a walk into town to get my bearings.
The closest Good Beer Guide pub to the hotel is the Sun Inn, which lies in the shadow of the huge bulk of the Minster. It was closed on this Monday afternoon, so I headed into town passing several shops before I came to a small square. This is the Wednesday Market, and a few minutes walk further on is the much larger Saturday Market, where the larger of the town's two weekly markets is held on a, well, Saturday. It is also home to the Green Dragon, which was not only open but also selling beer at a £1 less than normal because it was a Monday! The pub is accessed down a side passageway which leads to 'Beverley's Secret Garden'. It is narrow pub with in the Tudor style, which goes back a long way from the front. I checked in and was shown to a table in the room overlooking the square. It was quite busy, with several tables occupied and the Indian Premier League showing on a large TV screen. I ordered a pint of Leeds Pale, which was the most appealing of a small list, and whilst it was only an average 2.5 on the National Beer Scoring System scale, at £2.30 including discount I couldn't really grumble!
|The Green Dragon: Monday discount in Saturday Market
The GBG app said the nearest pub was the Dog and Duck, but like the Sun, it was closed, so I headed on to the next, which was the Chequers, a micro pub in nearby Swaby's Yard. This was an unexpected bonus as even in the days pre-Covid - anyone remember those? - there was a general rule of thumb that micro pubs don't open on a Monday. So the fact that this delivered the best beer of the day and was a smashing, friendly little place as well made it all the better. To get in I had to have my temperature taken, use the Covid app, and answer a few questions, but after successfully negotiating these, I was shown by the friendly girl who was serving to a small table opposite the bar. Chequers is in a former bakers and was the first micro to be opened in Yorkshire, way back in 2013. It is on two levels with additional seating outside, and the conversation was flowing between the tables, each separated by a clear screen, as I ordered a pint of Neepsend Lerna, a wonderful 4.0% pale beer, well-balanced, and easy to drink. I rated it a 3.5, and enjoyed it so much that I had another. I followed this with a half of the 5.7% Wensleydale High Fives, a pale and hoppy IPA made with five different hops, which I rated a very enjoyable 3. Enjoying the ambience of this friendly bar, I decided to go for one off the taps, and what else but the Main Event, an 8.5% DIPA from Fierce, made with Motueka and Nelson Sauvin hops to give oodles of flavour! I had to go, but I could have happily stayed there for the rest of the day
|The wonderful Chequers micro pub
|A friendly welcome awaits at the Dog and Duck....
Next on the list was the Tiger, further down the same road as Spoons. It was shrouded in darkness. So I went to find the Monks Walk, near to the Minster. It was most definitely shut. So that just left the Sun, which had been closed earlier in the day, and if that was shut too it would bring a pretty good tour of some of the town's pubs to an abrupt and premature end. The Minster was looking spectacular, decked out in light as I walked past, a sight to raise the spirits.
|Spectacular: Beverley Minster
My sense of impending gloom had been misplaced, as I spotted the lights were on as I approached the Sun. It is situated on a corner directly opposite to the Minster, and it is an old pub, with a medieval timber frame, and bare brick walls. Normally this is one of the top music pubs in the town, with folk, blues, and rock regularly on, but Covid has put a stop to that. The guy behind the bar's long hair and band tee shirt suggested he was very much a rock fan, which made it all the more incongruous that the music coming out of the speakers was a succession of country and western classics! There was a decent crowd in for a Monday night, and from a selection of 4 or 5 hand pumps I selected Taylors Landlord. There was a time when I could take or leave Landlord, preferring to go for the lower strength Bitter or Boltmaker, as it today, but I have to say that when I have had it recently it has been pretty good. And this was on fine form, and I rated it an NBSS 3. I liked the Sun, it was a friendly, relaxing place for a drink. The witching hour was fast approaching, and so I finished my pint, and headed into the night, hotel-bound, as another country classic was starting up.
|Easy, Tiger: another of Beverley's fine pubs