I had a football-free Saturday the other week and I decided to get the train over from here in West Yorkshire to Hull. It was around 5 years since I had last been there and I was interested to see what the beer scene was like these days. And here's what I found....
Hull has always had a different feel to other places, its own unique atmosphere. It feels like a bigger city than it actually is probably because being where it is, acting as a regional capital for much of East Yorkshire and areas of North Lincolnshire over on the other side of the River Humber. It is also at the end of the railway line from West Yorkshire and all points south, although there are services to places like Bridlington and Beverley to the north. The presence of many grand old buildings acknowledges the historic wealth brought to the city by the shipping industry. It sprawls for miles as the port has shifted away from the city centre down the Humber. Its importance was understood by the Germans as during World War 2 it was one of the most bombed cities in the country. All of this gives the city a sense of its own importance which hits you as you alight from the train at the city's Paragon Station.
|The former Hull Brewery|
|The Mission in Hull's Old Town|
Back to the list, having now had 3 unlisted stops, and a few minutes later I came across The Kingston Hotel, situated in a prominent position on a street corner leading into the square which is dominated by Hull Minster, with several lanes leading off from it. The pub was busy, with many enjoying their drinks outside. Inside, I ordered a half of Old Empire from a fairly limited range from the Marstons' stable. It was OK (NBSS 3), but maybe because it was so busy I didn't really warm to the pub itself, and I suspect on a quieter day it would reveal its charms.
|Busy...The Kingston Hotel, Old Town, Hull|
I had time to visit one more place before I got my train back home, and so I headed down towards the river and a couple of streets back in the Fruit Market I found Taphouse, on Humber Street, the tap for Bone Machine whose brewery is next door. It was busy outside with all the tables taken, and the doorman -yes, sadly there was one of those - said there was very little room inside. If I didn't mind sitting at the bar there was a space there. I didn't mind, so moments later I plonked myself down on a stool with a guy at the side friendly enough company until he went to sit across the room with a load of girls. The bar was bustling, lively, but there was a nice friendliness about it. I was in a great spot for ordering beer, too. There was some cask on, but this time I opted for one of Bone Machine's keg beers, Citrus Smiles, a 4.5% hazy pale with orange, lemon, and bergamot notes, which was fermented with Kveik yeast. The guy earlier at Brew had told me that Bone Machine are the only brewery in the country that always use this Scandinavian farmhouse yeast, which allows fermentation to take place at higher temperatures without producing any off-flavours, works faster, and requires a smaller quantity to be used. It was a great beer with which to finish the trip.